Today at Berkeley Lab

Chief Human Resources Officer Vera Potapenko Retiring Nov. 1

A Message From COO Glenn Kubiak

Dear Colleagues,

After 10 years of providing outstanding leadership as Berkeley Lab’s Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officers, Vera Potapenko announced earlier this year that she will retire from the Laboratory effective November 1, 2016. Vera led a profound transformation of Berkeley Lab HR, including standardizing and re-engineering hundreds of processes, creating a shared HR services model to improve efficiencies, developing a leadership development curriculum with Haas School of Business, implementing a more effective employee performance management approach, co-leading the Laboratory’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative with Natalie Roe, and much more. Please join me in thanking Vera for her outstanding commitment and service to the Lab during these 10 years, and in wishing her well as she embarks on an exciting new chapter!

With regard to the search for Vera’s successor, the search committee has identified and will soon be interviewing a slate of strong candidates, and I expect that it may take an additional 3 – 4 months for the new Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer to be named. To bridge this transition period, I have asked Ellen Ford to step into the role of Interim Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer, effective November 1. Ellen joined the Lab in 2002 and worked in successive leadership roles in Biosciences Operations until she joined Berkeley Lab Operations as my Senior Advisor two years ago. She brings an understanding of the many challenges and operational needs of both science and operations to the Interim HR Director role, and also brings prior experience leading an operations service organization that was comparable in size to our HR organization.

Also effective November 1, Michelle Flynn will step into the role of Acting Senior Advisor to the Chief Operating Office. Michelle has worked in Berkeley Lab operations for 24 years, and during that time has served in multiple management and individual contributor roles in EH&S, the Office of Contract Assurance and Facilities. She is currently the Program Manager for Cross-Divisional Projects in the COO’s office, and brings to this role a breadth of understanding of cross-operations issues from her previous work at the Lab. Both Ellen and Michelle will return to their current positions when the Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer position is filled. Please join me in congratulating Ellen and Michelle on their interim positions.