Felicia A. Washington
Felicia A. Washington was appointed senior vice president of human resources in June 2019. Washington arrives at USC with decades of experience as a dynamic university administrator and as a highly respected attorney specializing in employment law. She has built a strong reputation around implementing rigorous and ethical compliance standards while at the same time, caring deeply about students, faculty, and colleagues. She is known for her collaborative, practical, and people-focused decision-making. She will be a highly valuable and visible member of our Trojan Family, and vital to building on the foundation we have laid to bring about meaningful culture change.
Reporting directly to the president, Washington will provide the primary leadership on human resources for USC’s nearly 28,000 faculty members, staff, and student workers. In this capacity, Washington will provide the long-range strategic vision for building an integrated human capital strategy for the university, balancing the overall needs of the university with the unique needs of different schools and units. This leadership will also include attention to nuts-and-bolts issues at the university, such as providing strategic leadership on workforce analytics, benefits administration, compensation governance, employee relations, retirement plan administration, and talent acquisition. She will help lead new initiatives in executive succession planning and workforce development. She will also lead efforts to bring excellence and consistency in the human resources enterprise across all departments and academic units.
Before USC, Washington served as vice chancellor for workplace strategy, equity, and engagement at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In that role, she helped lead the university through some of the most pressing challenges in its history. Additionally, she was instrumental in efforts to grow the capacity of the Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office teams, and was a key driver in bringing together central and campus human resources personnel to tackle the challenges of improving the search and hiring processes and restructuring of the university’s human resources operations to meet the needs of the modern workplace. Known for her collaborative style, Washington was a familiar presence at staff forums, faculty meetings, and alumni councils.
Previous to her role at UNC-Chapel Hill, Washington spent more than two decades in private practice at the Charlotte office of K&L Gates, a multinational law firm. As an employment law partner, she litigated cases in federal and state courts and advised clients on a variety of matters, including such issues as hiring and firing, internal investigations, and regulatory compliance. She has been involved in a wide range of legal and community organizations, including service on the North Carolina Medical Board and as a member of the Board of Trustees at UNC-Chapel Hill for four years.
Washington holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from UNC-Chapel Hill and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.