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Sidonie Sansom ’82 Named Rhodes College Distinguished Alumna

Publication Date: 10/17/2012

Sidonie Sansom, who is Director of Homeland Security for the Port of San Francisco, has been named Rhodes College Distinguished Alumna. She graduated in 1982 with a B.A. degree in history and will be recognized on Oct. 20 during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. The Alumni Convocation begins at 11 a.m. in Hardie Auditorium.

Sansom served as an active duty Coast Guard officer for 20 years. While assigned to the Coast Guard’s Polar Operations Division, she led aviation detachments to McMurdo Station, Antarctica aboard the Coast Guard’s icebreaker Polar Sea. Sansom also led the first all-female Coast Guard aircrew to Antarctica and has been honored as one of the “100 Heroes of Aviation” for her work.

In addition, Sansom has served as a helicopter pilot in Brooklyn, N.Y., San Francisco, Calif. and Mobile, Ala., flying a variety of missions including search and rescue, law enforcement, and pollution response.

In July 2005, she joined the Port of San Francisco as Director of Homeland Security. Her responsibilities include development, implementation, and oversight of comprehensive security and emergency management programs. Through her leadership, the Port of San Francisco funded and constructed a Joint Operations and Security Center, implemented physical security and sensor upgrades, and trained employees in all-hazards response.

Sansom is a member of the California Maritime Security Council, American Association of Port Authorities Security Committee, Port Security Caucus, Navy League and Coast Guard Aviation Association, and host of other committees and associations.

In addition to Rhodes, Sansom studied at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and Saint Mary’s College of California.

Tags: Alumni, Honors

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