Pierre Joanis named vice president for human resources at Johns Hopkins University

Joanis comes to Hopkins from Bucknell, where he has overseen HR for eight years and played a lead role in helping the university navigate the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic

Pierre D. Joanis, an experienced and highly collaborative higher education human resources leader who has spent the past eight years at Bucknell University, has been selected as Johns Hopkins University's next vice president for human resources following an extensive national search, university leaders announced Friday.

At Hopkins, Joanis will guide a team of nearly 300 HR professionals across the university responsible for implementing practices, policies, and programs to serve and support employees. These include talent acquisition, benefits, employee relations, employee health/wellness programs, and retirement plan oversight.

Pierre Joanis

Image caption: Pierre D. Joanis

Joanis' first day at Johns Hopkins will be March 1. He will succeed Meredith Stewart, who has led human resources on an interim basis since July.

"Pierre will be a critical leader as Hopkins pursues ambitious goals related to the future of our workforce, including charting our path forward through and beyond the pandemic, strengthening our employee-focused functions, implementing staff diversity initiatives, and developing and advancing an HR strategic plan designed to help Johns Hopkins become a world-class employer," JHU President Ron Daniels and Laurent Heller, senior vice president for finance and administration, wrote in a message to the Hopkins community Friday. "Under his visionary leadership and through ongoing investments, we will continue to expand and develop how we support staff to ensure that every employee sees a pathway to personal and professional advancement."

Joanis has served since 2014 as vice president for human resources at Bucknell, where he is a strategic and operational leader responsible for inspiring and promoting a positive and diverse faculty and staff culture. He leads a team charged with planning, managing, and supporting the recruitment, development, total rewards, and retention efforts for all employees.

Prior to joining Bucknell, he 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 that aims to prevent and resolve labor disputes.

"I am deeply honored to be joining the Johns Hopkins University community," Joanis said. "It's truly humbling, but also very exciting. President Daniels' vision for strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion; expanding our global research mission; and our commitment to our communities—that to me is exciting, to see an institution that was prepared to talk about these challenges, but also has put in place some structures to directly speak to those challenges."

Joanis has played a key role in helping Bucknell navigate the coronavirus pandemic as a member of its COVID-19 Emergency Response Team, Financial Response Team, and the team charged with safely reopening the university.

During his eight-year tenure, he has helped improve health outcomes and lowered health care costs by successfully transitioning Bucknell to fully self-insured health insurance programs. He also 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.

"Johns Hopkins has a reputation for excellence," Joanis said, "and I'm looking forward to working collaboratively across the university and supporting the most critical element of that excellence, and that's our people."

A native of New York City, Joanis earned an MBA from Arcadia University and a bachelor's degree in labor studies at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland.

"Pierre's extensive experience, thoughtfulness, and vision made him an ideal candidate to lead this critical function at a moment of challenge and possibility," Daniels and Heller wrote. "We are thrilled that Pierre will be joining our community. Please join us in welcoming him to the university."