Human Resources Vice President to Leave GW

Sabrina Ellis accepts position at NYU; Dale McLeod to serve as interim HR vice president.

Sabrina Ellis
Human Resources Vice President Sabrina Ellis
January 27, 2016

Sabrina Ellis, who has been the George Washington University vice president for human resources since 2012, is leaving her post to take a similar position at New York University.

Ms. Ellis’ last day at GW will be Feb. 26.

George Washington President Steven Knapp said Ms. Ellis has been “a splendid colleague in every respect.”

“Sabrina Ellis has made great strides in ensuring that George Washington is a vibrant and supportive place to work,” Dr. Knapp said. “She created a new comprehensive format for staff recognition events across all our campuses, implemented a ‘client-partner’ model for all schools and units and presided with wisdom and skill over the most elaborate review of benefits the university has undertaken in many years.”

GW Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz said that Dale McLeod will serve as interim vice president for human resources. Mr. McLeod currently serves as associate vice president for HR operations.

Ms. Ellis, who starts her new job as NYU vice president of human resources on March 1, previously worked at NYU for nine years. She also earned two degrees at NYU, a bachelor’s in information systems and a master’s in human resources management. The former New Yorker said returning to be closer to family was a big plus in her decision.

She said of her four-year tenure at GW that she is “most proud of the HR team.”

“There are many unsung heroes in HR who work behind the scenes to keep GW moving,” she said. “We see hundreds of requests every week for various needs, and the HR team works tirelessly to get things done. The volume is tremendous. Hundreds of new employees and several new deans were successfully brought on board through the efforts of HR and many others.

 “I am so proud to have had the opportunity to lead and work with such a talented and exceptional team.” 

Under Ms. Ellis’ leadership, the university introduced a parental leave benefit for staff. She worked with Dr. Knapp and senior leadership on the Smoke-Free GW campaign. Wellness—both physical and financial—became a focus of staff development programs.

“It was a joy to receive letters from faculty and staff saying that Smoke-Free GW gave them the needed motivation to stop smoking,” Ms. Ellis said. “We offered an information series for first-time home buyers, and staff sent notes saying it helped them become homeowners.” 

Ms. Ellis also worked with senior leadership on GW’s Title IX policies and led the development of a new classification structure to help the university retain staff by providing clear career paths. She initiated a series of town hall meetings for staff and faculty as part of an effort to improve HR’s communication and collaboration with employees, schools and divisions. Ms. Ellis provided leadership to the Benefits Advisory Committee and worked closely with faculty and staff on GW's benefits plans.

“This was hard work on all levels and each member of the committee added value to our benefits planning,” she said. “There is still more to be done, and I am confident that GW is on the right path in ensuring staff have greater access to HR.

"Working under the leadership of President Knapp, Executive Vice President Katz and alongside the senior leadership team has been a privilege. Each of them is truly committed and passionate about the long-term success of GW."

Mr. Katz said he is “thankful for Sabrina’s service to GW and for the advancements made to HR during her time.” With her departure, Mr. Katz said, he reviewed the organizational structure of EVPT. He said he decided to make some leadership and organizational changes, including the following, which will be effective Feb. 1:

Human Resources

Mr. McLeod will serve in the role of interim vice president for human resources and will work to ensure the continuity of the division and continued progress on key projects underway.

University Budget Office and Financial Management Divisions

Stella Apekey has assumed the role of associate vice president for budget and financial management divisions. Her portfolio combines leadership of the University Budget Office and Financial Management divisions.


Human Resources now will report to Ann McCorvey, the deputy executive vice president/treasurer. The university Budget Office and Financial Management Divisions will continue to report to Ms. McCorvey. The Division of Operations will report to Mr. Katz. 

 “I am confident that these changes will allow us to continue to provide a high level of service and excellence to the university, and I appreciate your cooperation as we transition to this new structure,” Mr. Katz said.