Organization: New York University

Location: New York, NY

Express Interest

New York University seeks an experienced, strategic, and innovative leader with exceptional communication and interpersonal capabilities to serve as its inaugural Assistant Vice President for Talent, Learning and HR Services (AVPHR). As a member of the Vice President for Human Resource’s leadership team, the AVPHR will partner with the Vice President of Human Resources, the senior HR Leadership team and a talented group of HR professionals across the university to develop NYU’s talent, learning and engagement strategy.  The AVPHR role is people-focused and serves as a highly collaborative leader to drive the implementation of strategies and initiatives that attract, retain and develop a high-performing, diverse and productive workforce with an emphasis on employee development, continuous improvement and customer service.

About New York University:

Founded in 1831 with a mission to be a center of higher learning that would be open to all, regardless of national origin, religious beliefs, or social background, New York University is today the largest private university in the United States and a leader in global education. From a student body of 158 during NYU’s very first semester, enrollment has grown to more than 50,000 students at five major centers in Manhattan and at sites in Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, a host of European cities, and North and South America. Today, students come from every state in the union and from 133 foreign countries. Thriving beyond borders and across academic disciplines, NYU has emerged as one of the most networked and extensive worldwide platforms for learning, teaching, researching, building knowledge, and inventing new ways to meet humanity’s challenges.

NYU is characterized by its commitment to academic excellence, entrepreneurial spirit, and creative innovation. Among the over 4500 full and part-time faculty members are four Nobel and Crafoord Prize winners, five Pulitzer Prize winners, 68 inductees into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and 11 MacArthur Fellows. New York University is one of only 60 member institutions of the distinguished Association of American Universities. NYU offers 9,700 courses in 650 areas of study in its 18 schools and colleges, three degree-granting campuses, and 11 global academic centers. Recognized for leading programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, many of NYU’s schools are highly ranked and world-renowned, including the School of Law; the Leonard N. Stern School of Business; the Tisch School of the Arts, and the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing.

NYU is located in and enriched by the world’s crossroads, connected not only to New York City’s wealth of opportunity but to a global network of scholars and innovators that reach beyond national borders. Its primary New York City location is in Washington Square in the heart of Greenwich Village, with a broad reach throughout New York City from midtown Manhattan, to the upper East Side of Manhattan, and into downtown Brooklyn. NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus is located on Saadiyat Island, the cultural district of Abu Dhabi, alongside the upcoming Guggenheim and the Louvre museums, where 1100 students from more than 110 countries choose from over 600 courses a year. The newly-constructed Pudong campus of NYU Shanghai is in the heart of Shanghai’s thriving commercial center.

This a particularly opportune moment to join New York University, following the 2016 inauguration of its 16th president, Andrew Hamilton, and the designation of a series of university initiatives designed to continue NYU’s remarkable trajectory into its next era of innovation, creativity, and excellence. These initiatives include:

  • Affordability: With the goal to explore with “a wide range of strategies for reducing cost of attending NYU while ensuring the continued upward trajectory of our research and teaching missions,” the Affordability Steering Committee is tasked by President Hamilton to engage the whole university community to explore a wide range of ideas and strategies while a Working Group – composed principally of administrators responsible for major operational units – will foster and catalyze findings.
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: The University Senate approved the creation of an Ad Hoc Advisory Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in December This task force is focused on the critical work of advancing the university’s efforts to embrace its diversity and promote a culture of inclusion for all NYU students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • Science, Technology, and the Arts: Building on the increasing importance of New York City in general—and Brooklyn in particular—as both a world technology capital and the global center for the performing and fine arts, NYU is prioritizing the strengthening of science and technology and its intersection with the creative process. A 500,000-square foot building in downtown Brooklyn is being revived to be a major intersection of technology, engineering, emerging media, and the arts; and the development, promotion, and evaluation of technology-enhanced research, instruction, and assessment designed to develop a vision for the future of teaching and learning at the university. Additionally, with renovations at the Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, new space for data science and computer science in the Forbes Building, a new research building at NYU Langone Medical Center and plans for new laboratories, NYU expects to invest well over half a billion dollars in science, engineering, and technology over the next few years.

