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Postponed: Leading Toward Equity features Jay Henderson, Jorge Silva and Cathy O’Sullivan

This event has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. We will share a new date and time as soon as it’s available.

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Department — in partnership with Internal Communications — is pleased to announce the first Leading Toward Equity event for 2024. The event will feature Jay Henderson, associate vice president, Total Rewards, Systemwide Human Resources, and Jorge Silva, associate vice president, UCOP Communications. Cathy O’Sullivan, chief of staff for UC Operations, will moderate.

The Leading Toward Equity series presents unscripted conversations with UCOP leaders on EDI, and our efforts toward becoming an anti-racist organization. Leading Toward Equity has a central premise: Becoming an anti-racist organization is a journey that will take time and continual effort. No single group or office within UCOP is solely responsible for that journey or for advancing a culture of EDI at UCOP.

During these conversations, UCOP leaders share unvarnished truths about their personal experiences with EDI, their journeys of learning in this space and how they are leading efforts to further EDI and anti-racism efforts at our organization. This is a unique opportunity for staff to hear from our leaders while reflecting on our own experiences of discrimination, bias and privilege based on race, economic class or other dimensions.

We encourage staff to attend with the mindset of engaging with colleagues to think through how we can commit to shared accountability, move toward becoming an anti-racist organization and strengthen a culture of EDI throughout UCOP. Staff can engage directly with leaders by participating in the Zoom chat feature and asking questions during the second half of the session.

Learn about our featured leaders

Jay Henderson with male student holding a college diploma

Jay Henderson and a local youth he supported through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

John-Stephen Henderson (Jay) is the associate vice president of total rewards for the University of California system, responsible for compensation, benefits and retirement plans for all UC entities. Jay has more than 25 years of experience in human resources, with a primary focus on total rewards. Before his current role, he served as the director of total rewards at both UC Riverside and UC Berkeley. He also served as the interim associate vice chancellor and chief human resources officer at UC Riverside.

Jay’s other higher education experience includes serving as the director of total compensation at The Ohio State University, and as the assistant director of human resources at the University of South Florida, where he was responsible for a multidisciplinary team covering compensation, benefits, employee relations, labor relations, employment, HR information systems and records retention. He also has several years of HR experience leading Total Rewards in private-sector organizations including Disney, Nestle, Charles Schwab, Toyota and Raytheon.

Jay has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Kent State University and a master’s degree in public administration from The Ohio State University.

Jorge Silva and his daughter, Isabel, by the Eiffel Tower

Jorge Silva and his daughter, Isabel, enjoying Paris in 2018.

Jorge Silva is the associate vice president for communications at UCOP. He has more than 15 years of communications leadership experience in the federal government, nonprofit sector and national politics. Before joining UC, Jorge served as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs for the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, where he oversaw communications portfolios for human services and COVID-19 response.

Previously, Jorge served in the U.S. Senate as deputy chief of staff and communications advisor to Senator Jacky Rosen and senior advisor to Democratic Leader Senator Harry Reid. Jorge also served as vice president of communications for the Latino Victory Project and as national director for Hispanic media for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Originally from Mexico, Jorge earned a law degree from the Western Institute of Technology and Advanced Studies (ITESO) in Guadalajara, Mexico, and a master’s degree in international policy studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.

Cathy O’Sullivan is the chief of staff to UC’s systemwide Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rachael Nava. In this role, Cathy serves as the senior advisor to the COO, directly overseeing UCOP’s Strategy and Program Management Office and various programs and functions to support the UC Operations division, which includes systemwide Information Technology, Human Resources, Strategy and Program Management, Operational Services (including UCPath and the local operations of UCOP), Community Safety and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. She is also a liaison to the California State University and the California Community College systems, sharing best practices from all three segments of California public higher education.

Cathy previously directed UC’s Working Smarter Initiative, a portfolio of administrative efficiency projects and programs that delivered on its commitment to find $500 million in savings and new revenue over five years through systemwide innovations. In 2016, a national organization, Network for Change and Continuous Innovation, named Cathy a Leader of Change.

Prior to UC, Cathy worked in the technology sector. She earned her MBA from UC Davis Graduate School of Management and her bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego.

Cathy O’Sullivan and her family together in a car

Cathy O’Sullivan and her family on their way to the Santa Cruz mountains last summer.

Previous Leading Toward Equity events

Dec. 11, 2023: December recording | December summary
— Nathan Brostrom, executive vice president and chief financial officer for the University of California
— Jenny Kao, chief of staff to President Drake, President’s Executive Office
— Epiphanie Gillette, executive advisor, UC Legal (moderator)

Sept. 15, 2023: September recording | September summary
— Charlie Robinson, general counsel and senior vice president, Legal Affairs
— Marie Hairston, associate vice president of Systemwide HR Strategy and Staff EDIB
— Günter Waibel, associate vice provost and executive director at the California Digital Library (moderator)

May 10, 2023: May recording | May summary
— Rachael Nava, executive vice president and chief operating officer
— Paul Williams, associate vice president and chief procurement officer
— Shirley Bittlingmeier, executive director, IT Client Services, Information Technology Services (moderator)

Feb. 15, 2023: February recording | February summary
— Pamela Brown, vice president, Institutional Research and Academic Planning
— Van Williams, vice president, Information Technology Services, and chief information officer, UC
— Andenet Emiru, director of external partnerships and projects at the Center for Data-driven Insights and Innovation (moderator)

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