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Inclusive Excellence Podcast: Season Five finale with VPCHRO Christine Lovely

The fifth season of the Inclusive Excellence Podcast wraps up with a very special guest. Coming up on her one-year anniversary at the university, Cornell’s vice president and chief human resources officer, Christine Lovely, joins Erin and Toral for a conversation about the unexpected opportunities that emerged throughout her career. Lovely shares how she “stumbled into human resources work quite by accident” after accepting an interim role in the field.

“I fell in love with the work through that role, and the reason for that is because of the impact that I have on the workforce,” Lovely said. “I said yes to something that was not in my plan. So that's why I say, don't be so rigid in your thinking and in your career plans that you miss out on something that is actually your calling.”

Urging listeners to take the time to explore employment opportunities by gaining first-hand experience, Lovely started her own career as a reporter and transitioned into law school. She became an attorney and focused on labor and employment law before finding her place in human resources.

Lovely’s journey began in California, where she was born, raised and spent her entire career in education. Before arriving at Cornell, she was the associate vice chancellor and chief human resources officer at the University of California, Davis. Not only did she find the chance to explore the East Coast appealing, but she also saw an opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the division of human resources.

“I'm not trying to be anyone else or fill anyone's shoes. So, it makes it easy for me to bring my true self and all that I have to give to Cornell, knowing that I’m just going to be me and bring my skills, ability and vision. I feel like Cornell is a good match, and I’m excited for what the future holds.”

While her time at Cornell has only just begun, Lovely is focusing on strengthening connections across the university by encouraging employees to engage in conversations about improving workplace belonging and satisfaction.

“I really do promote that we have conversations. That's a starting point we can all learn from and ask curious questions to determine how to address needs best. It has to do with talking to employees, hearing their voices and their experiences and finding out how I can impact things to make a better workplace.”

Hear more about Christine Lovely’s journey to Cornell in Episode 69: Season Finale with VPCHRO Christine Lovely, and stay tuned for season six coming soon. Visit to access the episode and transcript.


About the Inclusive Excellence Podcast

Join Erin Sember-Chase and Toral Patel from the Department of Inclusion and Belonging for a bi-weekly podcast series where they explore various topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at work. During each episode's interview, they provide a platform for campus colleagues in various roles to share their lived experiences, thoughts and ideas around how to create cultures of belonging, especially in the workplace. You can listen to this podcast on your phone, at your desk, on your way to work, while you are taking a break, even while you get ready for bed! 

Do you have a topic you would like discussed on the podcast, or want to recommend someone doing awesome work around campus? Contact



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