Laurita Thomas

Laurita Thomas photo

Laurita Thomas

Executive in Residence, Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan
President, American Research Universities Human Resources Institute

As president of the American Research Universities Human Resources Institute, Laurita Thomas is responsible for executive development and leadership programming at 65 major research universities in the U.S. and Canada. She previously served as the University of Michigan’s associate vice president for human resources, responsible for HR policy across all of the university’s campuses as well as HR services, products and operations.

Thomas’s human resources career spans roles in the financial industry, higher education and healthcare. She also has served as a leader of HR professional organizations and on numerous community service boards. She earned her B.A. at the University of Michigan in political science and economics and has done graduate work in guidance and counseling and business administration.

Professional Achievements

  • Published many articles and book chapters, including Inside the Minds, The Role of Human Resources, Aspatore Books.
  • Named HR Executive of the Year for the State of Michigan from the American Society of Employers and received the CUPA-HR Distinguished Service Award.
  • Served on the Mayor’s Commission on increasing safety for women and the Executive Committee of the Washtenaw County Workforce Development Board.