Annual Conference: November 7-9, 2022


Amanda Bailey
Vice President for Human Resources, Boston University, and ARU-HRI Conference Planning Committee Co-Chair

Amanda Bailey recently joined Boston University as vice president for human resources. Prior to this, she served as vice president of HR at Brown University and as associate vice president and acting chief of staff at Morehouse College. As an HR practitioner with 26 years of professional experience in human resources, Bailey has held senior HR leadership positions over the past 16 years in education. She serves on the state of Rhode Island’s board for workforce planning and development, Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, is a national board member of CUPA-HR, and a board member of the American Research Universities’ Human Resources’ Institute. Amanda has been a panel member since 2013 to assess HR operations within the largest K-12 school districts represented by the Council of Great City Schools in Washington D.C. and is an advisory board member to the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in New York.

She has participated in several presentations and conducted interviews that highlight best practices for HR leaders in higher education and was recently recognized for innovative HR practices in Profile magazine. She earned a master’s degree in both human resources management and labor relations from the University of Rhode Island and is a certified labor relations professional.

Jeff Benton
Founder and CEO, Paragon Performance Evolution

Paragon Performance Evolution is an experience-based lifestyle system for bringing leaders and teams to optimal performance. The mission is to empower the world’s elite performers to access and evolve to their highest potential in all spheres of life. Paragon develops and implements customized programs for organizations and their people that create measurable change, allowing for greater productivity, inspired purpose, disciplined focus and authentic communication. Clients of Paragon include Fortune 500 corporations, private companies, military, law enforcement, entrepreneurs, young adults, global CEO organizations, and professional and Olympic athletes.

Jeff Benton’s background includes senior positions at premier global organizations including YPO, PGA TOUR, Major League Soccer and the USTA. Specific initiatives have included several Global Leadership Conferences (Cape Town, Toronto, Sydney, Miami, Singapore, Istanbul, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Dubai). He has also developed programs for many global organizations, including SAP Studios, Rocky Mountain Institute, Carbon War Room, IBM Sports Marketing, Financial Planning Association, Vistage CEO Conference, Super Bowl Week, US Open Tennis, PGA TOUR Championship Management and NFL CEO Roundtables.

Benton received his bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Atlanta. He is a HeartMath Certified Trainer and Certified Coach with Coach Training Alliance. Ultimately, his work allows for him to combine his deepest passions of connecting people and supporting individuals in their journey of transformation, and to be a human lab exploring what is possible in this lifetime.

Jennifer Benz
Senior Vice President and Communications Leader, Segal Benz

Jennifer Benz is a senior vice president and leads Segal Benz, which helps organizations engage their people and drive business results through effective communication. The firm’s work spans across all areas of benefits and HR and blends the best practices of consumer marketing, design and behavioral science. Segal Benz has received top honors from Pensions & Investments, Business Insurance, the Profit Sharing Council of America, Employee Benefit News and others.

As an influential voice in the employee benefits industry, Benz is widely quoted in publications, including the The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Employee Benefit News, Human Resource Executive, HR Magazine and Workforce magazine. She has testified twice about retirement education before the Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council, and Workforce magazine named her an industry Game Changer. She served for three years as the program chair for the HR Executive Health and Benefits Leadership Conference, one of the industry’s premier events. She also advises several industry organizations and startups.

She launched Benz Communications in 2006 and quickly established the company as a leading voice in the employee benefits industry. Benz Communications was one of the Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses in the Bay Area from 2012 through 2019, up until The Segal Group acquired the company. Her company was a five-time honoree on the Inc. 5000, which lists the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, and it was recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Fastest-Growing Companies in the Bay Area. Prior to starting Benz Communications, Benz spent seven years at Hewitt Associates and graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. A long-time San Francisco resident, she devotes much of her time to pro bono work with local nonprofits and in Guatemala.

Andy Brantley
President and CEO, CUPA-HR

Andy Brantley has served as CUPA-HR’s president and chief executive officer since July 2005. Since 2005, the association has grown from 1,500 member institutions to over 2,000, and from 6,600 institutional representatives to over 33,000, and the number of chapters has grown from 23 to 41. The association has also made diversity and inclusion a cornerstone of its work and has strengthened its position as the source of higher education workforce data and as the voice of higher education human resources professionals on Capitol Hill. Before coming to CUPA-HR, Brantley worked for 17 years in campus leadership roles, serving as associate vice president and chief human resources officer at the University of Georgia, director of human resources at Davidson College, and director of human resources at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He began his career as a labor relations representative for the Chrysler Corporation.

