Chief Human Resources Officer

At the University of California San Diego, a commitment to innovation and taking the path less traveled are guiding principles. Since its founding in 1960 as a forward-thinking institution for graduate and undergraduate study, UC San Diego has grown to become one of the most prominent research universities in the world and possesses a culture of collaboration that sparks discoveries that advance society and drive economic impact. As UC San Diego looks to transform its human resources capabilities, it invites inquiries, nominations and applications for the position of Chief Human Resources Officer

Located near the Pacific Ocean on approximately 1,200 acres of coastal woodland in La Jolla, California, the University's main campus encompasses seven undergraduate residential colleges, six academic schools and six graduate and professional schools, including a medical school, school of pharmacy, school of public health and school of marine sciences. With annual research expenditures of $1.45 billion and revenues of more than $6.1 billion, UC San Diego is an academic powerhouse and economic engine, recognized as one of the top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report and ranked by Washington Monthly as the sixth best public university in the nation for contributions to social mobility, research and public service. Everything UC San Diego does is dedicated to ensuring its over 40,000 students have the opportunity to become change makers, equipped with the multidisciplinary tools needed to accelerate answers to the world's most pressing issues.

The founders of UC San Diego had one criterion for the campus: it must be distinctive. That continues to drive the University, making this a compelling opportunity for an accomplished and transformational leader to create change. Reporting to Chief Financial Officer Pierre Ouillet, the Chief Human Resources Officer is a Cabinet-level role with direct access to the Chancellor. The position provides leadership, strategic direction and coordination for all facets of the staff human resources functions at UC San Diego, which includes Talent Solutions; People, Programs and Rewards; HR Strategy and Policy; Data, Systems and Processes; People Support; and Organization Effectiveness. The department has a budget of $40 million and is composed of more than 120 FTEs and another 420 employees in the temporary employment and floater pools. The CHRO also serves as the UC San Diego campus representative for human resources (HR) issues to the University of California Office of the President and plays an active role in representing campus interests.

In 2019, the University embarked on a renewal process to bring a greater strategic approach and better align HR functions to better address the fierce competition for talent in the area. The process established two key goals: to ensure that UC San Diego is an employer of choice and to empower and equip the campus to achieve its objectives. The Chief Human Resources Officer will be asked to continue this renewal process to facilitate the transformation of human resources capabilities at UC San Diego. This will require an individual who has a proven track record in senior HR leadership and experience and comfort with facilitating culture change and the implementation of best practices. The ideal candidate will possess a high level of political acumen; experience leading an innovative and strategic organization; a strong customer service orientation; and broad knowledge of talent acquisition, compensation, HR data and systems, labor and employee relations, equal opportunity and affirmative action and organizational and professional development. Competency in and a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion as well as confidence in dealing credibly with senior leadership are essential for success. More information can be found at

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as three separate documents: CV or resume, letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile and diversity statement (see Contributions to Diversity for more information). Professional references are not requested at this time.


WittKieffer is assisting the University of California San Diego in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by May 16, 2022.


Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. In addition, candidates must apply through UC San Diego's online portal via this link prior to the above date. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to Jeff Compher, Shelley Arakawa and Luis Bertot at


The University of California San Diego is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Diversity is a defining feature of the University of California, which embraces it as a source of strength. Differences —of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socioeconomic status, abilities, experience and more —enhance the university’s ability to achieve its core missions of public service, teaching, and research. UC welcomes faculty, staff, and students from all backgrounds and wants everyone at UC to feel respected and valued.