In her role as Assistant Athletics Director, Claire VeNard has led Notre Dame’s Student Welfare and Development program by helping student-athletes maximize their growth as students, athletes and people. She serves as advisor to the Student Athlete Advisory Council (S.A.A.C.), collaborates to design and deliver the Rosenthal Leadership Academy to support transformational leadership development of selected student-athlete leaders and partners with campus colleagues to create and implement resources, programs and opportunities that support the total development of the student-athlete at Notre Dame.
VeNard collaborates with Notre Dame’s International Studies program to create student-athlete accessibility to study-abroad programs. She also supports student-athletes through the Gender Relations Center that develops programs and resources in the areas of violence prevention and the cultivation of healthy and authentic relationships.
VeNard is the athletics department representative on the Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention, McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, the Career Center, GreenDot Steering Committee and Healthy Campus Coalition. She also is a member of the Sports Performance Leadership Team and is a graduate of the Sports Management Institute.
Claire also serves as the sport administrator for the rowing team.
Prior to Notre Dame, VeNard served as Assistant Director in the Career Advancement Center at Lake Forest College, where she helped develop and lead the four-year career program for student-athletes, served on the Health Professions Advisory Committee, and counseled undergraduates interested in graduate school, the health professions, psychology, computer science, and mathematics. Before moving to Lake Forest, VeNard contributed to career and personal development programming in the Athletics Department as well as in the McCormick School of Engineering while earning her Masters in Higher Education Administration and Policy at Northwestern University.
VeNard worked as a litigation associate at Jackson Walker LLP in Dallas, Texas, representing clients in various civil matters, for a couple of years before transitioning into higher education.
During her undergraduate years, VeNard was a student-athlete at Notre Dame, playing on the women’s soccer team from 2003-07. She helped the team to win a National Championship in the 2004 season. As a S.A.A.C. representative, VeNard helped her team win the University’s Trophy Award in the ’06-’07 school year, recognizing their achievement as the team that performed the most community service.
VeNard graduated from Notre Dame in 2007 with a bachelor’s in American Studies, and went on to receive her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010. She achieved her master’s in Higher Education Administration and Policy from Northwestern in 2013.
While originally from Dallas, Texas, VeNard currently resides in South Bend with her husband, Dan, a former Notre Dame hockey player who also graduated from the University in 2008. Together, they enjoy home improvement projects, learning how to cook, laughing with their families and challenging one another in sports.