New NAHR president, Apple’s first chief people officer and other HR moves

Daniel Marsili, who spent 15 years as CHRO at Colgate-Palmolive, has succeeded Jill B. Smart as president of the National Academy of Human Resources.

Marsili, an NAHR fellow since 2012 and a member of the board of directors since 2019, took over his new role last month and “will bring his energy, passion for the profession and dedication to the NAHR to this role, and the board is delighted to welcome him as our next president,” according to a news release announcing the move.

Daniel Marsili, NAHR
Daniel Marsili, NAHR

“I am grateful for the trust that the NAHR Board and NAHR Foundation Board have placed in me to run this exceptional organization,” Marsili, who also held HR roles at Pepsi-Cola Bottling Group and Hyatt, said in the release. “And I look forward to building on Jill’s remarkable accomplishments to shepherd the NAHR into the future, to build on our current programs and scholarships, and to continue to provide the highest honors to human resources leaders.”

He also is on the steering committee of the Human Resources Policy Institute at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and is an active emeritus member of the Global CHRO Board, an organization of CHROs working to elevate the future of HR.

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Smart, former CHRO at Accenture who led NAHR for eight years, will remain with the academy as president emeritus. She called leading the academy one of her greatest honors. “My passion for and admiration for the NAHR Fellows and the work we do to elevate the profession and celebrate its most accomplished professionals has deeply inspired me and will continue to into the future.”

Related: 3 new fellows join the NAHR; Hear their thoughts on HR in 2023

Other recent moves


Carol Surface, Apple, Medtronic
Carol Surface

Carol Surface, CHRO at Medtronic and an NAHR fellow, has been named Apple’s first chief people officer, CEO Tim Cook recently announced in a memo to employees, Bloomberg reported. Surface, who will start in March, will report directly to Cook and will oversee the company’s global workforce of 150,000-plus employees. The move marks a shift for the tech giant, boosting the role of human resources as the tech industry broadly manages layoffs amid the post-pandemic economic slowdown.

Surface spoke with HRE managing editor Jen Colletta in 2021 about Medtronic’s impressive pay equity stats and her approach to DEI, the shift to remote work and more. Read their conversation here.

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She was inducted into the National Academy of Human Resources in 2020 along with Stephen Fry of Eli Lilly, Tim Richmond of AbbVie, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., of SHRM and Distinguished Fellow Dave Ulrich of RBL Group and the University of Michigan. Read more here.

See also: PepsiCo selects Cognizant CPO to head up its HR efforts

Brown and Caldwell

Brown and Caldwell named Susan Gehoski as senior vice president and new chief people of the growing global environmental engineering and construction services firm. In her 20 years at Fortune 100 and 500 companies, Gehoski has held various HR leadership roles, providing strategic direction in start-up, mergers and acquisitions, and growth modes for healthcare, manufacturing, engineering and professional services, and utilities, the firm wrote in announcing her appointment.


Student-focused fintech company Earnest announced Leanne Loveday-Smith as its new chief people officer. Loveday-Smith joined the executive team recently along with new Chief Technology Officer Meetesh Karia. Previously, Loveday-Smith worked in senior talent management roles at Oura, Mixpanel, Acumen LLC, and Appian Corporation.

Ellig Group

Lisa Buckingham, the 2017 HRE HR Executive of the Year and an NAHR fellow, has been named president of the Ellig Group, the New York-based firm that specializes in recruiting and onboarding executive talent and board directors. Buckingham was chief human resources, brand and enterprise communications officer at Lincoln Financial for many years.

RAND Corp.

Lester L. Arnold, RAND
Lester L. Arnold, RAND

Lester L. Arnold Sr., a human resources leader with extensive experience in the private sector and academia, recently joined the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution, as vice president, human resources, the company announced. Previously, Arnold was CHRO and vice president for HR and Payroll at George Mason University. He succeeds Allison Elder, who retired from RAND after 24 years.

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Elizabeth Clarke
Elizabeth Clarke is executive editor of Human Resource Executive. She earned a journalism degree from the University of Florida and then spent more than 25 years as a reporter and editor in South Florida before joining HRE. Elizabeth lives with her family in Palm Beach County. She can be reached at [email protected].