UVA Appoints John Kosky as Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

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The University of Virginia announced today that John Kosky has been appointed vice president and chief human resources officer. Kosky has served in this leadership role in an interim capacity since June 30, 2020. A veteran of both human resources in higher education and the United States Army, he previously served as an assistant vice president with UVA Human Resources since September 2017.

As UVA’s top human resources executive, Kosky reports to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer (J.J.) Wagner Davis and will work closely with each member of the University’s executive leadership team to advance UVA’s strategic priorities. UVA HR serves the Academic Division, UVA Health and the University Physicians Group, which together employ nearly 28,000 full-time and part-time faculty, staff and team members.

Kosky is responsible for providing strategic leadership to, and management of, UVA HR and working with senior leaders across Grounds to shape and implement key initiatives in the University’s strategic plan. He is charged with facilitating a fundamental culture change that connects all employees to the University’s mission. Kosky will help to recruit employees, with a particular focus on the acute needs of UVA Health. He will develop and augment pipelines for career progression within the University and partner with key University leaders in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, Kosky will lead the continued refinement of an operating system that allows for accurate, timely and efficient delivery of HR services.

“In 2020, we were in the early months of navigating the pandemic and I asked John to take on the interim leadership role of UVA HR based on his expertise and creative thinking,” Davis said. “Since then, he has steadily led the HR team and provided wise counsel to executive leadership throughout a period in which the University faced challenges we could not have imagined before COVID. John is a strategic thinker who rolls up his sleeves and does the work. During an incredibly challenging time, he has continued to advance key HR initiatives.

“Talented leaders like John are among the things that attracted me to UVA in 2018, and I’m excited to continue to work closely with him in the years ahead.”

UVA President Jim Ryan endorsed the selection. “John has been essential in helping us navigate the University’s response to the pandemic over the last two years, including playing a key role in quickly securing new resources for employees when they needed them most. He brings energy, experience and strategic thinking to his work, and I’m pleased that the University community will continue to benefit from his leadership.”

Kosky holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from Georgia State University, an MBA from the University of Georgia, and a juris master’s degree from Emory University. He was in the United States Army for seven years, achieving the rank of staff sergeant and serving numerous overseas deployments between 1993 and 2000. He brings more than 21 years of experience in human resources management in higher education and worked at three universities prior to coming to UVA in 2017. His experience in both universities and academic medical centers includes systems implementation, compensation, benefits, recruitment and retention, data analytics, employee well-being, and organizational learning and development.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to lead our remarkable UVA HR team as we position the University to attract, recruit and retain a talented workforce in a post-pandemic world of work,” Kosky said. “UVA HR has tackled tremendous challenges since I have been here, from creating a new consolidated structure for HR services and implementing new technologies to supporting our schools, units and employees through rapidly changing conditions and policies related to our COVID response. We have a very talented and dedicated team that I am honored to lead and get to work making UVA workplace the gold standard across higher education.”

Davis expressed her appreciation to the search committee, chaired by Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships Kevin McDonald, for identifying candidates for the leadership post. The committee included a diverse group of faculty, staff and team members drawn from across the University community. 

“Kevin McDonald and the entire search committee did a tremendous job identifying and reviewing a diverse pool of exceptionally qualified candidates for this critical position,” Davis said. “After a robust national search, it is my privilege to be able to promote a talented leader from within our own organization.”

For information about UVA HR, visit hr.virginia.edu.

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