Neil Penick, Associate Dean for External Relations
Neil Penick oversees the School of Humanities and Sciences development, donor relations, public relations, and alumni relations efforts. Neil started in the Stanford Fund in 2003 and then joined The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies as the Senior Associate Director of Development in 2006.
Julie L. Hardin, Executive Director of Facilities and Capital Planning
Julie is the director of Facilities and Capital Planning. She is responsible for facilities planning; space management; health, safety, and security; and renovation and construction activities in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Julie leads a staff of six professionals and focuses on growing their talent and professional development.
Julie's successes share a common theme: balancing stability with clarity and vision and developing productive partnerships through excellent communication with colleagues. These relationships both at Stanford and externally have contributed to a rewarding career of more than 20 years at the university and the successful completion of many noteworthy projects.
During her personal time, Julie enjoys cooking, gardening, fly fishing, and spending time with her family and friends.
Lisa Thomas, Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs
In her role as Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs, Lisa manages the policies and procedures for faculty careers at all stages for the School of Humanities and Sciences. She leads a team of four that manages teaching appointments as well as all academic council faculty processes, including appointments, promotions, sabbaticals, and leaves. The faculty affairs staff associates also maintain records of all senior associate dean decisions and provide support for academic department oversight in addition to faculty recruitment and retention.
Prior to joining H&S, Lisa established and led the first faculty affairs office in the Department of Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital in the Baylor College of Medicine. Her leadership motto is “partnership through collaboration and change management.” As a result, she strongly believes in relationship building and strives to lead her team toward excellence in communication with the goal of increasing customer satisfaction.
Outside of work, Lisa enjoys weight training/working out, traveling, dancing, and spending time with her family.
Jim Henry, Chief Financial Officer
The Dean’s Office Finance team provides strategic decision support to H&S leadership through financial analysis and management, reporting, and strategic planning. The team supports departments and programs through the annual accounting cycle and also works closely with central university offices on financial matters.
Graduate and Undergraduate Studies
Susan Weersing, Associate Dean, Graduate and Undergraduate Studies
In her role as associate dean, Susan oversees the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies (GUS). The work of GUS is wide ranging, encompassing areas as diverse as initiation of new degree programs, curricular review and assessment, graduate aid and fellowships, student academic grievances and mediation, and graduate diversity and retention.
Prior to stepping into her current position, Susan managed the Department of Sociology and the Program in Urban Studies at Stanford. She also worked extensively in the nonprofit world, providing and managing services that support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
When not in meetings or dealing with a thorny issue, Susan is either walking, reading a new book, or trying to do both at the same time.
Michelle Davis, Chief Human Resources Officer
Michelle serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for School of Humanities and Sciences, where she is a member of the dean’s office leadership team. Acting as the primary strategic HR advisor, she is focused on sustaining high-performing HR services in support of the school's educational and research missions. The H&S HR team plays a pivotal role in enhancing organizational effectiveness and implementing innovative HR solutions that drive the school's goals. Michelle’s leadership style embodies a commitment to fostering a culture of continuous improvement, equity, inclusivity, and open communication, which, in turn, significantly contributes to the dynamic and enriching learning environment H&S is known for. Through nurturing talent and developing forward-thinking HR strategies, Michelle aims to further support the academic and operational excellence already inherent within H&S.
Andy Miller, Chief Information Officer
Andy leads the IT team in the dean’s office and is responsible for setting strategic direction and advocating for the H&S community on IT matters. He also participates in a variety of committees and working groups at the university level, including the CIO Council and the IT Experiential Development Program. Andy joined Stanford in 2022. He holds a PhD in technology management, an MS in computer science, and a BA in music.
Janeen Giusti, Executive Assistant to the Dean
Janeen leads the administrative team in the Office of the Dean for H&S and is the executive assistant to Dean Debra Satz. Janeen began her career at Stanford in 2006 in the H&S Dean's Office. In 2008, she moved to a role supporting the Stanford Arts Institute and helped support the opening of the Bing Concert Hall in January of 2013. She returned to H&S in November of 2013. Outside of work, Janeen enjoys running, reading, and watching sports.
Ellie Fischbacher Maldonado, Chief of Staff
Ellie is responsible for managing an effective planning process for H&S; maintaining information resources in support of the school’s research and educational mission and its administrative operations; enhancing research operations; and serving as the primary advocate for departments and programs in support of administrative processes and systems implementations.
Joy Leighton, Senior Director of Public Relations
Joy manages the communications team, which supports Dean Satz and school-wide priorities and initiatives. The communications team provides strategy and production support around all messaging as well as collaborates with campus partners to advance the school and university's mission. Joy also manages media requests and sets the strategy for the school's website.
Sonia Barragan, Executive Director of Research Administration
Sonia provides guidance and expertise to solve complex problems in research administration throughout H&S. Sonia and her team are a key resource in proposal development, award management, research compliance, quarterly certification of expenditures, conflict of interest management, and policy interpretation. They collaborate with department research administrators to develop recommendations for system enhancements and process improvements that increase staff effectiveness and reduce administrative burden in the realm of research administration. Additionally, they represent the school on a number of university committees and serve as primary H&S contact with the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research and the Office of Research Administration.