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James W. Gallaher, Jr. will lead Pitt HR

James Gallaher smiling with dark grey suit and navy blue tie

James W. Gallaher, Jr. will be the new vice chancellor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Human Resources, effective Dec. 1, 2021. As head of HR, he will oversee all teams, programs and services.

Gallaher arrives at Pitt from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he served as the executive director for strategic initiatives in its human resources department.

“I am eager to join the talented HR team at Pitt and continue the implementation of the Shaping the Workplace initiative while working to enhance the employee experience and to position Pitt as an employer of distinction. I am excited to join the Pitt community and become an active and engaged leader,” Gallaher said.

At UIUC, Gallaher led HR strategy, succession planning, professional development and other campus-level initiatives including the Return to Onsite Operations (Future of Work) committee, which focused on rethinking work at UIUC post-pandemic. He also led the development and integration of a newly formed unit that included HR strategy, dual career programs, employee development and learning, marketing and communications, and campus well-being services.

Additionally, he served as a clinical assistant professor in UIUC’s Human Resource Development program, where he advised doctoral students and served on early research and dissertation committees in addition to teaching courses.

Gallaher’s career spans numerous higher education institutions, as well as the corporate sector, including roles as vice president of human resources, diversity and wellness at Butler University and chief human resources officer at Eastern Michigan University. Gallaher started his career in human resources at General Motors in Detroit, where he served in various roles including human resource management and consulting, labor relations, global organizational capability, leadership development, training and evaluation, and organizational development.

Gallaher received his PhD in human resource development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also earned his MBA and master of education degrees. Additionally, he holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in workforce education and development from Southern Illinois University. He is also a proud veteran and holds an associate of applied sciences degree from the Community College of the Air Force.