HR Leadership Team

JHU’s Human Resources leadership team guides the design, development, and implementation of the HR practices, policies, and programs that help make JHU a world-class institution. In all that it does, the team is guided by our Strategic Priorities and Mission, Vision & Guiding Principles.

Our vision is to have constituents view us as One HR, which they can access from a variety of touch points. HR Business Partners are the HR leaders who work in the various departments and schools throughout JHU. They partner with our Centers of Expertise to navigate complex employee relations issues, contract with new hires, facilitate promotions and transfers, and ensure that training objectives are achieved.

Vice President for Human Resources  

Pierre Joanis is the Vice President for Human Resources.

Pierre plays an integral role in strengthening and expanding the university’s HR function by partnering with stakeholders from across the institution to advance key strategic priorities and initiatives. He guides a team of nearly 300 human resources professionals across the university responsible for implementing practices, policies and programs to support JHU’s exceptional workforce.

Known for his highly collaborative leadership style and deep knowledge of universities and their mission, Pierre joined JHU in March 2022 after eight years as vice president for human resources at Bucknell University, where he served as a strategic and operational leader responsible for inspiring and promoting a positive and diverse faculty and staff culture. He served on Bucknell’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Team, its Financial Response Team, and the team charged with safely reopening the university, helping improve health outcomes and lowering health care costs by successfully transitioning Bucknell to fully self-insured health insurance programs. He developed a consultative recruitment model that improved talent acquisition, embraced new approaches to faculty and staff total compensation, and partnered with the faculty chair of the university planning and budget committee to support the annual budget building process and long-range financial planning.

Prior to his role at Bucknell, Pierre was a human resources leader at Princeton University and was a commissioner and chairman of the New Jersey Employee Relations Commission, a quasi-judicial administrative agency to prevent and resolve labor disputes.

Pierre earned an MBA from Arcadia University and a bachelor’s degree in labor studies at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, MD.

Centers of Expertise 

Our Centers of Expertise are led by a team of specialists who design programs, policies, and processes for delivering HR services across the university. They are:

Employee and Labor Relations, Cherita Hobbs, Executive Director

Cherita provides leadership on complicated employment issues that arise throughout the university. She plays a key role in the development and interpretation of workplace policies and procedures. She also leads the university’s response to labor negotiations, contract interpretation, and grievances. She works closely with HR business partners in the divisions to navigate and resolve employee concerns related to performance, conduct, workplace accommodations, and other complex issues. Cherita has served as the co-chair for two diversity councils within the university and continues to support diversity programs and initiatives.  

Global HR, Laura McIntyre, Director

Laura McIntyre head shotLaura is the internal HR consultant and primary point of contact for all global HR matters at JHU. She is responsible for the creation of a Global Mobility Center of Excellence for Human Resources, designed to attract, employ, and retain talent abroad while observing in-country compliance. In addition, she develops and maintains global HR policies and procedures, practices, and operational structures. She works closely with the HR functional areas and leadership to strategize and provide subject-matter expertise on international employment matters.  

HR Business Services, Jill Mikros, Executive Director

Jill leads and manages the university and health system’s HR/payroll shared services, as well as the university’s HR administrative services and compliance areas. In partnership with multiple stakeholders throughout the university and health system, she works to build long-term sustainable improvements and strategic transformation of the human resources business services function.

HR Finance and Administration, Meghan Potash, Director

Meghan provides the senior HR leadership team with financial strategy expertise and is responsible for the efforts, results, and success of HR’s financial performance. She serves as a vital liaison to the university’s central finance team, ensuring a consistent and comprehensive approach. She also works with partners across the university to champion and support the mission and vision of the university’s HR leadership team.

Talent Acquisition, Meredith Stewart, Interim Executive Director

Meredith provides interim leadership in the design, development, and implementation of a university-wide talent acquisition strategy, as well as the programs, policies, tools, and processes that ensure JHU has the individual and collective talent required of a world-class university. In partnership with other university leaders, she works to drive strategic and progressive programs and initiatives. She also oversees the university hiring effort of the HopkinsLocal program, creating pathways for Baltimore citizens to achieve careers at JHU.   

Talent Management, Kathy Forbush, Executive Director

Kathy leads the learning and organization development functions for JHU, ensuring that the university has successful strategies and programs to drive and enable a high level of performance for staff, faculty, administration, and executives. She oversees the programs and infrastructure required to support employee learning at every stage, from fundamental job skills to aspirational career development to leadership learning. In addition, Kathy oversees Organization Development, which provides consulting, coaching, and support for university leaders as they manage change and new or evolving business opportunities. 

