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Board of Directors Bios


Ronald L. Jacobs


Wendy Ruona

Past President

Darren Short

Board Members

Holly Hutchins Khalil Dirani
Robin S. Grenier Jeff Allen
Rajashi Ghosh Seung Won Yoon
Julie Gedro Ellen Scully-Russ

President | Ronald L. Jacobs

Ronald Jacobs

Ronald L. Jacobs is professor of human resource development and director of international programs in the College of Education. Ron’s current research topics of interest include formal learning in the work setting, employee competence, and adapting HRD practices to the societal level. Ron has written over 100 journal articles and book chapters, and has authored or edited six books that address a broad range of topics in the human resource development field.

Ron is particularly known for his research and development work on structured on-the-job training (S-OJT), a training approach that he first introduced to the HRD literature in 1987. He is the author of the book, Structured On-the-Job Training: Unleashing Employee Expertise in the Workplace (Berrett-Koehler, 2nd edition), which has become the standard guide to help managers and national policy officials to implement this training approach. There are now Chinese-Complex, Chinese-Simplified, Korean, and Arabic language editions of the book. Much of his research on this topic has been on determining the financial benefits of using S-OJT, information that has been critical for making more informed training decisions.

Ron is also known for his writing and perspectives on the HRD research process, system theory applied to HRD, performance consulting, and introducing the ISO 10015 training guideline to the field.

Since 1980, Ron has been responsible for the graduate training of over 300 HRD professionals. More than 30 of his Ph.D. graduates now teach HRD and HRM-related subjects in universities globally. Ron has been an invited professor at numerous international universities, including the University of Utrecht, National Taiwan Normal University, and he was the Shaw Distinguished Professor of Human Resource Management at Nanyang University, Singapore. He currently holds an adjunct professorship in human resource development at East China Normal University, Shanghai. He is professor emeritus of workforce development and education at the Ohio State University.

Ron has extensive consulting experience in global organizations including General Motors, KLM Airlines, Abbott Laboratories, Seagate, Morton Salt, Rohm and Haas, Kuwait National Petroleum Company, Biomet, ARAMCO, Hyundai Motors, among others. Common across all projects is the goal to help develop and improve workplace performance systems that respond to changing demands on employee competence. Dr. Jacobs actively integrates information from these various projects into his scholarship through partnership research projects and to his university instruction.

Ron enjoys sailing, golfing, and spending time at his summer home on Lake Erie.

President-Elect | Wendy Ruona

wendy e.a. ruona ahrdWendy E.A. Ruona is an Associate Professor of Human Resource Development (HRD) at the University of Georgia (United States). Wendy’s work during the past 15 years has been devoted to developing (1) aligned organizational systems that are poised to achieve strategy, foster optimal organizational effectiveness, and be amazing places for employees to work and (2) the leaders needed to enable that. The key areas that she’s worked in include: strategic planning, alignment, and implementation in organizations, the system that support performance, talent management, organization development and change, and building the HRD profession (foundations and what is required for strategic alignment and contribution). Wendy has published over 50 articles, chapters, and papers and received numerous awards recognizing her scholarship and service in HRD. Wendy served as the Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Developing Human Resources (2004-2007) and has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Academy of Human Resource Development four times during 2000-current.

Past President | Darren Short

Darren Short Darren Short has been on the AHRD Board since 2006, and was VP of Membership & Marketing from 2006-2010. Darren has worked in HRD for 18 years in the public and private sectors, and in both the US and the UK. He is currently Director of Global Learning & Development at Avanade Inc, a global company based out of Seattle, USA. Previously, he chaired the ASTD Research-to-Practice Committee for three years, and also the AHRD Scholar-Practitioner Committee. His research and writing focuses on links between research and practice, and defining the HRD scholar-practitioner.

Board Member | Holly Hutchins

Holly Hutchins

Holly M. Hutchins is an associate professor of Human Resource Development at the University of Houston where she teaches courses in research design, training and development, adult learning, facilitation, and global leadership. She received her Ph.D. (2004) in Applied Technology, Training & Development at the University of North Texas. Dr. Hutchins is currently the UH HRD Undergraduate Program Director, and serves on the Academy of Human Resource Development Board of Directors.

Dr. Hutchins’ primary research areas are in training transfer, organizational crisis management, and e-Learning design. Her publications on these areas have appeared in several US and international journals, notably Human Resource Development Quarterly,Performance Improvement Quarterly, Human Resource Management, Human Resource Development Review, Journal of Workplace Learning, and the International Journal of Training and Development. One of her articles on e-Learning design was selected as one of the 2009 Highly Commended articles n the Journal of Workplace Learning. Dr. Hutchins is also active in grant funding having served as a co-PI on a National Science Foundation grant examining learning outcomes from a mechanical engineering "smart platform” teaching tool. She also was recognized for her teaching practice, having won the College of Technology Fluor Award for Teaching (2008), and the 2009 University of Houston’s Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Hutchins is currently working with other HRD faculty to develop the UH HRD Executive Masters degree program to launch in fall 2012. Dr. Hutchins’ scholarly work was recently recognized with the 2011 AHRD Early Scholar award.

