» Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Presidential Advisor on Staff Diversification

Brian K. Powell, JD assumed the role of Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Chapman University on June 26, 2018. As of June 2020, Brian is also the Presidential Advisor on Staff Diversification. He is a respected voice for LGBTQ and diversity advocacy. This past year, he implemented our first-ever Affirmative Action Plan that he is now actively using to rebuild our talent acquisition process to deliberately recruit and promote a more diverse staff and administration at Chapman. This will provide a much-needed framework of support for supervisors and campus leaders who are committed to diversifying the staff and administration at Chapman.

Previously, he held the positions of Associate Vice Chancellor for People and Strategy and Chief Human Resources Officer at the University of California, Merced; and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Human Resources and Administration at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University in The City of New York. While at Columbia he also served as the Principal Investigator of a grant in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Commission (NYCEDC), working closely with the Bloomberg Administration and global partners in developing pipelines and incubators for student, alumni and faculty entrepreneurial start-ups in Manhattan and the Outer Boroughs.

As the VP and CHRO, Brian is commissioned to transform Chapman University Human Resources in support of the Strategic Plan and the Chapman Experience. This will include innovative talent development and career management programming; organization design and workforce planning strategies; and enhanced people analytics to support senior leadership in data-driven decision making and in furtherance of a positive employee experience that is at the heart of his HR Philosophy.

A native of Tennessee, Brian received his B.A. in American history and psychology from Northern Kentucky University and his Juris Doctor with a concentration in employment and labor law from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He is a licensed attorney and the author of several publications on employee privacy and has previously served as an adjunct professor of law, teaching courses on sexual orientation and the law; AIDS law; and law, gender and sexuality.

VP and Chief Human Resources Officer Brian K. Powell, JD

VP and Chief Human Resources Officer Brian K. Powell, JD

“Since my arrival, my commitment to — and vision for — Chapman University HR remains constant: to offer the campus a unique HR experience not found in other higher ed institutions. To do something radically different and equally compelling. To create a more integrated HR apparatus that emphasizes talent management, total rewards and the employee experience. To occupy that space requires the adoption of new principles and new mindsets: uniting HR people dynamics with organizational development ideals that value and leverage talent through organization design and workforce strategy in ways that achieve real, impactful, meaningful outcomes for our students, our faculty and ourselves. This is Strategic HR. This is the Chapman Experience.”