For more information on New York University, please visit

Human Resources at New York University:

With over 19,000 employees, New York University is one of the largest employers in New York City. Human Resources at NYU is characterized by a highly collaborative, team-oriented, customer service orientation.  In active partnership with University leadership, schools and units, NYU HR’s mission is to attract, develop, engage and retain a highly skilled and diverse workforce across its global network. The NYU HR team provides leadership and support in the following areas: Global BenefitsGlobal CompensationEmployee and Labor RelationsHR CommunicationsHR Strategy and SolutionsTalent, Learning, and Organizational Development; and Youth Programs Compliance. In addition, NYU HR collaborates with a network of HR professionals across the University’s schools and units to assist them in achieving unit and school-based goals and commitments.

University Leadership:

Andrew Hamilton, President

Andrew Hamilton was named the 16th President of New York University in March 2015. He most recently served as the Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, the university’s senior officer, after an academic career that took him from Princeton to the University of Pittsburgh, and then to Yale, where he was named Provost. Throughout his time in academic leadership positions, he has maintained his scholarly work, including an active research laboratory, and continues to do so at NYU. A distinguished chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society, Dr. Hamilton’s scholarly work lies at the intersection of organic and biologic chemistry. He received his PhD from Cambridge University, his master’s degree from the University of British Columbia, and his undergraduate degree from Exeter University.

Katherine E. Fleming, Provost

Katherine E. Fleming was named Provost of NYU in April of 2016. She joined the NYU faculty in 1998. As NYU’s Deputy Provost (since 2013) and Vice Chancellor (Europe) (since 2007), she worked closely with the deans, directors, and schools on academic planning and also provided oversight of the Provost’s Global Research Initiatives program, which she created in 2011. A historian, she is also the Director of the Remarque Institute and is the Alexander S. Onassis Professor of Hellenic Culture and Civilization in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Martin S. Dorph, Executive Vice President

Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President, is responsible for all aspects of NYU’s non-academic operations.  As Executive Vice President, he provides oversight to the following units: Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Planning / Chief Financial Officer, Information Technology, Capital Projects and Facilities, Human Resources, Public Safety and the Investment Office.  Prior to joining NYU in 2007, Mr. Dorph served as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of Temple University for eleven years. Earlier, he held positions as the Director of Finance and Administration for the Delaware River Port Authority, the Deputy Director of Finance for the City of Philadelphia, and in investment banking. Mr. Dorph received his B.S. from Case Western Reserve University and his M.B.A. and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sabrina Ellis, Vice President, Human Resources

Sabrina Ellis serves as Vice President of Human Resources at New York University. Prior to joining NYU in 2016, Sabrina served as Vice President of Human Resources at George Washington University, where she was responsible for HR strategy and operations including compensation, organizational development, talent acquisition, benefits design, and wellness programs. Prior to that she served as Assistant Vice President of Human Resources at the City College of New York (CUNY). Sabrina previously served at NYU from 1998 to 2007 as Human Resources Officer for University Relations and Public Affairs. Before joining the higher education arena, she worked in HR in the corporate sector. Sabrina is an NYU alumna and earned her B.A. degree in Information Systems and M.S. degree in HR Management.

The Opportunity:

Reporting to the Vice President for Human Resources, the Assistant Vice President for Talent, Learning, and HR Services is responsible for leading the University’s talent acquisition, learning, and HR strategy and solutions teams in providing high-level HR expertise to all of NYU’s administrative divisions; the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; as well as several academic centers and institutes. The Assistant Vice President partners across the University with a wide range of stakeholders, including throughout the global sites and portal campuses.

The incoming AVPHR will build a dynamic, strategic, and integrated talent strategy bringing together two previously separate areas: Talent, Learning, and Organizational Development and HR Strategies and Solutions. The selected candidate will be a thought leader who fundamentally understands and embraces the critical importance of the synthesis of a robust talent acquisition strategy, a strong learning and development capacity, and a creative and accessible partner network–all of which help to nurture broad satisfaction, sustained engagement, and high performance within the university community.

