AVP & Chief Human Resources Officer - Office of Human Resources

Carnegie Mellon | Pittsburgh, PA

Posted Date 11/29/2023

The Office of Human Resources at Carnegie Mellon University is committed to supporting faculty and staff members' success through every stage of their employment at the university. We support the Carnegie Mellon 2025 Strategic Plan through driving efficient, effective and nimble business practices to support the needs of an evolving university community. We recruit and retain outstanding people at all levels while encouraging a culture of diversity and inclusion, and support for professional and personal development.

Reporting to the Vice President and General Counsel, the AVP CHRO will work collaboratively across the University to continuously integrate high-quality services throughout all facets of the organization, will facilitate change, and will ensure that the University's workforce is engaged, flexible, and resilient to continue to differentiate CMU in a competitive market.

The AVP CHRO is a member of the University Leadership Council and also frequently attends meetings of the President’s Cabinet. They will lead the enhancement of existing human resources programs and processes and will be responsible for providing the full range of human resources services to approximately 7,000 employees.

The AVP CHRO will lead, develop, and mentor a team of approximately 85 dedicated professionals in human resources, with a commitment to supporting faculty and staff members' success through every stage of their employment at Carnegie Mellon.

Presently, the direct reports include the following titles:

  • Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, People and Organizational Effectiveness
  • Assistant Vice President for Total Rewards and Family Care Operations
  • Assistant Vice President, Human Resources Technology & Service
  • Assistant Vice President of Learning and Development

Specific duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Oversee the implementation of the HR strategic plan, design, and plan programs and policies that address current and anticipated future workforce needs based on research and best practices. This will include, but not be limited to, employee engagement programs and initiatives that engender commitment among the workforce towards achieving the University’s goals.
  • Oversee future HR strategic planning efforts.
  • Serve as a consultant to senior leadership, providing guidance in all employment-related matters; mediate situations as necessary and support a team approach to crisis problem solving.
  • Build CMU's organizational capability to recruit and develop talent; develop competitive and costeffective benefits and total rewards programs; and oversee workforce planning initiatives, employee relations activities, and employment related operations and HRIS systems.
  • Provide leadership and vision for the human resources department staff to provide engaged and effective human capital support; ensure high levels of service and performance; and provide support, guidance, assessment, and opportunities for professional growth and development.
  • Cultivate a team culture that upholds innovation, experimentation, lifelong learning, adaptability, institutional and personal evolution, and cultural dexterity. Carnegie Mellon University Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer 3
  • Work with the HR leadership team and Office of General Counsel, negotiate collective bargaining agreements and serve as decisionmaker in union grievances.
  • Serve as appeals officer in connection with matters under the University’s Statement of Assurance and Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  • Serve as liaison to Staff Council.
  • Ensure that an institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is realized in all aspects of workforce planning and development and foster an affirming and welcoming workplace.
  • Serve as a member of the University Leadership Council (ULC), comprised of the President’s cabinet, academic deans, and academic vice provosts.
  • Provide administrative oversight for the Total Compensation Committee (TCC) which 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.
  • Ensure HR policies, practices, and programs comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Seek opportunities to further automate data, update systems, and develop metrics that promote effective decision making.
  • Identify and implement continuous improvement principles to offer creative and innovative HR solutions.
  • Ensure delivery of timely, responsive, and customer-focused HR services. Identify and implement continuous improvement principles to offer creative and innovative HR solutions.

Flexibility, excellence, and passion are vital qualities within CMU’s Office of Human Resources. Inclusion, collaboration and cultural sensitivity are valued competencies at CMU. Therefore, we are in search of a team member who is able to effectively interact with a varied population of internal and external partners at a high level of integrity. We are looking for someone who shares our values and who will support the mission of the university through their work.