Dr. Hutchins’ training design and consulting workincludes working with (selected) the Houston Texans, Emanu El Synagogue, Exxon Mobil, Key Energy Services, Neiman Marcus Corporate, and Waste Management. She lives in Sugar Land, TX with her partner, Brandy, and two daughters, Avery and Charlotte.

Board Member | Khalil Dirani

Dr. Khalil Dirani AHRDDr. Dirani earned his PhD (Education) from the University of Illinois in 2007. He was hired as Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia (UGA) and was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in Fall 2013, and served as HROD Program Coordinator. He will join the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University as an Associate Professor in September 2014.

Khalil’s research focus is on International HRD, learning organizations in Lebanon and the Middle East region, and transfer of learning practices and theories across cultures. He developed the Arabic version of the Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire (Watkins & Marsick 1993), which was implemented by Arab scholars in Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Dr. Dirani’s articles have appeared in both research and professional publications such as Human Resource Development Quarterly, Human Resource Development International, International Human Resource Management, Advances in International Management, and European Journal for Training & Development.

Khalil received several awards including the Award for Highly Commended Paper at the 12th International HRD Conference across Europe in 2011. He served as co-PI on two grants, totaling close to $1-million. He served as editorial board member and/or reviewer on several journals and conference proceedings, and served as Editor and Program Chair for the Academy of HRD conference proceedings, and as Board member and VP for global strategy for the Academy of HRD.

Board Member | Jeff Allen

Dr. Jeff Allen

Jeff Allen is a professor and a leading scholar in the area of learning and performance innovation.  At the national level, he provides leadership in numerous professional organizations and has serves as a reviewer for numerous research publications.  Additionally, Dr. Allen is the Founding Editor of Learning and Performance Quarterly and current Editor for Career and Technical Education Research. 

As the Director of the Center for Knowledge Solutions at the University of North Texas, it is his goal to empower scholars and scholar-practitioners to make evidence-based decisions that optimize systems to improve organizational knowledge.  The uniqueness of the center is learning and performance innovation across disciplines and professions.   
Dr. Allen currently serves as a Professor in the Department of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas.  Jeff and Denise Allen have two sons and live in Aubrey, Texas.

Board Member | Robin S. Grenier

Robin Grenier

Robin S. Grenier is an Associate Professor of Adult Learning in the Department of Educational Leadership within the Neag School of Education, at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Grenier received her Ph.D. in Adult Education, and Certificate in Qualitative Inquiry from the University of Georgia. She currently serves as an editorial board member of the Journal of Advanced Academics, and as a reviewer for a number of adult education and HRD journals. In addition to her role on the AHRD Board, she is a founding member and Co-chair of the AHRD Qualitative Inquiry SIG.

Dr. Grenier works with graduate students, faculty, and organizations as a qualitative methodologist, and conducts research, writes, and presents on museums as sources of adult learning, informal and experiential learning, and expertise redevelopment. Prior to becoming a professor she worked as a high school English teacher and a training and educational consultant for school districts and non-profit organizations.

Board Member | Seung Won Yoon

Dr. Seung Won Yoon

Seung Won Yoon is a professor of instructional technology/workplace learning and performance in the Department of Instructional Design and Technology at Western Illinois University. His B.A. in English Literature is from Sung Kyun Kwan Univerisity in Seoul, Korea, and his M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language and Ph.D. in Human Resource Development are from the University of Illinois. He also has years of work experiences as a web developer/programmer, IT project manager, and online education staff member.

His research focuses on improving workplace performance through connecting leadership, learning, technology, and organizational behavior. He is well versed in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and frequently collaborates with many others. He loves AHRD because it is a truly unique and amazing community that makes positive contributions to organizations, society, and people through rigorous research and practice. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Human Resource Development Quarterly, Advances in Developing Human Resources, and the Quarterly Review of Distance Education. He reviews manuscripts for all four AHRD journals and several others in areas of distance education, knowledge management, adult learning, and higher education (having a wife and colleague who teaches in higher education must be a factor). He also serves as a judge for Brandon Hall’s excellence awards in workplace e-learning and technology. He served in the U.S. Army as a Korean Augmentation To the United States Army (KATUSA) between 1991-1993. His knowledge and skills in golf, gym, and beer/wine are weak, but affect for them are strong.