As strategic partners to the University, NYU’s Office of Talent, Learning, and Organizational Development ensures that NYU has the diverse workforce and the high-performance culture needed for faculty, students, and staff to achieve the University’s academic goals. The AVPHR will provide oversight to recruitment operations, ensuring compliance and adherence to University policies, bargaining unit agreements, and to Federal, New York State, and New York City laws for the University’s staff and administrator population. Through demonstrated deployment of “best practices” and a highly collaborative and team-building approach, the AVPHR will provide leadership to the University’s robust offerings in professional and leadership development, career development, performance management, and organization design and effectiveness programs.

In addition, the AVPHR will provide value in enhancing HR’s internal consulting capability in serving its partners throughout its global network. The AVPHR will provide guidance and leadership to HR professionals consulting on workforce planning, performance management, employee relations, individual and organizational development, and overall coordination of HR service delivery to managers and staff in the administrative units under the President, Executive Vice President, Provost, and others. The AVPHR will serve as a trusted advisor on planning and execution of unit-specific and University-wide organizational development and organizational change initiatives.

As part of a commitment to organizational effectiveness consistent with NYU’s mission and values, the university is embarking on an administrative improvement initiative which seeks to identify and expand synergies, efficiencies and operations holistically across the institution.  The new AVPHR will join the HR leadership team at the beginning of this process, and will bring expertise and assistance in reimagining and strengthening the ways in which HR services are delivered across a highly complex, dynamic institution characterized by a drive for continuous improvement and transformational change.

The AVPHR will lead a highly-performing team of approximately 25 HR professionals within University Human Resources and will provide supervision and mentorship designed to develop the team to operate at the highest levels of performance, efficiency and integrity. The AVPHR will manage an operating budget of $4.1M.

Candidate Profile:

The AVPHR will be a collaborative leader who embraces NYU’s mission and culture; who has proven expertise in talent acquisition, learning and development, and best-in-class HR service delivery; who has experience leading teams and facilitating creative problem-solving, and who embodies trust, confidence and respect and leads others by influence and example. The successful candidate will have 10+ years of professional experience and measurable results with employee learning programs, professional and executive recruitment, HR service delivery, and employee engagement; a track record of success building and mentoring high-performing teams in a large, complex, highly decentralized, multi-national organization; and a facility for leading with integrity and transparency. The desired candidate is hands-on, flexible and adaptable, highly knowledgeable of adult learning styles, and has a demonstrated ability to build credibility throughout the organization up, down and across, by being an extraordinary thought leader on talent-based HR programs coupled with an equally strong capability to implement and achieve results.

In addition, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills, and the ability to organize, analyze, summarize, and effectively tailor and present initiatives to a diverse group of constituents;
  • Experience with system-wide and expansive talent recruitment and retention initiatives which employ innovative sourcing and outreach strategies; effective and efficient recruitment and onboarding processes and retention practices aligned with strategies that meet the university’s current and future needs;
  • Broad understanding and expertise in organizational learning and development including leadership development programs, mentoring, compliance based learning, and conflict resolution; experience leading a learning team for a large research organization is preferred;
  • Highly developed organizational and time management skills to effectively achieve and prioritize multiple tasks and an ability to maintain patience, focus and perspective in a results-oriented, fast-paced environment;
  • Knowledge of best practice human resources programs, methodologies and tools and technologies that support comprehensive, successful and results-driven learning and talent acquisition strategies and organizational development;
  • A record of attracting, mentoring and retaining high-quality talent and building vibrant, empowered teams from ambitious, individual contributors;
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion and an ability to connect with others and cultivate relationships based on mutual trust and respect, collegiality and kindness.

A Master’s degree (e.g., Organizational Development, Human Resources Management, Business Administration, Public Administration, or related field) in required; Ph.D. preferred.


New York University has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this search. Please submit applications, expressions of interest, and nominations to Amy Sugin and Shavon Bell here.

New York University is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with institutions of higher education, nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit