Human Resources

Operations Division

About Us

Human Resources Staff

USG Systemwide Human Resources Administration

Dr. Juanita W. Hicks, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
The vice chancellor for human resources is responsible for directing the development and administration of the strategies, plans, policies and programs targeted at maximizing employee effectiveness. In addition, this vice chancellor manages the human resources and related investments to ensure optimal return on investment of the system’s human capital assets. In this position, the vice chancellor also serves as the liaison to and mentor for institutional-level, chief human resources officers, providing guidance and leadership to these officers as necessary.

Jina Lane, Administrative Coordinator
The administrative coordinator provides administrative support for the vice chancellor for Human Resources. In this role, the administrative coordinator also assists the HR leadership team and other USO HR personnel with special projects and assignments as needed.

Karin Elliott, Associate Vice Chancellor for Total Rewards
The associate vice chancellor for total rewards is responsible for the strategic plan design and administration of all systemwide benefit programs for faculty, staff and retirees. Additionally, the associate vice chancellor provides guidance and assistance to USG institution human resources departments.

Quint Hill, Assistant Vice Chancellor of HR Administration & USO HR Director
The assistant vice chancellor serves as a primary point of contact to USG HR leaders, providing leadership, guidance and support for various human resources programs, initiatives and policies. The assistant vice chancellor also serves as the internal University System Office HR director and oversees the team responsible for internal USO HR departmental operations, programs and services.

Sherma Francis, Human Resources Program Director
The human resources program director is responsible for the development and administration of systemwide salary administration policies and procedures. The director serves on special projects, assisting in the development, review and documentation of policies, procedures and best practices in support of systemwide and USO internal human resources administration initiatives.

Anessa Billings, Executive Director of Health and Voluntary Benefits
The executive director of health and voluntary benefits is responsible for day-to-day oversight of the USG health plans and voluntary benefit programs for faculty, staff and retirees. Additionally, in close partnership with the associate vice chancellor for total rewards, the executive director recommends and implements the systemwide strategic direction for healthcare and voluntary benefit programs.

BeNedra Cleveland, Director of Benefits, Administration and Engagement

The director of benefits, administration and engagement is responsible for systemwide benefits and benefit policies. The director of benefits also oversees our third-party benefit administrator engagement and acts as a liaison with vendors and institutions on matters associated with system-related, benefits enrollment issues and handles the final level of benefits appeals. The director also collaborates with or leads several systemwide committees.

Diane Kirkwood, Human Resources Program Director

The HR program director is responsible for supporting strategic initiatives related to policy, procedure, technology and vendor management. The role also provides leadership, oversight and coordination to ensure the USG HR strategy and technology platforms maintain alignment with USG’s strategic objectives, goals and industry best practices.

Nicole McNeil, Benefits Manager

In this position, the benefits manager is the subject matter expert for USG healthcare and voluntary plans. Additionally, the manager serves as main benefits point of contact for institutions for escalations. The manager also oversees the benefit enrollment process, manages appeals and identifies trends for process improvement.

Latisha Wilson, Benefits Coordinator

The benefits coordinator provides administrative support to the Total Rewards Team. In this role, the benefits coordinator also assists with special projects and assignments as needed.

Lisa Joe, Director of Retirement Programs and Services

The director of retirement programs and services supports the analysis and administration of system retirement plan programs. This director provides systemwide retirement plan education and training, strategy recommendations based on research and analysis, resolutions to complex retirement plan issues and advice on system retirement plan policy.

Charita Shepherd Cobb, System Retirement Plan Coordinator

The retirement and financial well-being plan coordinator is responsible for Systemwide retirement and financial well-being plan administration, education, training and advisement. With this position, the retirement plan coordinator offers retirement and financial well-being education resources and policy guidance, conducts annual audits, and ensures that all plans are administered in accordance with approved Board of Regents plan documents and in compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

Nzinga Benton, Director of Well-being and Student Health Insurance

The director of employee well-being and student health insurance is responsible for strategic leadership of the USG well-being program. This includes developing the vision, direction and management for the well-being program. In addition, the director of employee well-being and student health insurance is responsible for the strategy and communication of the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

Candice Bovian, System Well-Being Manager

The System well-being manager develops and implements the annual program plan for USG Well-being while marketing and communicating these programs to each USG institution Systemwide. In addition, this position manages the well-being vendor relationships and plans strategies to maintain and elevate the well-being liaison network at campus locations.

Internal USO Human Resources Administration

Cynthia Okonkwo, Assistant Director of Human Resources for the University System Office

The assistant director of human resources manages the daily human resources operations for the USO. The assistant director of human resources also serves as the point of escalation for the HR generalists and HR specialist and provides guidance on HR matters to the Shared Services HR team with consultation on employee pay and benefits matters.

Tracey Smith, HR Specialist (Supporting metro Atlanta-based USO employees)

The HR generalist supports onboarding and off boarding, benefits, payroll, employee relations and recruitment for the Atlanta area USO locations, including Trinity-Washington, GPLS, GALILEO and the State Archives and Records Center. The HR generalist also serves as the USO dual appointment coordinator and provides recruitment support to hiring managers through position reviews, planning and onboarding.

Nyree Henderson-Hayes, HR Specialist (Supporting USO employees)

The HR specialist supports and administers a variety of HR programs including serving records management, payroll and leave administration and USO employee intranet. The HR specialist also serves as the USO TAP coordinator and USO Well-being Liaison.

If you have a question, comment or need additional details, please contact us at usg-hr@usg.edu.