He received his Bachelor of Business Administration and MBA from the University of Georgia. He is currently working on his Doctorate in Higher Education Management at the Institute of Higher Education at UGA and will graduate in December. His dissertation is titled Chief Academic Officer Transition: Opportunity, Chaos, or Something In Between and is focused on the reasons that chief academic officers choose to stay in or leave their positions. He has written extensively regarding higher education workforce challenges and opportunities, including a March 2021 research report focused on how potential minimum wage changes will impact higher education, and a May 2021 white paper focused on higher education workforce challenges and opportunities as we emerge from the pandemic.

He also serves as chair of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat steering committee and the Secretariat’s representative to the American Council on Education board.

Kyle Cavanaugh
Vice President for Administration, Duke University

As vice president for administration, Kyle Cavanaugh leads a portfolio which includes human resources, global administrative and travel support, emergency management, police and security, disability management, employee occupational health and wellness, parking and transportation services, and visa services. The portfolio provides services to Duke’s 41,000 employees and 15,000 students across the university and health system. In addition, he holds a faculty position within Duke University School of Medicine, and teaches within the Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Leadership Program. He frequently speaks across several schools at Duke, including Duke Law School, Fuqua School of Business and Sanford School of Public Policy.

Cavanaugh came to Duke in February 2009 from the University of Florida, where he started in 2005 as vice president for human resources and, in 2007, was promoted to senior vice president for administration, overseeing a range of business, financial and operational activities. Prior to joining the University of Florida, he was associate vice president for human resources services for five years at The University of Texas at Austin, where he led all HR activities and had oversight of the campus police, environmental health and safety, and parking and transportation services. Previously, he was the chief human resources officer at Rice University and held senior HR positions at Vanderbilt University. Before entering the higher education field, he led health promotion and occupational health services for five years with AT&T.

Cavanaugh has served as a consultant on HR and other issues for numerous universities and organizations across the U.S. and at a variety of international locations. He held a faculty position for 16 years with the National Association of College and University Business Officers, College Business Managers Institute. He has held adjunct positions and presented extensively on various higher education business topics. He was elected in 2016 to chair ARU-HRI. He currently serves on the board of StepUp Durham.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Cavanaugh holds master’s degrees in business administration from Belmont University; in health promotion and exercise science from Vanderbilt University; and in special education from The University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his bachelor’s degree in special, elementary and early childhood education from Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee.

Mark Coldren
Associate Vice President and Chief HR Officer, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

In his role at University at Buffalo, Mark Coldren has overall responsibilities for all HR functions, including employee and labor relations, compensation, employee and organizational development, payroll, employee benefits, recruitment, work/life and wellness. Prior to coming to UB in July 2015, he served as chief HR officer of Ithaca College and before that was a member of the senior HR leadership team at Syracuse University and an adjunct faculty member in the Whitman School of Business.

Before working in higher education, Coldren worked in organizations specializing in manufacturing, sales and distribution, and software development. Previous organizations he worked with include UTC Carrier Corporation, Goulds Pumps, Inc., and Automatic Data Processing. Mark started as a history teacher in the public school system. He is a past-chair of the CUPA-HR national board of directors. Mark has a master’s from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from Cortland State University and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

Manuel Cuevas-Trisán
Vice President, Harvard University

Manuel Cuevas-Trisán joined Harvard University in August 2021. As vice president for HR, he serves as a member of the university’s executive leadership team and sets the overall strategic vision for Harvard’s workforce. He has oversight of and responsibility for benefits and labor relations for the entire university, acts as the coordinating partner to the HR leaders at each of Harvard’s 12 individual schools, and is responsible for all aspects of HR for central administration. He joined Harvard after serving in a similar capacity at Northwestern University (2019-21).

Prior to joining Northwestern, he had a successful 20-year career at Chicago-based Motorola Solutions, where he started as labor and employment counsel and assumed roles of global responsibility, culminating in his dual role as lead employment counsel and chief HR officer (2015-2019). Prior to Motorola, he worked at the San Juan, Puerto Rico, law firm of McConnell Valdés and served as judicial clerk at the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals. He received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame, and earned his juris doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law. He holds Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) and Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) certifications from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and a master’s degree in executive coaching and leadership from Universitat de Barcelona/OBS.

Christina Cutlip
Senior Managing Director, Institutional Relationships, TIAA

Christina Cutlip is a senior managing director for the institutional financial services division of TIAA (, a Fortune 100 financial services organization. She is the head of the client engagement & national advocacy team, which is responsible for expanding relationships with industry and government associations, while also focusing on client engagement. In 2011, she was recognized as TIAA’s Working Mother of the Year by Working Mother magazine and received an Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2016 from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) State Fund Network for her contributions to higher education.

She was appointed by the Secretary of Labor to the Department of Labor ERISA Advisory Council for a three-year term from 2013 to 2016. She is on the board of the CIC and chairs the board of Almasi Collaborative Arts, a nonprofit organization that strives to create and facilitate artistic collaborations between African American artists and American artistic institutions. She serves on the board of retirement healthcare provider Emeriti, on the board of trustees for Grinnell College, and on the advisory councils of WISER and ERIC.

Cutlip earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Grinnell College, a master’s in business administration from Regis University and a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Northcentral University. As a FINRA-registered representative and principal, she holds Series 7, 24 and 51 licenses while maintaining accident, health, life and variable annuity licenses. Additionally, she has obtained the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) professional designation.

Vivian Fernández
Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness, Rutgers University

In her role at Rutgers, Vivian Fernández is responsible for the alignment of the HR practice with the university’s strategic imperatives, advancing a high-performing, customer-centric organization with a focus on talent management. In this capacity, she leads an HR practice for an employee population of over 27,000 across 1,500 departments, represented by 22 labor unions. She has over 20 years of HR experience in higher education, having served in leadership roles at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York; Northern Arizona University; The College of New Jersey; and Rutgers. She earned her bachelor’s and MBA degrees from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, and has served as an adjunct instructor and presenter on leadership and HR transformation at regional and national conferences.

Lorraine Goffe
Vice President for Human Resources and Chief HR Officer, Pennsylvania State University

Lorraine Goffe is an innovative human resources leader, internal consultant and coach with over 20 years of experience leading human resources in higher education and academic medicine. She also has extensive experience in for-profit environments, where she began her career. In her role at Penn State, she is responsible for the strategies, operations, services and programs that support the organization’s 40,000 faculty and staff across the commonwealth. Prior to joining Penn State in March 2019, she served as vice president for HR at MIT. She has also served as vice chancellor for HR at Washington University and in various other leadership roles at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in business from William Woods University and an MBA from National University in San Diego. She is an alumna of Leadership St. Louis, a selective leadership development program for community leaders and has served on many professional and nonprofit boards during her career. She currently serves on the board of ARU-HRI.

Carolyn Gregory
Vice President for Human Resources, Case Western Reserve University

Carolyn Gregory is an HR professional with over 30 years of experience mostly working in higher education. She holds an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s from Baldwin Wallace College. Prior to joining Case Western, she managed benefits and compensation administration at Oberlin College. Her areas of expertise include benefits and compensation, systems, employee engagement and organizational development.

Jeff C. Herring
Chief HR Officer, University of Utah

Jeff Herring is chief HR officer and a member of the president’s cabinet at the University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Prior to joining the University of Utah in 2013, he served on the governor’s cabinet as the executive director of the Utah Department of Human Resource Management for 12 years. During his career in HR, Herring has consistently focused on developing the organization’s strategic efforts using principles of increasing customer service, efficiency and effectiveness, and leadership capacity.

Herring serves as an adjunct professor, teaching HR in the University of Utah’s Executive MPA program. He also teaches courses in strategic human resources, business law and employment law. He is currently serving as chair of the CUPA-HR board of directors and has also served as president of the National Association of State Personnel Executives (NASPE) and is a past member of the Romney Institute of Public Management Executive Advisory Board at BYU.

Prior to his public service, Herring worked as an attorney focusing in the area of labor and employment law. He worked in both the private sector and as in-house HR counsel for the State of Utah. He is a member of the Utah State Bar and earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Utah and an MBA with an emphasis on HR. He earned his law degree from California Western School of Law and received a Toll Fellowship from the Council of State Governments. He holds SPHR, SHRM-SCP and IPMA-HR CP certifications. Herring has received numerous awards, including the Eugene Rooney Award for Leadership from NASPE and the Outstanding Public Service Award from the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

Dr. Jonathan Holloway
President, Rutgers University

Jonathan Holloway, a U.S. historian, took office as the 21st president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, on July 1, 2020. He also serves as a university professor and distinguished professor. Prior to accepting the presidency of Rutgers, Dr. Holloway was provost of Northwestern University from 2017 to 2020 and a member of the faculty of Yale University from 1999 to 2017. At Yale, he served as dean of Yale College and the Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History and American Studies. As Northwestern University’s chief academic officer, Dr. Holloway supervised the university’s educational policies and academic priorities, oversaw preparation of the university’s annual budget, acted on faculty appointments and promotions, and directed the allocation of resources and space to academic units.

Dr. Holloway’s scholarly work specializes in post-emancipation U.S. history with a focus on social and intellectual history. He is the author of The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of African Americans (Oxford University Press, February 2021) as well as Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris, Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941 (2002), and Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940 (2013), both published by the University of North Carolina Press. He edited Ralph Bunche’s A Brief and Tentative Analysis of Negro Leadership (New York University Press, 2005) and coedited Black Scholars on the Line: Race, Social Science, and American Thought in the Twentieth Century (Notre Dame University Press, 2007). He wrote the introduction for the 2015 edition of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk (Yale University Press), and is working on a new book, A History of Absence: Race and the Making of the Modern World.

Dr. Holloway, who began his academic career at the University of California, San Diego, received a bachelor’s degree with honors in American studies from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in history from Yale University. He serves on the boards of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University Research Association, and the Academic Leadership Institute, and is a Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. He previously served on the executive committee of the Organization of American Historians and the boards of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Illinois Humanities, the National Humanities Alliance, and the Society for United States Intellectual History. In April 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy appointed him to the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission, and in May 2020, New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin appointed him to his Economic Advisory Council.

Dr. Holloway is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of American Historians.

Michael Ireland
Executive Director, Columbia Leadership

Michael Ireland’s expansive experience includes work in tech, energy, manufacturing, food service, financial services, professional services, consulting, transportation, retail, consumer products, banking, pharmaceuticals, government, nonprofit, insurance and healthcare. He is a cutting-edge thinker and presenter in the fields of future of work, leadership, coaching, management, communication, strategy, innovation, change, effective facilitation and learning methods, peer learning, and linking project-based leadership development to business results.

Ireland previously served as national director and chief learning officer at Deloitte, where he led the building of Deloitte U.S. into a Coached Organization. Prior to Deloitte, he worked with JPMorgan Chase and was integral in developing a comprehensive, firm-wide learning and coaching program, where he coached over 1,000 professionals. The program continues to deliver huge cost savings and revenue gains. He also centrally administered assessments and became trained and qualified in numerous assessment inventories. An accomplished speaker and motivator, Ireland’s keynote speaking engagements instill a call to action that is palpable, driving leaders and employees to change the status quo and deliver bottom-line results. In addition to teaching Future of Work at Columbia University, he has been on the organizational behavior and change faculty at New York University for more than 12 years, developing, researching and experimenting with cutting-edge content and ways of facilitating and coaching.

His doctoral research in leadership and organizational psychology at Columbia University focused on best practices in interactions in facilitated environments. He holds master’s degrees in both leadership and organizational psychology and counseling psychology from Columbia University and has completed coursework in Columbia Business School’s Executive Education Program.

Mindy Kornberg
Vice President, Human Resources, University of Washington

Mindy Kornberg, appointed vice president for UW Human Resources (UWHR) in 2006, provides HR leadership and strategic guidance across the University of Washington system consisting of three campuses, three medical centers and several smaller offsite locations locally and globally. From creating welcoming workplaces and productive relationships with 10 union partners to fostering leadership development and employee engagement programs that have achieved national recognition, Kornberg emphasizes the importance every employee plays in advancing the mission of the university. A graduate of Tulane University and the University of North Carolina, she is also a lawyer and has taught for the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and the UW School of Law.

Mary George Opperman
Vice President and Chief HR Officer, Cornell University 

Mary George Opperman serves as the vice president and chief HR officer for Cornell University, which employs approximately 18,000 staff and faculty on campuses in Ithaca, Geneva (NY), New York City and Qatar, as well as dozens of research facilities across the country and beyond. She is committed to advancing an equitable workplace culture and advances this goal as an advocate for employees and an ambassador with the local and regional communities. Her portfolio at Cornell includes oversight of the division of human resources, the office of inclusion and belonging, institutional equity and Title IX compliance, and the Center for Regional Economic Advancement. She is passionate about creating a culture of belonging at Cornell that values and supports employees as whole persons, and in turn, is mindful of the connection between the workplace, the individual and the community in which we live.

