Commissioner Michael Schirling (Ret.)


Michael Schirling was appointed chief safety and compliance officer at the University of Vermont in June 2022. In that role he oversees campus police, emergency management, risk and environmental risk management – including fire safety, and compliance and privacy services.

He served as commissioner of the Vermont Department Public Safety from 2019 until 2022. The Department of Public Safety is comprised of the Vermont Crime Information Center, Vermont Emergency Management, the Vermont Forensic Laboratory, and the Vermont State Police.

Prior to serving as commissioner, he served as the secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) from January 2017 through September 2019. ACCD’s portfolio includes the Departments of Economic Development, Housing and Community Development, and Tourism and Marketing as well as the Vermont Center for Geographic Information. Immediately prior to serving as secretary, Schirling served as executive director of BTV Ignite, an economic development and technology accelerator initiative, where he oversaw the organization’s efforts to expedite growth of the local tech sector to strengthen the economy by driving innovation.

From 1989 to 2015 he held a variety of posts with the Burlington, Vermont, Police Department, including serving as chief of police from 2008 to 2015. There he focused on innovation, collaboration, community engagement, and systems change. He led efforts to enhance the department’s technology platforms and received recognition from the International Association of Chiefs of Police for civil rights and awards for excellence in victim service and community policing.

He has also worked as a contractor conducting national and worldwide trainings for a host of organizations including the National District Attorney’s Association; Fair and Impartial Policing, LLC; and the US State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program Cyber Division.

Schirling is a lifelong Vermont resident with undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Vermont. He is an avid boater, scuba diver, and pilot. He resides in Burlington with his wife and has two grown children.