Providence, R.I. [Brown University] — Karen Davis, a human resources executive with significant experience in higher education, academic medicine and social service organizations, has been named vice president for human resources at Brown University.
Davis is currently at Harvard University, where she serves as director of total rewards and human resources services, the No. 2 human resources position at Harvard. Davis will be the first vice president of human resources at Brown. The position has been created by reorganizing duties within several departments. Davis will join the University in early July.
"I am delighted that Karen Davis is coming to Brown. She will bring her wealth of human resources knowledge and experience," said Beppie Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration. "Karen was a colleague of mine at Harvard, and I know her to be an excellent administrator with a unique ability to make positive changes in a complex environment."
Davis will be responsible for managing a human resources department of 40 people who support the University in the areas of organizational effectiveness, training and professional development, staffing, compensation, benefits, work/life balance, employee and labor relations, human resources information systems, and shared governance.
Additionally, Davis will serve as a member of the President's Cabinet, as well as chair the Human Resources Advisory Board (HRAB). HRAB is the faculty and staff committee created to advise the administration on critical human resource issues. In her role, Davis will aid the University in evaluating its organizational and human resources needs and opportunities, assess the effectiveness of existing structures and programs, and recommend a set of strategic goals and implementation plans.
Brown will also look to Davis for her advice and support on workforce and succession planning, staffing, employee relations, performance management, and executive compensation.
Davis has more than 20 years experience in human resources administration.
For the past eight years, Davis has worked at Harvard, where she was responsible for implementing a new human resources/benefits/payroll system with a multi-million dollar capital budget and a project team of over 100 personnel.
Prior to her work at Harvard, Davis served as a human resources management consultant to the New York University School of Medicine. From 1990 to 1999, Davis was associate dean for faculty and staff services at Harvard Medical School. Previously, she held posts in the New York City Human Resources Administration and at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.
"I am pleased to be joining Brown University at this exciting time in its history. I look forward to the opportunity to build on the wonderful achievements of the human resources department and to strengthening our partnerships with other parts of the university in support of Brown's mission and ambitious academic agenda," said Davis.
Davis holds an M.S. in health policy management from the Harvard School of Public Health and a B.A. from Allegheny College.