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Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
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Carnegie Mellon University
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Job Details

Carnegie Mellon (CMU) is a private, global research university, internationally renowned in fields such as artificial intelligence, the performing arts, brain science, technology-enhanced learning, cybersecurity, design, robotics, and big data, is searching for its next Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. CMU challenges the curious and passionate to deliver work that matters. CMU scholars stand tall among Nobel Laureates, Turing Award winners, national academy members and other global leaders in research and creativity. By focusing on the challenges facing society, CMU students and faculty collaborate across disciplines, sometimes developing entire new fields of study. For more information on CMU, visit

The Opportunity

In July 2016, Carnegie Mellon appointed Dr. Rodney P. McClendon to the newly created role of Vice President for Operations, and has since undertaken a number of substantive initiatives and projects. As a result, one of the critical priorities that emerged was to establish a high-performing, best-in-class Human Resources department under the leadership of a new Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).

Reporting directly to the Vice President for Operations, the CHRO will oversee Human Resources for Carnegie Mellon and will have a full appreciation and well-rounded knowledge of the related complex issues that affect institutions of higher education. The CHRO will be a permanent member of the Academic Leadership Council (ALC), which is comprised of the President's cabinet, academic deans, and academic vice provosts. The CHRO will have administrative oversight for the Total Compensation Committee (TCC). The TCC has full discretion over and is charged with responsibilities and duties relating to the formation, operation and control of all total compensation programs for the university. The TCC also serves as Named Fiduciary and Administrator as required by ERISA for all university benefit plans.

Across CMU, the CHRO leader will provide direction and strategy on issues involving recruitment and retention; onboarding and professional development; employee and labor relations; benefits and compensation; performance assessments and evaluation; and human resources technology supporting these functions. In collaboration with other senior leaders across the university, the CHRO will have the opportunity to establish Carnegie Mellon's brand as a top choice employer for staff and faculty.

In an environment like CMU, where research and academic success drive innovation and strategic planning, the CHRO will be a key member of the leadership team working in collaboration with the Vice President for Operations on policy and strategy. This leader will promote an open, transparent, accountable culture for CMU's campus and community, and will ensure an environment of diversity and inclusion through empathic, collaborative leadership internally and with the community. The CHRO will also oversee the ongoing development and support of the recent implementation of WorkDay, and will manage the budget, timing and rollout during this period of transition to find the best HR IT solution for CMU.

Internally, this leader will identify and address gaps in the organizational structure of Human Resources within the university, and will have the ability and foresight to measure, monitor, control and report on important developments as they arise. An important voice for CMU to the community and to the university's partners, the CHRO will play a leadership role in the institution's relationships with unions or other collective bargaining units. The CHRO will be an advocate, champion and spokesperson for the department and will serve a major role in creating clarity for the services that HR can provide to the campus. The CHRO will build community while simultaneously communicating and advising on important details, announcements and changes.

Candidate Profile

The Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer will have a significant track record of successful, progressive, and applicable experience as a strategic human resources leader, with a sophisticated understanding of the issues affecting higher education institutions. This individual will have a combination of breadth, depth and knowledge of the following HR functional areas: recruitment and retention; onboarding and professional development; employee and labor relations; benefits and compensation; performance assessments and evaluation; and human resources technology. This individual will have a comprehensive understanding of the intersection of human resources within the university and a connection to the university's mission and vision.

The CHRO will have a commitment to the interdisciplinarity central to Carnegie Mellon's philosophy, along with the goal of raising Carnegie Mellon's profile as a global leader in higher education. The CHRO will be a resourceful person with gravitas who can handle conflict, foster understanding, advance ideas and inspire trust. A leader of natural presence, the CHRO will be a decisive, results-oriented leader with a successful background in managing large, complex organizations undergoing systemic change, including an aptitude and fluency with related technology, and the ability to foresee and account for challenges that may arise. Flexible in adjusting to emerging needs or shifting priorities, s/he will be an excellent motivator and a natural listener, inspiring a shared vision, quality performance and strong morale. A passionate advocate for diversity, equity and inclusiveness, s/he will address challenges in this area directly and demonstrate the ability to build and retain a strong team of professionals focused on excellence, accountability, transparency and efficiency.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

  • Strategic and Entrepreneurial Leader
  • Persuasive and Influential Communicator
  • Relationship Builder and Collaborator
  • Expert in Human Resources Management
  • Change Manager and Operational Experience


Carnegie Mellon has exclusively retained Koya Leadership Partners for this search. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Medelene Beasley. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials through Koya's online link here or e-mail Michelle and Medelene at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director

Medelene Beasley

Carnegie Mellon is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, and other under-represented groups. CMU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples and is dedicated to work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies.

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