Certification Council

Supporting the mission of the HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®), the HRCI Certification Council oversees the development, maintenance and administration of certification programs for the human resource profession, both in the U.S. and globally.

John Valaro

John D. Varlaro, PhD, SPHR, GPHR

Certification Council Chair

Dr. Varlaro is a Professor of Human Resource Management at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He also served as Chair of the Department of Management. Dr. Varlaro is a frequent contributor to Human Resource and Strategic Management textbooks.

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Amy Gulati

Amy Benbarka, MBA, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR

Certification Council Member

Amy Benbarka is the Director of Talent Operations at Frontpoint Security in Vienna, Virginia. After spending time working in human capital consulting both in Seattle, Washington and the DC metro area, she returned to corporate HR management and specializes in helping high growth companies scale their HR practices

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Nancy Hill-Davis

Nancy Hill-Davis, SPHR

Certification Council Member

Nancy Hill-Davis, SPHR has more than 25 years of health care human resources experience and currently serves as the Vice President of Human Resources at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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SylviaDiemer

Sylvia Diemer, PHR

Certification Council Member

Sylvia Diemer is the Human Resources Manager at Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney. Her primary responsibilities include strategy development, recruiting, employee relations, policy implementation and enforcement, training, performance management, and compliance with state and federal employment laws for the Chicago, Austin, Houston, Detroit, and St. Louis offices.

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Cigdem Ozdemir Evren

Cigdem Ozdemir, SPHRi

Certification Council Member

Cigdem Ozdemir is the Head of HR for Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP), a joint venture of SOCAR, BP and BOTAS. Based in Ankara, she was previously the Organizational Development and Talent Management Coordinator for SOCAR Türkiye and Organizational Development Unit Manager for FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.Ş.

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Karen Petrini

Karen Petrini

Certification Council Public Member

Karen Petrini is the Senior Manager of Client Engagement in Sales Enablement for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Prior to moving into her current role, Petrini spent 10 years in certification where she led the world-wide Exam Development, Lifecycle Operations and HP Press functions

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Nelson Zivic

Nelson D. Zivic, MBA, SPHR, GPHR

HRCI Board Liaison

Nelson Zivic currently serves as the Head of HR for the Food Division at Newell Brands, based in Atlanta GA. He was previously the HR Senior Director for the Latin American Region, for Newell Brands. He was also an HR Leader at Dell, where he held increasingly responsible HR positions in their US and Latin American operations. Trained as a lawyer, Zivic began his career as a Labor Attorney in Argentina.

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