You should demonstrate:

  • Change management: Ability to energize constituents and sustain their commitment to changes in approaches, processes, and strategies. A record of designing, leading, implementing, and communicating large-scale change management initiatives.
  • Collaboration: Ability to work cooperatively and inclusively with others, including those not formally under one's chain of command. The inclination to work together versus separately or competitively. Demonstrable experience advising and collaborating with institutional leadership and engendering trust. Carnegie Mellon University Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer 7
  • Communication: Ability to communicate effectively and compellingly to convey meaning, build shared understanding, and advance agendas productively.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: A history of removing barriers in support of inclusive policies and practices, success in hiring and developing diverse talent, demonstrated results in fostering an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual uniqueness are valued and leveraged to achieve organizational goals.
  • Human resource management: Ability to implement staff development and other management practices that represent contemporary best practices, comply with legal and regulatory requirements, and optimize the performance of the workforce, including performance assessments, alternative compensation and benefits methods, and the alignment of human resource practices and processes to meet the strategic goals of the organization.
  • Organizational awareness and sophistication: Ability to understand and learn the formal and informal institutional decision-making structures and power dynamics within an organization, to identify decision makers and those who can influence them, and to predict how situations will affect various individuals and groups.
  • Strategic and innovative orientation: Ability to consider the implications of institutional decisions and to develop strategies to continually improve and ensure the long-term success of Carnegie Mellon University. A willingness and inclination to develop creative solutions or adapt prior solutions in new and promising ways.
  • Team leadership: Ability to lead groups of people toward shared visions and goals, from forming a team that possesses balanced capabilities to setting its mission, values, and norms by holding colleagues accountable individually and as a group for results. The ability to inclusively manage, motivate, and develop synergies and a sense of team among a highly dedicated and diverse professional staff; a mentoring mindset to effectively nurture and support staff while holding high standards and valuing all contributions.
  • Vision and leadership: The ability to strategically lead with optimism and creativity, particularly in times of high pressure or crisis; experience envisioning and designing an outstanding employee experience and leading change management efforts to implement it; an entrepreneurial outlook and eye to new possibilities and emerging challenges in the rapidly changing higher education environment; the ability to develop and manage relationships with a diverse array of partners.


Education: A bachelor’s degree is required with an advanced degree or equivalent experience preferred.

Experience: A minimum of ten (10) years of HR experience, with at least five (5) years of executive HR experience; international HR experience preferred

  • A combination of education and relevant experience from which comparable knowledge is demonstrated may be considered.

Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), SHRM Certified Professional (SHRMCP), or Senior Professional in HR (SPHR) certification is preferred.


  • Successful background check

Additional Information:

  • Sponsorship: Applicants for this position must be currently legally authorized to work for CMU in the United States. CMU will not sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa for this opportunity.

Joining the CMU team opens the door to an array of exceptional benefits, available to all full-time Carnegie Mellon University employees. Experience the full spectrum of advantages, from comprehensive medical, prescription, dental, and vision insurance to enticing retirement savings programs. Unlock your potential with tuition benefits, and take well-deserved breaks with generous paid time off and holidays. Rest easy knowing you are covered by life and accidental death and disability insurance. For a comprehensive overview of the benefits awaiting you, explore: https://www.cmu.edu/jobs/benefits-at-a-glance.

At Carnegie Mellon, we value the whole package when extending offers of employment. Beyond just credentials, we consider the role & responsibilities, your invaluable work experience, and the knowledge gained through education and training. We acknowledge and appreciate your unique key skills and the diverse perspectives you bring. Our commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment means we also account for geographic differentials. Your journey with us is about more than just a job; it’s about finding the perfect fit for your professional growth and personal aspirations.

Are you interested in this exciting opportunity?! Apply today!


Carnegie Mellon University has retained WittKiefer for this assistance in this exciting search.

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited.

Applications should include, as two separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest.

For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by January 31, 2024.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal at: Witt/Kieffer (wittkieffer.com)

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

  • Amy Crutchfield, Sarah Palmer and Natalie Song at CMU-HR@wittkieffer.com


Pittsburgh, PA

Job Function

University Administration and Management

Position Type

Staff – Regular

Full Time/Part time

Full time

Pay Basis


More Information:

  • Please visit Why Carnegie Mellonto learn more about becoming part of an institution inspiring innovations that change the world.
  • Click here to view a listing of employee benefits
  • Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran.
  • Statement of Assurance

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