Board Member | Rajashi Ghosh

Dr. Julia Storberg-Walker

Rajashi Ghosh is an Assistant Professor in the Human Resource Development program in School of Education at Drexel University. Her research aims to promote continuous learning and development of adults in workplaces by exploring different factors (e.g., mentoring/coaching, workplace incivility) that can support or hinder employee development in cross-cultural settings. Prior to joining academics, Rajashi worked in the corporate sector in the areas of performance management and workplace learning. She has published several articles in different peer-reviewed journals including the ones sponsored by the AHRD.

As a dedicated member of AHRD, Rajashi has served in different leadership roles as reviewer for the conference and scholarly journals sponsored by AHRD, member of the Quantitative Research SIG, HRDR Editorial Board, Malcom S. Knowles Dissertation of the Year & Holton III Research Excellence Award Committees, as chair of the India HRD SIG, and co-chair of the Workplace Learning Track for the 2013 International Research Conference in the Americas.

Rajashi is the recipient of 2012 Outstanding Reviewer of the Year award from Human Resource Development Review journal, 2011 Cutting Edge Research Award from Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD), 2010 Best Paper Award in Management Education and Development division of Academy of Management (AOM), and 2010 Dissertation of the Year Award from the Workplace Learning Special Interest Group (SIG) of American Educational Research Association (AERA). She completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development with specialization in Human Resource Development (HRD) from University of Louisville.

Board Member | Julie Gedro

Julie Gedro

Julie Gedro is an Associate Professor of Business, Management and Economics at Empire State College / State University of New York (SUNY). She holds a B.A. in Economics and English from the College of William and Mary, an M.B.A. in Business Information Systems from Kennesaw State University, and a Doctorate of Education in Adult Education and Human Resource Development from the University of Georgia. Julie is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Prior to her faculty position, Julie served in Human Resource Management and Development positions of increasing responsibility in the finance, technology and telecommunications sectors in Atlanta, GA. Her research has been published in Human Resource Development Review, Human Resource Development International, Advances in Developing Human Resources, the Journal of European Industrial Training, and others. Julie is a member of the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD), for which she has served as Program Chair for the AHRD Conference in the Americas (for 2013 and for 2014). Julie is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the Southern Management Association, the American Psychological Association (APA), and its Division 50 (Society of Addiction Psychology) and Division 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues).  Her book on leadership, entitled Lipstick or Golf Clubs: What Lesbian Leaders Understand About Success, and What You Can Learn from Them (Chicago, IL: Discovery Association Press) is scheduled for February 2014 publication.  At Empire State College, her research and scholarship have earned numerous awards, such as the Jane Altes Prize for Outstanding Community Service, and the Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship. She is the Founding Chair of Empire State College’s Workplace Civility Committee, Co-Chair of the Collegewide Climate Committee, and the Co-Architect of Empire State College’s Interdisciplinary Business and Environmental Sustainability Certificate Program.

Board Member | Ellen Scully-Russ

Ellen Scully

Dr. Scully-Russ is an Assistant Professor of Human and Organizational Learning at The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development where she teaches adult learning, workforce development, organizational culture, organizational change, and research design.  

Prior to joining the GWU faculty, Ellen had a 35-year career in in the United States labor movement where her work focused on workforce development and human resource development issues in a wide variety of industries. In this work, Scully-Russ developed policies and programs to build new industry workforce development and education partnerships, improve firm performance, upgrade working conditions, and support individual learning and development. Her research is concerned with the lack of opportunity structures in the new economy to support lifelong learning, in particular in low-waged industries and among undereducated adults. She studies the new institutional arrangements that can make education and training more relevant to firms and communities and more accessible to working and unemployed adults. Her research also explores how individuals learn to cope and navigate a more complex and insecure labor market. She also focuses on issues related to scholarly-practice, including research on models of scholarly-practice in industry and the development of new approaches to educating scholar-practitioners.

Ellen joined the Academy of Human Resource Development in 2009 where she has been an active member of the Scholar-Practitioner SIG. Her work has been published in Advances in Developing Human Resources, Human Resource Development International, HRD Review, The European Journal of Training and Development, The Journal of Workplace Learning, and in adult education and labor related journals and book chapters. She was awarded an AHRD Cutting Edge Award in 2010 and the Monica M. Lee Research Excellence Award in 2012. She is an active reviewer for the AHRD Conference in the Americas and for several of the AHRD journals. She is also on the review board of Adult Learning. Ellen has a Masters degree in Adult and Continuing Education and a Doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership, both from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Scully-Russ has held positions at the AFL-CIO, The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, The Work and Technology Institute, The ATT-CWA-IBEW Alliance for Employee Growth and Development, The City of Hartford, and The Service Employees International Union (SEIU). She has also worked as a consultant to labor-management education and training programs in the health care, transportation, manufacturing, and shipbuilding industries in the U.S. Ellen served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Liberia in the early 1980s.

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