Opperman is an active supporter of her community and has served on numerous boards of local and national organizations. She is currently serving on the boards of Tompkins County Area Development, the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, the Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County, the Sciencenter, the Boyce Thompson Institute, the National Academy of Human Resources Foundation and Ithaca College. She is also a member of the governing body for the New York HR Leadership Summit and the ILR Advisory Council. Prior to joining Cornell in 1996, she spent 13 years in the human resources function at Harvard University. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and is certified by the Society for Human Resource Management as a senior professional in human resources. She has a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta in political science and a master of science degree in organizational behavior from Cornell University.

Jami Painter
Associate Vice President and Chief HR Officer, University of Illinois System

Jami Painter has 28 years of human resources experience, the last 20 at the University of Illinois System in various human resource leadership roles. She provides senior leadership and executive oversight for system-wide and system-level HR initiatives, policies and programs, including benefits plan administration; HR policy; federal, state and institutional HR compliance; equal employment opportunity, diversity, equity and inclusion; information management; organizational effectiveness and employee engagement; talent acquisition and management; leave administration; HR systems; and employee and labor relations.

Prior to coming to higher education, Painter was an HR leader in healthcare and private industry. She currently serves on the CUPA-HR national board of directors, as president-elect of the Leadership Illinois board of directors and as a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Chief HR Officers. She has also served as a leader in many organizations, including vice president and president of the local SHRM chapter, Central Illinois Human Resources Group; chair of the Illinois Higher Education Consortium on Human Capital; and member-at-large on the CUPA-HR Illinois Chapter board of directors. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s in HR education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Michelle Piekutowski
Associate Vice President and Chief HR Officer, Carnegie Mellon University, and ARU-HRI Conference Planning Committee Co-Chair

As the associate vice president and chief HR officer for Carnegie Mellon University, Michelle Piekutowski provides leadership, direction and strategy on human resources issues involving recruitment and retention; onboarding and professional development; employee and labor relations; benefits and compensation; and performance standards and assessments. With experience as a human resources executive and more than 20 years of leadership experience in higher education, she provides strong values, a proven ability to realign resources to ensure success and the passion for transformational change. She formerly served as associate vice president for human resources and chief HR officer at Clemson University.

Piekutowski  sits on the National Chief HR Council for The Conference Board, the TIAA Advisory Committee, and the board for the American Research University Chief HR Officers. She has served as an HR legislative advocate for the Society for Human Resource Management, on the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium advisory board and as a past president and vice president for the South Carolina Chapter of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and four children.

Cheryl Reardon
Vice President and Chief HR Officer, University of Iowa

Cheryl Reardon is the chief HR officer and associate vice president at the University of Iowa. The university has 30,000 employees, including the academic and healthcare campuses. Reardon has cultivated a rich, diverse and progressive portfolio of experiences in her 30-year career on campus.  She has served in leadership roles in student life, academic administration, research and the economic development enterprise. In her current role, she has provided a strategic framework and leadership for HR on campus, including organizational leadership for the units that make up the HR enterprise. These units include talent acquisition, payroll, benefits, organizational effectiveness, employee wellbeing, threat assessment, employee and labor relations, total rewards/compensation, and employee support programs. In addition, she is responsible for the distributed HR service delivery model. Her focus on daily success has allowed HR to be more strategic in its approach, and she has engaged in the application of processes, policies, systems and procedures designed to enhance the employee experience at the university.

Reardon holds a master’s degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato and a bachelor’s degree from St. Ambrose University. She has demonstrated her leadership skills and her commitment to the UI community by serving on numerous university, community and state-wide committees.

Mike Rounds
Vice Provost for Operations and Chief HR Officer, University of Kansas

Mike Rounds retired from the Army as a brigadier general in 2009 after over 30 years of service as an infantry officer. Key assignments included standing up the Army’s first Stryker Brigade Combat Team and, after certifying the concept, deploying the unit to Iraq in 2003. He also served as commander of the Operations Group at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana, from 2005 to 2007 and participated in over 20 rotations designed to prepare brigades deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. His last assignment in the military was as the director, J7, on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon where he was responsible for joint training, exercises, doctrine, education and experimentation.

