Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has appointed P. Kelly Tompkins ’81, recently retired executive vice president and chief operating officer of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., as a Leader-in-Residence.
"I am humbled and most grateful to have the opportunity to serve the law school that has been singularly impactful on my professional career,” said Tompkins. “I look forward to continuing my support of Cleveland-Marshall by working closely with Dean (Lee) Fisher, the faculty, alumni and most importantly our students to help them mature professionally and become the citizen lawyers our country so vitally needs."
As part of his duties as Leader-in-Residence, Tompkins will maintain an on-campus office presence for discussions with students and faculty. He will conduct formal and informal gatherings with students, staff, and faculty, guest lecture, assist with advancement and participate in leadership meetings.
“Kelly Tompkins has forged a remarkable career since graduating from our law school,” said C|M|LAW Dean Lee Fisher. “His many leadership positions in the corporate sector and the community make him a great role model for our students interested in careers at the intersection of law, business and community leadership.”
Tompkins held various executive vice president positions with Cleveland-Cliffs for the past seven years, overseeing operations, commercial, finance, business development, legal, strategy, environment, government affairs and communications during his tenure at Cleveland-Cliffs. Previously, he worked as chief legal officer and later chief financial officer at RPM International Inc., having started his distinguished career in 1981 as an in-house lawyer with Reliance Electric Company, an affiliate of Exxon Corporation.
Tompkins has previously served as a trustee on the board of directors of the CSU Foundation and is currently co-chair of the United Way’s Humanitarian Society and vice chair of C|M|LAW’s Board of Visitors. Tompkins also serves as a trustee of Mercyhurst University and a strategic partner with Cleveland-Marshall in its Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection. He is a past recipient of the CSU George B. Davis Award for Distinguished Service to the University, delivered the law school’s commencement address in 2005 and was elected as a member of C|M|LAW’s inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2017.
The school’s Leader-in-Residence program, founded in 2017, is designed to closely connect students, staff and faculty with volunteer community leaders from whom they can learn and benefit. Tompkins is the fourth leader-in-residence appointed by the school, joining Steve Percy ’76, legal educator-in-residence Howard Katz and scholar-in-residence Eric Tucker.