Press Release

Franklin University Announces its Newest Executives in Residence


Sherry Mercurio
Executive Director, Office of Community Relations
(614) 947-6581

Columbus, OH (September 28, 2021)

Franklin University, a leading educator of working adults, is pleased to announce its newest Executive in Residence (EIR) members Dr. Anita Somani and Dr. Ned Pettus, Jr. As Franklin expands on its mission to serve its students with excellence, these two newest EIR members  continue the University’s initiative to offer additional support from senior-level experts, to aid as mentors throughout their Franklin journey. Now in its second year, the Executive in Residence program is a powerful career development resource that  bridges the world of academia and practice, while providing significant knowledge and experience, taught by regional and global leaders. 
This year’s group of Executives in Residence began this fall, participating in cross-disciplinary curriculum. During their time with Franklin University, each Executive in Residence will share the expertise they have cultivated in their area of expertise by participating in panel discussions and podcasts on contemporary topics, and by serving as guest lecturers through the Leadership Center, Center for Public Safety & Cybersecurity Education, and Global Center for Healthcare Education at Franklin University.

Executives in Residence

Global Center for Health Education Executive in Residence, 2021-2022
Dr. Anita Somani has over 28 years of medical and academic experience in obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN). Currently, Dr. Somani serves as a board-certified physician with OhioHealth. In her former role, she served as a president of the Columbus Medical Association. As an active member in the community, Dr. Somani is involved in organized medicine as an Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) Delegate, which is the first and largest physician led organization in Ohio. She additional serves on the peer review committee for OhioHealth, along with being a diversity scholars mentor for Ohio Health. 

Dr. Somani is a graduate of the Physician’s Leadership Academy. She received her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, Ohio. She completed residency at Mt. Carmel Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, and received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Adding to Dr. Somani’s extensive portfolio, she has published numerous articles on minimally evasive robotic surgery, integrity in research, and professionalism in the workplace. She currently serves as co-chair of the Physicians Action Network which is a statewide advocacy organization for physicians and medical students, in addition to serving as the state director for South Asians for America. 

Center for Public Safety & Cybersecurity Education Executive in Residence, 2021-2022
Dr. Ned Pettus Jr. was appointed the director of the Department of Public Safety in 2016. Dr. Pettus is excited to be back in a position within the public safety spectrum, which he describes as his passion and one that will allow him to make a difference. 

As a lifelong resident of Columbus, Dr. Pettus joined the Columbus Division of Fire in 1977 as a firefighter and rose through the ranks, serving as fire chief in 2002. In his 10 years as chief, he oversaw a budget of $217 million, and a growing division of 1,550 personnel. Dr. Pettus’ career achievements while chief included leading the division in achieving one of the first international accreditations by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International in the United States, along with being recognized as one of the world’s highest regarded models. 

Over his career, Dr. Pettus obtained a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and most recently received his Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from the Fielding Graduate University in California. In addition, he completed the prestigious Harvard University Senior Executives in State and Local Government certification. Dr. Pettus has written numerous articles and presentations and holds affiliations with many fire related associations. He was named the International Fire Chief’s Association “Metro Fire Chief of the Year” in 2009 and earned numerous other honors.

About Franklin University

Accredited, nonprofit, and dedicated to educating adults since 1902, Franklin provides onsite course options at our Main Campus in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and is an innovator in providing personalized online education. The University offers applied in-demand undergraduate, masters, and doctorate programs that enable adult learners to achieve their educational and professional goals. Through agreements with partner institutions, the University also offers international academic programs, including its top-ranked MBA.

Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and holds specialized accreditations for specific academic programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Franklin University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE).

News Type

  • University