The Society for Human Resource Management has a new leader, and he brings a diverse resume to the job, including a stint as board chair of the 285,000-member organization. Johnny C. Taylor, an attorney and credentialed HR practitioner, will become SHRM’s seventh president and CEO in November.
Since 2010, Taylor has served as president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a non-profit advocacy group representing students at historically black colleges and universities. Before that he served in a variety of HR leadership roles at media and internet company IAC/Interactive Corp and Blockbuster Entertainment, among other firms. He served as chair of the SHRM board in 2005 and 2006.
“Johnny Taylor is a visionary leader and accomplished HR strategist who is committed to the continued advancement of the profession, and the board of directors looks forward to working with him,” SHRM board chair Coretha M. Rushing said in an announcement June 1.
In a 2005 interview with SHRM’s HR Magazine, Taylor discussed his vision for the HR profession and his role as board chair.
“The theme for my term as SHRM board chair is Courageous HR Leadership,” he said. “I strongly believe that we need more aggressive leadership in the HR profession. We need more of those courageous leaders who step up and take responsibility and show that HR has an important leadership role in today’s workplace.”
Taylor takes the helm from Hank Jackson who is retiring Dec. 31 after serving six years as SHRM’s president and CEO. During his tenure Jackson, a certified public accountant, weathered controversy over his lack of HR credentials and his decision to end the tradition of offering complimentary SHRM conference registrations to past leaders. But the organization’s most controversial and costly initiative under Jackson was the creation of SHRM’s own credentialing program in 2014, severing ties with the HR Certification Institute, which it created to set industry standards.
However, under Jackson’s leadership membership has been growing, as have attendance records for SHRM’s annual conference.
Taylor is the second attorney to lead the organization and the second African-American after Jackson to take the job. He has a juris doctor degree and a master of arts from Drake University and a bachelor of science from the University of Miami. He also holds a SHRM-SCP credential.
Rita Pyrillis is a writer in the Chicago area. Comment below or email@example.com.