Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
May 03, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Howard University 
Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) 

Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)/Associate Vice President 
Howard University
Washington, DC

Howard University is a federally chartered, private, coeducational, nonsectarian, historically  black university (HBCU) in Washington, D.C. It is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a  research university with high research activity and is accredited by theMiddle States Commission  on Higher Education. 

From its outset, it has been nonsectarian and open to people of all genders and races. In addition to the over 70 distinct undergraduate programs, Howard has graduate and professional programs in business, nursing, engineering, pharmacy, law, social work, education, communications, art, science, divinity, dentistry, and medicine. 

Howard is classified as a Tier 1 University and ranked #80 among national universities, and second among HBCUs by U.S. News & World Report. The Princeton Review ranked the school of business #1 in opportunities for minority students and in the top five for most competitive students. The National Law Journal ranked the law school among the top 25 in the nation for placing graduates at the best law firms. Howard has produced four Rhodes Scholars between 1986 and 2017. Between 1998 and 2009, Howard University produced a Marshall Scholar, two Truman Scholars, twenty-two Fulbright Scholars and ten Pickering Fellows. Howard is the most comprehensive HBCU in the nation and leads the nation in sending the greatest number of African American students to medical school. 

Howard University is the number one producer of African American Ph.D. recipients nationwide. The University has launched several exciting initiatives including the Karsh STEM Scholars program, aimed at producing a greater number of STEM PhD graduates of color. Additionally, Tech Exchange, a collaboration with Google® provides an immersive experience to Computer Science students, aimed at increasing diversity in the Information Technology industry. The Howard Entertainment program is designed to diversify the entertainment industry by creating a pipeline for African American students and other marginalized populations to train and study alongside entertainment executives. It offers students a unique interdisciplinary curriculum, coupled with hands-on work experiences and networking with Amazon’s industry partners. 

Human Resources Overview
Howard University's Office of Human Resources supports the University's mission through its commitment to attract, recruit, engage, integrate into the collaborative culture, inspire and retain a workforce dedicated to advancing the historical reputation of excellence.

Recent accomplishments include an award for Well Being from Cigna, a first place Signature award from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) for plan changes in the large employer category, another first place Eddy award from Pensions & Investments for plan 

consolidations/conversions in the large employer category and Howard HR is now a finalist for the Plan Sponsor of the Year award. These awards are in recognition of moving from 5 record keepers to one with TIAA and indicative of the improvements across HR over the past few years. In addition, Howard University is committed to building an inclusive environment for all staff and employees including an increase in minimum wage to $16.83. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Howard University has been able to maintain its faculty and staff by not implementing any layoffs, furloughs or any reductions in pay or benefits. Lastly, the institution is in the middle of implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system with Workday. The first modules are Human Resources and Finance. 

Howard University, one of the nation’s premier institutions of higher education, is seeking an experienced, forward-thinking human resources executive as its CHRO and Associate Vice President. 

Reporting to the COO, the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for Howard University will play a key role in advancing the University’s vision. This leader serves alongside a dynamic, collaborative group of senior leaders who have been charged with positioning their units to support the University’s strategic plan. 

The CHRO will lead a complex human resource function and will have direct responsibility for and oversight of: benefits design and administration, compensation management, employee/labor relations, recruiting/talent acquisition, organization development and lead a team of 30 professionals including 8 direct reports, with the ability to add some resources in the future. This individual will also partner with the human resources team at Howard University Hospital. 

The Opportunity enables this next leader to: 

  • Join an outstanding leadership team. 
  • Build upon the strong reputation of the University within the community, nationally, and internationally. 
  • Continue to build on the ongoing transformation of the human resource operations and instill a true customer service orientation across the institution and within HR, creating a strategic service organization that works in close partnership with all University constituents. 
  • Build and create a truly inclusive community culture throughout the University focused on people and positive, customer focused collaborative behavior. 
  • Be supported by an exceptional team of staff professionals committed to the success of the University. 
  • Partner with both academic and operational leaders across the University. \
  • Oversee a diverse and professionally challenging portfolio of human resource functions and be a key player in driving a culture of innovation and change across those functional units and the University. 

The CHRO will be responsible for establishing and communicating a vision and strategic direction for the continuing transformation of the University’s human resource operations, as reflected in the Howard Forward strategic plan. The individual will drive organizational effectiveness and support the University in all human resource initiatives. The successful individual will lead an institution that will influence and steward changes affecting a diverse population of internal and external stakeholders. As such, the CHRO will have strong influencing and collaborative leadership skills as well as comprehensive knowledge of all areas of human resource management. 