Total Rewards, Meredith Stewart, Executive Director

As the Executive Director, Total Rewards, Meredith is responsible for leading the design, development, and implementation of compensation, benefits, and worklife policies and programs that are cost-effective and aligned with university goals. To help ensure that the institution attracts and retains top talent, she works closely with leadership and other constituents on the design and implementation of program offerings, benchmarking, compliance, and communications for staff, faculty, and students.

University HR Leadership Team

Members of the University HR Leadership Team work directly in divisions and departments to be sure that programs, policies, and processes are delivered consistently throughout JHU and that employees can easily access the HR services they need. They are:

Bloomberg School of Public Health: Cynthia Payne, Director, Human Resources

Cynthia is responsible for the effective execution and delivery of HR policies, practices, and programs at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, ensuring that they are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and are aligned with university HR practices.

Carey Business School: Karen Sentementes, Executive Director, Human Resources and Talent Management

Karen Sentementes head shotKaren partners with Carey Business School leadership, staff, and faculty on human capital needs, including hiring, retention, employee relations, and talent development.  

Center for Talented Youth: Chantress Baptist, Director, Human Resources

Cynthia leads the CTY HR team, providing strategic direction and execution of talent management initiatives, and the effective delivery of HR policies, processes, and programs.

Development and Alumni Relations: Yolanda Tillett, Manager, Human Resources

Yolanda assists with the delivery of HR, talent acquisition, talent management, learning, and organization development programs and services to staff, while fostering a culture of inclusion. 

IT@JH: Dawn Rodriguez, HR Director

Dawn is responsible for the strategic leadership of the HR function for IT@JH, a department of more than 900 full-time university and health system employees. Her responsibilities include strategic planning, compliance and policy administration, employee relations, employee engagement and retention analysis, talent management, and compensation. 

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences: Janna Charvis, Director, Human Resources

Janna provides strategic HR leadership and direction for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and is responsible for leading HR policy, initiatives, operations, programs, and services for the administrators, faculty, staff, and student employees of the school.  

JH Libraries: Marie Polymise, HR Manager

Marie Polymise Williams head shotMarie is responsible for collaborating strategically with library leadership to promote the positive outcome of HR initiatives and projects. She provides a wide range of support and consulting services, including recruitment and employment, employee relations, organizational design, training and education, personnel records management, performance management, salary and compensation administration, and benefits administration, while promoting an environment that integrates diversity, differences, and fairness. 

Peabody Institute: Laura McIntyre, Interim HR Manager

Laura McIntyre head shotLaura has the interim responsibility of the overall management and coordination of the HR, payroll, and student employment functions at the Peabody Institute, which comprises the Peabody Conservatory and Peabody Preparatory. 

She provides strategic direction, support, and consulting services for faculty and staff, covering a wide range of functions, including recruitment and employment, onboarding, employee relations, organizational design, training and education, personnel records management, performance management, payroll, salary administration, and benefits administration, while supporting an environment that promotes  excellence, innovation, diversity and inclusion, and equitable and fair practices consistent with HR policies. 

School of Education: Laura McIntyre, Interim HR Manager

Laura McIntyre head shot

Laura provides interim oversight of the administration and delivery of HR and Payroll services within the School of Education. In partnership with SOE leadership, she aligns HR support with the school’s goals and objectives while ensuring compliance with all applicable HR laws, regulations, and policies.  

School of Medicine: Julie Thomas, Senior HR Director

Julie develops and leads HR strategies to support the organizational goals within the School of Medicine, the largest division at JHU. Working in partnership with the leadership of university HR and Johns Hopkins Medicine, she ensures a strategic partnership that harmonizes operational efforts within Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital.  

School of Nursing: Debbie Morris, HR Manager

Debbi Morris head shotDebbie is responsible for the overall administration, coordination, and evaluation of the HR function for the School of Nursing, supporting faculty, staff, and students for all human capital needs, salary administration, staff relations, policy administration, retention, talent development, and record keeping for the school.  

University Administration: Cherita Hobbs, Interim HR Director

Cherita provides interim HR leadership for University Administration, working to effectively execute HR policies, practices, and programs to ensure alignment and support of business operations, while being consistent with the human capital strategies of the university and HR leadership.  

University Student Services: Curtis Hine, HR Director

Curtis supports the vice provosts for Student Affairs, Admissions and Financial Aid, and Integrated Learning and Life Design by developing a comprehensive strategy for talent development, workforce planning, employee relations, compliance, compensation and benefits, diversity strategy, onboarding, performance management, succession planning, learning, and professional development.  

Whiting School of Engineering: Heather Mason, HR Director

Heather  provides HR leadership for the Whiting School of Engineering, where she is responsible for designing, evaluating, leading, and assisting in all HR-related activities, while strategically aligning the HR function to support the school’s goals and objectives.