University Hires Dana Bradley as Chief People Officer

The new role will help lead a “major reorientation” that focuses on “putting people first.”

July 8, 2019

GW Professors' Gate

As part of an ongoing effort to transform the George Washington University’s culture, Dana Bradley, associate vice president for human resources at Northwestern University, will become GW’s first-ever chief people officer (CPO), the university announced Monday. Ms. Bradley begins Sept. 3.

Dana BradleyIn Ms. Bradley’s role as vice president and CPO, she will lead a holistic, integrated operation, including Human Resource Management and Development’s (HRMD) recruitment, hiring, performance management, employee relations, professional development and service-related functions, including the HR partner model, as well as Total Rewards, which comprises payroll, compensation, benefits, recognition and well-being.

Enhancing training, onboarding and professional development for faculty and staff also will be a major focus, in collaboration with the strategic initiative on institutional culture.

“We could never be a preeminent university without a thriving faculty and staff,” GW President Thomas LeBlanc said.  “We have to be deliberate about developing and supporting our greatest source of strength: our people.”

Ms. Bradley will report to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mark Diaz and be a member of the university’s leadership team.

“To put it simply, Dana will advocate for faculty and staff at the highest levels of the university,” Mr. Diaz said. “She is the ideal leader to help us change the paradigm for how GW supports and values our most crucial asset in providing an outstanding experience to our students and community.”

Although this “major reorientation” takes time, Mr. Diaz said, the new role is a key milestone in GW’s focus on “putting people first.”

Ms. Bradley brings more than 23 years of “broad-based leadership experience in all areas of human resources,” Mr. Diaz added, including strategic staffing, employee relations, talent management, organization development, compensation planning and administration, diversity and inclusion and leadership development.

“It’s a privilege and honor to join the George Washington University at a time of great emphasis on people who are the foundation for providing a lasting experience for stakeholders across the GW community. I am incredibly excited to take on this opportunity,” Ms. Bradley said.

In addition to day-to-day responsibilities, Ms. Bradley will be responsible for developing a long-term, data-driven strategic workforce plan that attracts, develops, retains, engages and supports faculty and staff to advance the university’s mission.

Ms. Bradley has an M.B.A. in organization development and marketing from Case Western Reserve University. She also has a B.S. in mass communication and an M.A. in speech communication, both from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Prior to Northwestern, Ms. Bradley held human resources leadership roles at Rush University Medical Center and the University of Chicago, among other organizations.