Immediately upon retirement, Rounds established the Human Performance Resource Center at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Services in Bethesda, Maryland. He subsequently completed a fellowship at the Broad Superintendents Academy, an organization that is dedicated to public education reform and focuses on improving education outcomes in the urban core. His first job in public education was as the chief operating officer of Kansas City Public Schools. He subsequently served as the deputy superintendent of education in Louisiana, where he led the effort to help the 70 districts across the state implement a new common core curriculum and establish a teacher and administrator accountability system. In April 2014, he joined KU as the associate vice provost for human resource management. From January 2017 until July 2018, he also served as the interim chief information officer. In July 2017, he added the title of senior associate vice provost for administration to his KU responsibilities, which led to his current appointment.

Rounds’ education includes a bachelor’s dgeree from the United States Military Academy, a master’s in East Asian Studies from Yale University, a master’s in strategic planning from the U.S. Army War College and an MBA from Baker University. He also completed Chinese language training at the Presidio of Monterey and the British Ministry of Defense Chinese Language School in Hong Kong. During his Army career, he earned the Combat Infantry Badge, the Expert Infantry Badge and completed both Airborne and Ranger training.

Kelley Stuck
Total Rewards Advisor and Former Vice President of Human Resources, University of Virginia

Kelley Stuck currently serves as a strategic HR advisor for the University of Virginia (UVA) and the University of Missouri System. In these roles, she serves as an executive coach and advises on total rewards, organizational design/transformation, and employer direct contracting with an academic medical center. Prior to this, she served from 2016 to 2020 as the vice president and chief HR officer at the University of Virginia. While at UVA, she led a transformational change in the HR service delivery model, elevating HR as a trusted partner, subject matter expert and strategic, integrated resource that delivers exceptional service to the organization. This structure is supported by a single cloud-based technology platform across both healthcare and the academic division. In addition, she supported the organization through a transition to a new president, as well as a change to all three of the president’s executive vice presidents.

Stuck has also worked in consulting and spent more than a decade in healthcare. She graduated from University of Central Michigan with a master’s degree in administration with an HR concentration and before that from Truman University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing communications.

Laurita Thomas
President, ARU-HRI

Laurita Thomas is the president of the American Research Universities Human Resources Institute. She is responsible for executive development and leadership programming for the chief HR officers of 65 major research universities in the United States and Canada. She is a certified master coach and provides organizational effectiveness consulting.

Prior to her appointment at ARU-HRI, Thomas served as the associate vice president for human resources at the University of Michigan for 15 years. There, she was responsible for HR policy for all UM campuses and a full range of comprehensive integrated HR services, products and operations. She was responsible for 330 staff, a budget of $36 million and a benefit plan of approximately $1 billion. Prior to that position, she served as CHRO for the University of Michigan Heath System for 15 years.

Thomas is known for her work to create environments where people thrive, partnerships prevail and performance excels. Her professional HR career spans roles in the financial industry, higher
education and healthcare. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan in political science and economics. Her graduate work is in guidance and counseling and business administration. She has published many articles and book chapters and has received many leadership and service awards, most recently HR Executive of the Year for the State of Michigan from the American Society of Employers and the CUPA-HR Distinguished Service Award.

Nathan Tracanna
Assistant Vice President for HR Technology and Client Services, Carnegie Mellon University

Nathan Tracanna’s areas of emphasis during his time in industry, professional services and higher education are leading transformation efforts that create a uniform, high-quality, cost-effective HR service model, powered by technology capabilities to optimize business alignment and maximize HR performance.

Felicia Washington
Senior Vice President for Human Resources, University of Southern California, and ARU-HRI Board Chair

Felicia A. Washington was appointed senior vice president of human resources at the University of Southern California in June 2019. In her role, she oversees three university central offices: university HR; equity, equal opportunity and Title IX; and culture, ethics and compliance. In this capacity, she provides the long-range strategic vision for building an integrated human capital strategy and leadership of the equity, culture and compliance priorities and to enable people and the development of accountability systems. She is deeply committed to advancing USC’s mission by balancing the overall needs of the university with the unique needs of its schools and units.

Washington arrived at USC with decades of experience as a highly respected attorney specializing in employment law and a dynamic university administrator. She built a strong reputation around implementing rigorous and ethical standards at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a similar role as vice chancellor for workforce strategy, equity and engagement, while at the same time caring deeply about students, faculty and staff.

