Assistant Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer

Pomona College

Pomona College seeks an accomplished, visionary, and collaborative leader to serve in the critically important role of Assistant Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). This is an exceptional opportunity for a people-centered, highly visible, and service-oriented executive to lead Pomona College in its desire to elevate the role of human resources and enhance the workplace experience for all employees.

Located in Claremont, California, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles, Pomona College is widely regarded as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges. Established in 1887, Pomona College is known for small classes, a challenging curriculum, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of student research and leadership opportunities. Pomona is a member of The Claremont Colleges. Pomona College has approximately 1,700 students; 1,000 faculty and staff; an endowment of $3 billion; and an annual operating budget of $300 million.

Pomona holds a unique role in creating opportunity in American higher education and is committed to enrolling the best students regardless of financial circumstances. The founding member of The Claremont Colleges, Pomona is one of five undergraduate colleges (known as the 5Cs) and two graduate institutions that make up this unique consortium. Located within one square mile, the seven adjoining campuses are only a short walk from one another. Pomona students may supplement the College’s already comprehensive curriculum by taking classes at any of the undergraduate Claremont Colleges.

The CHRO will join Pomona at a pivotal moment in its history, as the campus aspires to achieve the goals identified in the comprehensive Strategic Vision for Pomona College. Reporting directly to the Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer, the CHRO serves as the principal steward for Pomona’s community of employees and leads Pomona College’s human resources program that supports the College’s mission, vision, values, and strategic direction with emphasis on maintaining a highly skilled, culturally diverse workforce and continuing to enjoy Pomona College’s reputation as a preferred employer. The CHRO will lead, develop, and mentor a team of eight skilled staff members enabling each to grow personally and professionally in rewarding careers.

While the CHRO is responsible for ensuring that Pomona College is in compliance with labor laws, human resources-related contractual requirements, and other governmental regulations and guidelines, this position is also responsible for setting the talent agenda for the College and working within the institution’s resources to make that vision a reality. The CHRO will foster an environment of strategic thinking around organizational development, talent acquisition, professional and management development, and deepening the partnership between human resources and the broad diverse array of constituents it serves. The leader will work collaboratively across the college to integrate high-quality services throughout all facets of the organization, will facilitate change, and will ensure that the college’s workforce is engaged, flexible, and resilient. These efforts will differentiate the College as a workplace-of-choice in a highly competitive higher education market. This is an exciting opportunity for an innovative and engaged leader to embrace the strengths of a great organization.

Candidates who find joy in creating forward-thinking strategies to address the institution’s needs in an environment of change, including its workforce, will find this the ideal opportunity in which to thrive. The successful candidate will have experience as an influencer within the senior-most level of their organization with proven success in advancing workforce culture, professional development, and employee engagement. This role requires a thoughtful, practical, experienced executive who is by nature a relationship builder and who will lead with integrity, competence, and a commitment to accessible leadership.

The successful candidate will be an advocate for the liberal arts, with deep appreciation for the history, achievements, and aspirations of Pomona, and the ability to effectively articulate its vision to a diverse audience. Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field as well as ten years of progressive human resources leadership experience, and five years of management experience. A master’s degree, professional HR certification, awareness of a multi-campus environment or multi-institution consortium, and prior experience in a higher education environment are preferred. In accordance with its core values and mission, Pomona is especially interested in recruiting members from diverse and underrepresented communities and individuals with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile, available at WittKieffer is assisting Pomona College in this search which will remain open until an appointment is made. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to Melissa Fincher and Sarah Palmer at

Pomona College prides itself in being an open, competitive, and equal opportunity employer. 

Compensation and Benefit Information

Compensation range: $235,660 to $250,544

Benefits: Pomona College provides a wide range of benefits for its employees. Information on college benefits programs, including eligibility, is available at

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