The CHRO will be a University leader who will continue to drive institution-wide human resources culture of innovation and best practices. This leader will foster a vibrant work environment and be a trusted advisor and partner to the senior leadership team and the University community. 

Strategic Leadership 

  • Provide vision and leadership to the Human Resources organization that is strategic, proactive, operationally efficient, effective and impactful. 
  • Partner with senior leadership to develop a human resource driven workforce plan that addresses the opportunities and challenges of the University’s current and future workforce requirements. 
  • Set the direction and implement changes to improve human resource processes, strategy, policies, and procedures within the new Workday environment. 
  • Develop and maintain innovative human resources initiatives and programs to support the University’s mission, values, entrepreneurial spirit, and strategic objectives. 
  • Create human resources strategies that enhance the ability to develop and retain a highly motivated, diverse, and effective workforce that supports the goals and direction of the University. 

Relationships and Using Influence 

  • Cultivate and sustain collaborative, respectful, trusted and productive partnerships with campus leadership, faculty, and professional staff at a large-scale, complex organization. 
  • Develop a communication and outreach strategy that builds confidence and fosters strong relationships, as well as collaboration across the organization that in turn helps the University community understand, embrace, and support new directives. 
  • Build a human resources department that excels at delivering world-class customer service and is relentless in pursuing operational efficiency and excellence. 
  • Embrace all facets of the University community and focus on setting enterprise-wide human capital and talent management strategies. 

Human Resources Expertise 

  • Build and lead a best-in-class human resources organization and facilitate their success in maintaining and improving the confidence of internal and external constituencies. 
  • Envision and create a robust University-wide talent acquisition strategy to assure consistent, high-quality, and diverse slates for all university roles.
  • Establish and leverage a sound human resources Workday strategy to support data centered decision making and provide timely, actionable, and meaningful data at all levels of the University. 

Building and Leading Teams 

  • Collaborate with leaders of all academic and staff units, developing short- and long-range initiatives and goals. 
  • Develop relationships based on trust, confidence, and respect. 
  • Establish credibility across the institution. 
  • Build effective coalitions to move the agenda forward and proactively solicit others’ views before making decisions. 
  • Articulate goals and objectives into specifics that are easily understood and hold people accountable for agreed-to results. 


  • Relevant, senior leadership experience in a complex, dynamic environment. Experience with academic institutions and/or health systems preferred. 
  • Solid history of executive level human resources experience and knowledge in all areas of human resources including benefits, compensation management, employee and labor relations, talent acquisition and retention, performance management, and organization development. 
  • Strong leadership background including effective management, program development and implementation, and policy/procedure development. 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and articulate a clear vision and skills to implement transformative change initiatives. 
  • Proven experience working in a collective bargaining unit work environment.
  • Strong working knowledge of human resources information systems.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion with highly developed skills in building a collaborative culture that values the strength of differing views and experiences. 
  • Exceptional interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with multiple and diverse internal and external communities. 
  • Knowledge of related standards and experience in successfully implementing best practices and performance metrics that effectively evaluate outcomes. 
  • Team-oriented and team-builder with the demonstrated ability to build high functioning organizations. 
  • Ability to create and foster a consultative partnership with key academic and administrative stakeholders. 
  • Superior business judgement and acumen combined with strength in negotiating, critical thinking, and problem solving. 
  • Overwhelmingly positive, can do attitude and exceptional people skills.
  • Strong business acumen skills and knowledge and the ability to drive adaptations leading to long term, sustained, improved performance. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or related field is required. Master’s degree preferred. 


Rosa Morris 
Partner; Global Nonprofit and Education Practice 
Washington, DC 
Telephone: (202) 577-7926 

Divina Gamble 
Managing Partner 
Washington, DC 
Telephone: (202) 955-0901 

Sarah Bartlett 
Project Coordinator; Global Nonprofit and Education Practice 
Washington, DC 
Telephone: (202) 955-0918 

Howard University is committed to providing equal opportunity in employment as well as in its education programs and activities. To maintain a workplace in which all employees are treated with respect and decency, Howard University prohibits any discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, family status and responsibilities, personal appearance, political affiliation, marital status, gender identity, or expression, genetic information, matriculation, unemployed status, or any other classifications, activities or conditions protected by applicable law. 

A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract the most qualified candidates.

Apply for Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

Already uploaded your resume? Sign in to apply instantly


Upload from your computer

Or import from cloud storage

Your Resume must be a .doc, .pdf, .docx, .rtf, and no bigger than 1Mb

4000 characters left

When you apply for a job we will send your application to the named recruiter, who may contact you. By applying for a job listed on The Chronicle of Higher Education Jobs you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy. You should never be required to provide bank account details. If you are, please email us.