Previous to her role at UNC-Chapel Hill, she spent more than two decades in private practice at the Charlotte office of K&L Gates, a multinational law firm. As an employment law partner, she litigated cases in federal and state courts and advised clients on a variety of matters, including such issues as hiring and firing, internal investigations and regulatory compliance. She has been involved in a wide range of legal and community organizations, including service on the North Carolina Medical Board and as a member of the board of trustees at UNC-Chapel Hill.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from UNC-Chapel Hill and a juris doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Brett Weinroth
Partner and Managing Director, Paragon Performance Evolution

When you are a 16-year old in high school with an obsession for basketball, the last thing you want to hear your coach say is to forget basketball and try playing indoor soccer. The class above me was stacked, and he was concerned whether an assignment for another year on JV would impact my attitude. I was crushed, but instead of quitting I used his words as fuel and vowed to be the hardest working player on the team, and do whatever was needed to make varsity my senior year. I worked on my game relentlessly, and the following year ended up as a starting guard on a team that contended for a league title and reached the district semifinals.

I have carried that resilient, underdog mentality into my professional career, where I have found a way to create success through persistence, hard work and building trusted relationships. I have been fortunate to work with some of the most accomplished people at the top of their craft – professional athletes, coaches, entertainers, CEOs, company founders and billionaires. I have helped grow numerous successful businesses ranging from global sports properties to luxury travel companies. As an advisor and consultant, I have played a significant leadership role creating meaningful growth strategies for a diverse range of organizations. As I get older and watch my kids become young adults, I have come to appreciate what is truly important in life, and only work with companies that I am passionate about – companies that crave change, growth and high performance.

John Whelan
Vice President for Human Resources, Yale University

John Whelan recently joined Yale University as vice president for human resources. Prior to this, he was Indiana University’s chief HR officer. His top priorities at IU were to build a stronger and more strategically focused HR function, to improve HR’s process efficiency and customer service, and to increase the engagement of IU’s 23,000 employees across the school’s seven campuses. Prior to IU, he served as vice president for HR at Baylor University. He has also held HR leadership positions at the University of Notre Dame, Bristol- Myers Squibb, The Gillette Company and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

He earned a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. He is a past member of the national board of directors for CUPA-HR and served as the board’s chair. He is also a member of the Massachusetts bar association.

Eugene Whitlock
Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief HR Officer, University of California, Berkeley

For five years, Eugene Whitlock served as vice chancellor for human resources and general counsel of the San Mateo County Community College District, which serves 45,000 students across three colleges. In his HR role, he led the District’s equity-focused recruitment, which resulted in the increased hiring of staff and faculty from underrepresented backgrounds. He championed professional development opportunities for employees, developed workshops and training on harassment and discrimination, and led efforts to support faculty and staff in order to enhance the employee experience. As a passionate advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, he has been invited by the California Community Colleges state chancellor, community colleges and K-12 school districts throughout California to deliver training to board members, administrators, faculty and staff. In 2017, Eugene’s work was recognized by his peers, when they selected him for the Progress in Diversity award given for outstanding achievement in support of diversity in the higher education community.

In his role as general counsel, Whitlock advised the District on general litigation, privacy and data security, wage and hour rules, disability, accommodations, leave policies, contracts, the Brown Act, the Education Code and the Labor Code. He also led the District’s International Student Program, focusing on growing the program’s enrollment of students from Africa and South America. Prior to joining the Community College District, Eugene’s professional background includes legal, investment banking and project management roles in the U.S., Germany, Japan and Venezuela. He has a strong affinity for academia and learning that brought him to the Community College District and now to Berkeley. He obtained his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Stanford University and earned his law degree cum laude from the University of Michigan. He is also a fluent speaker of Spanish and German.

Elizabeth Zacharias
Vice President for Human Resources, Stanford University

Elizabeth Zacharias serves as Stanford’s vice president for human resources, reporting to the university president. In her role, she provides strategic leadership for all HR functions, including equity and inclusion; learning and organizational effectiveness; employee and labor relations; compensation and benefits; talent acquisition; talent management; global HR; systems and analytics; employee communications; and work/life programs. Over the last 18 months, she has chaired several long-range strategy groups, including a university-wide task force focused on addressing affordability issues
associated with living and working in the Bay Area; a committee chartered to improve inclusion, diversity, equity and access in all parts of Stanford; and a committee focused on enhanced professional development and well-being.

Prior to joining Stanford, Zacharias served in HR leadership roles at Aerojet Rocketdyne as well as at several startups and multi-national corporations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Outside of work, she is an active volunteer with a variety of community organizations.