UW-IT chooses AVP to lead new People & Culture Division

Group photo of the Brodsky family at a baseball game.

By UW-IT Communications & Engagement staff

When Bethany Brodsky is not operating as an HR executive — solving tough people problems and coaching those around her to do the same — you will likely find her busy with various activities, most involving her family and her community.

One meaningful role her family has played has been as a host to refugees from Afghanistan and other politically troubled places across the globe.

For refugee families, learning how to navigate a new country, learning a new language, and adapting to new norms can be emotionally difficult — and often an exciting journey as well.

In this context, culture is all too important for Bethany, her family and for refugees. As a host family, new immigrants have someone they can trust as they navigate new ways of doing things. For Bethany and her family, helping people on their journey to new lives has been an eye-opening and a mutually rewarding experience.

That ethos is reflected in Bethany’s professional choices, where people always come first. Over the years at different companies, she was immersed in leading culture change — advocating for healthier workspaces, mapping career development for staff, building cohesive talent strategies for organizations, and coaching leaders on thoughtful growth and change.

This week, Bethany starts a new chapter in her career, as Associate Vice President of People & Culture — also a brand-new division within University of Washington Information Technology (UW-IT).

“It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to step into a brand-new role and brand-new division that puts people first,” Bethany said.

“It’s clear that UW-IT has highly competent, talented individuals who really care about the University,” said Bethany, who endured a rigorous interview process, including a forum attended by about 100 UW-IT staff and leaders. “I see my job partly as helping clear the way for talented and capable teams within UW-IT to do their best work on behalf of the University.”

Her goals and insight impressed UW leaders and staff during the competitive interview process.

“Bethany’s leadership style is grounded in vision and empathy, aligning with our goals and the journey we are on,” said Andreas Bohman, vice president and chief information officer for UW-IT.

“Her skills and insights will be crucial as we continue to evolve and strengthen our organization,” Andreas said. “We believe Bethany is the leader UW-IT needs, and we are excited for the fresh perspectives and energy she will bring to our team.”

New division seeks to empower UW-IT staff

The People & Culture Division is a product of UW-IT’s extensive reorganization, which got under way in 2022. UW-IT staff asked for more support and clear values, which the new division seeks to deliver.

Today, UW-IT as an organization has chosen a set of core values to foster a healthier organization. In turn, these values are meant to guide UW-IT in support of UW’s mission, how UW-IT goes about its work and how its staff collaborates with one another and the UW community.

“UW-IT’s People & Culture division aims to ensure that our workforce is set up for success, and to maximize the value of our human capital,” Andreas said. “Bethany will help us achieve those goals.”

Bethany has a strong background in talent development and organizational strategy and accomplished important goals at Netflix and Evernote.

“Her experience in creating a learning and development function at Netflix and leading a global talent initiative at Evernote showcases her strategic thinking and dedication to professional growth,” he said.