Deborah L. Harnois, MS, MBA, JD

Associate Vice Chancellor, Chief Human Resources Officer

Deborah HarnoisDeborah L. Harnois, MS, MBA, JD, has served as associate vice chancellor, chief human resources officer, for UMass Medical School since July 2014. In this role, she is responsible for determining the vision and providing overall strategic and tactical leadership for the Human Resources Team specifically in the areas of talent management, succession planning, change management, labor and employee relations, HR services, performance management, immigration, training & development and total rewards. Harnois' first role at UMMS was assistant vice chancellor, HR effectiveness where she was charged with strengthening Human Resources’ operational strategies, plans and performance while improving business outcomes and increasing customer satisfaction.  

Prior to joining UMMS in March 2013, Harnois served as the chief human resources executive at other large organizations including Tegra Medical, New England Medical Care, PC and the Boston Department of Health and Hospitals. Harnois' experience also includes the private practice of law in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut where she specialized in employment and labor law. Harnois holds a BA in political science from Rhode Island College, an MS in criminal justice and an MBA from Northeastern University and a JD from Suffolk University Law School—all with honors.

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