Paula Henderson, M.B.A.

Paula Henderson, M.B.A.
Chief People Officer

Paula joined USP in February 2023 as Chief People Officer. In this role she is responsible for leading USP’s Global People & Culture team in creating and implementing strategies focused on attracting, developing, and inspiring great talent. Collaborating with USP’s Equity Office, Paula helps foster a multi-generational culture of inclusion and belonging.

Before USP, Paula was Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (VCUHS) . While there, she transformed many Human Resources functions, including HR Business Advisory; Team Member Experience; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Total Rewards, Talent Acquisition and Onboarding; and Talent Management and Organizational Development.

Prior to VCUHS, Paula was the Chief Human Resources Officer for the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Through strategic HR leadership, she helped drive the organization’s mission to create a healthier Mississippi by educating healthcare professionals, conducting health sciences research and delivering innovative patient care. She also spent 11 years at the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), including her last role as Vice President of Human Resources.

Career Highlights:

  • Virginia Commonwealth University Health System: Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center: Chief Human Resources Officer
  • University of Maryland Medical System: Vice President, Human Resources
  • Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur: Director of Development
  • GTE Government Systems Corporation: Senior Human Resources Business Partner
  • Macy’s Northeast: Associate Personnel Manager


  • University of Pittsburgh, MBA, concentration in Human Resources Management
  • West Virginia University, B.A., French and Business

Awards, Recognition, Admissions:

  • Invited panelist with the Healthcare HR Management Institute and the annual Harvard Business School Healthcare Alumni Association

Professional Achievements:

  • Launched the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System
  • Preserved the direct management to employee relationship through multiple union organizing campaigns at University of Maryland Medical System
  • Human Capital Management executive sponsor for Workday enterprise resource planning implementations at University of Mississippi Medical Center and VCU Health System
  • Transitioned academic health systems to an HR shared services model at University of Maryland Medical System and VCU Health System

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