SHRM Names Henry Jackson as New President and CEO

June 26, 2011

Most recently, he led the organization’s initiatives to educate HR professionals on the employment issues facing military veterans.

After a yearlong national search for its president and CEO, the Society for Human Resource Management named interim leader Henry “Hank” Jackson to the post on the opening day of SHRM’s 63rd Annual Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas.

“I pledge to be the CEO you need and the ally you want,” Jackson said during the conference’s opening general session June 26. He said that he hopes to lead the association in “finding innovative solutions to the most pressing people problems in the world,” assuring members that they can “trust that your society will be here to support you.”

Jackson, SHRM’s former chief global finance and business affairs officer, is the organization’s sixth president and CEO. He joined the 255,000-member human resources association five years ago and became interim president and CEO in July 2010.

Most recently, Jackson led the organization’s initiatives to educate HR professionals on the employment issues facing military veterans.

Before he joined SHRM, Jackson served as senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he has held senior positions with the firms Main Hurdman and KMPG and with the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers.

“We were looking for the ideal candidate —a person with the right vision, the right skills and the expertise to bring this organization through the next phase of its growth, and that person is Hank Jackson,” said Jose Berrios, SHRM board chairman. Jackson was chosen in a unanimous decision, according to a SHRM written statement.

While at least one conference-goer said she thinks Jackson is a good choice for the job, many attendees said SHRM's new executive leader is somewhat unknown.

"We just don't know enough to have a reaction because we don't really know him," said Sharon McGuire, a training and HR consultant and member of the Northwest Indiana chapter of SHRM. "I know that he's been the interim but we haven't seen any significant changes in the past year."

Fellow chapter member Desila Rosetti was circumspect about Jackson's promise to "put members first," saying that so far, there's been no evidence of that. "They haven't exactly been walking the walk, so we're all very interested to see what he does."

Jackson succeeds Laurence “Lon” O’Neil, who resigned last year.

Rita Pyrillis