Meet the dedicated professionals at the CIVIC Leadership Institute.

Sarah Jane Kirkland

President & CEO

As President and Chief Executive Officer of the region’s premier leadership organization, Sarah Jane is committed to encouraging its network of executive influencers to coalesce around important, regional initiatives. Sarah Jane has spent her career focused on exceeding expectations and helping develop a thriving, inter-connected community.

Sarah Jane’s steadfast commitment to CIVIC’s mission has led to a rewarding career, first serving as the organization’s program manager in 2003, Director of Alumni Engagement in 2013, and later as Chief Operating Officer. She has seen first-hand how the organization engages and inspires leaders to affect real change. Prior to joining CIVIC, she gained critical insight into the tourism industry working with the world’s largest cruise line. Sarah Jane’s focus on the importance of a strong arts/culture community comes from her background with the Northern Ballet School (Manchester, England) and other professional dance academies. Sarah Jane is actively engaged in large scale regional and community initiatives. As part of the coalition of organizations that are creating and implementing the 757 Recovery and Resilience Action Framework, Sarah Jane has helped spearhead CIVIC Leadership Institute’s participation in this effort. She currently serves as an Executive Board Member for RVA-757 Connects, Corporate Board member for the YMCA South Hampton Roads, member of the Hampton Roads Regional Transit Advisory Panel (RTAP) and previously served as board member with the Governor’s School for the Arts.

Sarah Jane is a native of Leicestershire, England. It is with great pride that she calls Hampton Roads, Virginia home, where she resides with her husband, Stephen Kirkland and their daughter, Sophia.

Sarah Jane Kirkland, COO

Robyn K. Robertson, APR

Operations and Membership Manager

Robyn K. Robertson, APR brings a diverse set of skills and experience to her role as Operations and Membership Manager.  During her 25-year career, Robyn has had the opportunity to work with several high-profile organizations including United Way, America’s Second Harvest, Regent University, The Flying Hospital, Operation Smile, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Partnership for a Drug-Free America and The American Red Cross.
Through national and international projects, Robyn has had the opportunity to collaborate on documentary projects with Dutch Television and the BBC, in addition to staging major events and large-scale fundraisers. A natural storyteller, she has written for regional and national publications as well as placed news and feature stories with major news outlets world-wide.
Robyn currently lives in Chesapeake with her husband, Larry, and their three active teens.
Sarah Jane Kirkland, COO

Megan Shuford

CIVIC Communications and CIVIC Scholars Program Manager

For eight summers, Megan worked at the all-girls summer camp, Camp Carysbrook, in variety of positions- starting as a cabin-counselor and lifeguard, and progressing as Head Counselor, Director of Leadership Development, and Director of Marketing. After graduation, Megan spent two years working at the all-girls boarding school, St. Margaret’s School, where she helped recruit and mentor students from around the world. She then had the opportunity to travel in South America before beginning her time with CIVIC, which allowed her to practice her Spanish-speaking skills and build friendships with people from around the world.

As Program Manager, Megan oversees the CIVIC Scholars Program, which is a collaborative initiative by CIVIC Leadership Institute and Old Dominion University to develop a spirit of civic engagement, professionalism and leadership in college students. ODU and TCC students accepted into the program enjoy opportunities to network with executive leaders, become involved in community service initiatives, and participate in programming focused on developing leadership skills. With a dedication to youth development and community engagement, Megan is thrilled about the opportunity to be the Program Manager for the Scholar’s Program.

Destini Harrell

Assistant to Special Projects

Destini Harrell is a community artist, translator, strategic connector and what she calls a “street-level economic and cultural developer.” She is fueled by her passion to bridge and cross-over worlds- of people, resources, and concepts- and to build both micro and macro communities, turning her lifestyle into her life’s work. With a background in both business and arts & humanities, entrepreneurial ways of thinking, creativity, and the human experience are all at the core of her endeavors.

Hampton Roads born-and-bred, Destini is committed to being a part of the “long game” of making the potential of this region a reality. She was introduced to this passion through her time as a CIVIC Scholar. Destini is a graduate of Old Dominion University, with an MBA and a BA in Finance (Real Estate Concentration) and Communication Minor, and is currently helping CIVIC with special projects such as Community Impact Initiatives.

Contact the CIVIC Team by email at or or call the CIVIC Office at 757-683-6890.