Chief People Officer, Penn GSE

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Chief People Officer, Penn GSE

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Chief People Officer, Penn GSE

Job Profile Title
Director, Human Resources, School/Center

Job Description Summary
The Penn Graduate School of Education is committed to cultivating a workplace that values equity, diversity, inclusion, and collaboration. We seek talented individuals who will help lead our efforts to create a more inclusive workplace in a community with a substantive institutional commitment to equity and justice. Diversity is prized at Penn as a central component of our mission and helps create an educational and working environment that best supports the University's commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship.

Job Description


Reporting directly to the Dean of the Graduate School of Education with a dotted line to the VP for Human Resources, and serving as a key member of GSE's Senior Leadership Team, the Chief People Officer-GSE provides leadership, direction and support for the human resources function to create a high-performance organization that meets strategic and operational goals. The Chief People Officer-GSE will lead efforts to ensure that GSE is a people-centric organization, and that GSE supports an inclusive, high performing workplace culture. More specifically, the Chief People Officer-GSE will support, nurture, and retain GSE's diverse and talented staff. This position is responsible for staff recruitment, employee relations, performance management and compensation, onboarding and orientation, and consultative support to management on matters concerning strategic management decisions and compliance. The Chief People Officer-GSE works directly with the Division of Human Resources and all areas of central HR including Compensation, Staff Relations, Benefits, Learning and Education, and Recruitment. The Chief People Officer-GSE will develop performance and talent management programs and develop employee relations and employee engagement programs to properly onboard, train, recognize, reward and transition GSE employees. The Chief People Officer-GSE will navigate and negotiate complex relationships between faculty, staff and students, and develop school-wide programs that strengthen these relationships and overall organizational morale and performance. The Chief People Officer-GSE team is the primary HR resource to staff and works collaboratively with Penn HR as well as school and center HR representatives to ensure the needs and activity of the School is well coordinated, equitable and in compliance.


A bachelor's degree and 7 to 10 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. Master's degree preferred.

Additional qualifications include:

  • HR Generalist experience. Strong operational background with a solid knowledge of human resource practices needed.
  • Experience with managing elements of the employee lifecycle (i.e. onboarding, offboarding, etc.) and supporting people operations
  • Recruitment experience- screening applications, interviews, hiring, creating pipelines
  • Empathetic and emotionally intelligent, with a genuine passion for working with people and helping them succeed
  • Open-minded, creative, and imaginative. Be excited by non-traditional and creative approaches; commitment to continuous improvement
  • Experience managing and developing staff.
  • Team player who is committed to building a positive environment for all employees
  • Strong project management skills and drive to deliver and implement strategies
  • Energetic and pro-active; strong time management, multitasking, organizational, and prioritization skills
  • Strong racial literacy skills; ability to manage sensitive cultural situations with discretion and diplomacy. Adept at handling a variety of sensitive matters in a professional, mature, and confidential manner
  • Proven track record of developing, driving and delivering programs and initiatives
  • Strategic mindset - comfortable thinking one week, one month, or one year ahead of where the team is now
  • Excellent written, verbal, and visual communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to build relationships and trust. Must have a collaborative and collegial approach to seeking input.
  • Passion for creating opportunities for employee connection and collaboration
  • Ability to leverage systems thinking and design thinking to solve employee problems
  • Survey design, management, analytics & improvement plans implementation
  • Experience in developing and executing DEIB programs
  • Demonstrated proficiency in MS Office. Openness to learning and using various tech platforms (Workday, Qualtrics, Trello)

All applicants must submit a cover letter. Tell us about your passion for strategically creating valuable employee experiences!

Budgeted Pay Range:

$110K-120K commensurate with education and experience

Penn GSE actively seeks and welcomes people of color, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, persons with disabilities, and people at intersections of these identities, to apply.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Graduate School of Education

Pay Range
$61,046.00 - $95,972.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit:

To apply, visit

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