Ann M. Firth serves as vice president and chief of staff to Notre Dame’s 17th president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. Firth’s responsibilities include: advising the president; managing the staff and operations of the office; serving as a liaison with the University’s Board of Trustees; working with the Budget Working Group, the Faculty Board on Athletics and the President’s Leadership Council; and planning for the University’s Commencement Exercises. Firth joined the Office of the president in November 2011 as associate vice president and counselor to the President, was appointed to the chief of staff position in March 2012, and in 2018 was named vice president and chief of staff.
Firth received both a Bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor from Notre Dame. After practicing law in Chicago, she returned to Notre Dame to join the Division of Student Affairs as the inaugural director of the Office of Residence Life, serving for six years as the University’s primary hearing officer for student disciplinary matters.
Prior to her role in the President’s Office, Firth served as a member of the Student Affairs senior leadership team for over 20 years. As associate vice president for Student Affairs, she was responsible for strategic planning and assessment for the Division, ensuring student welfare and safety, managing crisis communications, leading efforts aimed at better integration of academic and student life, implementing the University’s residential master plan, and oversight of The Career Center and Campus Ministry. Over the course of her career in student life at Notre Dame, Firth was instrumental in establishing both the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education (OADE) and the Gender Relations Center, led two University committees on the future of residential life, and served as the chair of the Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention and deputy Title IX coordinator.
Firth is the recipient of a University Presidential Award for her work. She has also been honored by the Congregation of Holy Cross with the Howard J. Kenna, C.S.C. Award for "extraordinary contributions to Notre Dame and Holy Cross”, and she received the Armstrong Award from Notre Dame’s Alumni Association, which honors a Notre Dame graduate who has rendered distinguished service to the University.
Firth and her husband, John, who also holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University, are the parents of five children, all of them Notre Dame graduates.