Christine Riley’s career in higher education spans more than two decades, in both the private and public sectors. Focusing on the intersection of organizational culture and administrative design, she uses her extensive experience in strategic planning, organizational accountability, human resources, communication strategies and board development to assist colleges and universities in improving overall clarity of mission, productivity and resilience.Christine most recently served for a decade as Chief of Staff to Chancellor Anne Ponder at UNC Asheville, the University of North Carolina’s only designated liberal arts university, most recently ranked #1 by Princeton Review on its list of “Best Schools for Making an Impact.”
As Chief of Staff, she provided oversight of the University’s strategic goals and initiatives, playing a central role in addressing major issues confronting the University and managing large-scale institutional projects across divisions. She served as the Chancellor’s primary liaison with all campus constituencies as well as the Board of Trustees and UNC General Administration.
After overseeing the evolution of the campus’ strategic planning process, she developed and managed a metric-driven dashboard to demonstrate the campus’ progress toward their strategic goals throughout her tenure there. She also oversaw a Campus Master Planning process that resulted in the first-ever comprehensive signage and wayfinding project, drawing expertise from campus representatives and trustees, and managing external contracts throughout the process from design to implementation. The result received national accolades from CASE.
A writer of substantial breadth and proficiency, Christine wrote legislative briefs, accreditation self-study documents and annual reports for the chancellor. As Chief of Staff, she served on the chancellor’s senior leadership team and directly supervised the departments of Human Resources, Information Technology Services, Communication & Marketing and Institutional Research and helped to streamline the university’s efforts on sustainability.
Prior to joining UNC Asheville, Christine served as Director of Human Resources at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH for 13 years. In that capacity, she oversaw all aspects of employee relations, compensation design and implementation, recruitment, hiring and orientation of new staff and faculty, benefit design, contract negotiation and administration, and policy development. She also assisted President Anne Ponder in developing the first-ever strategic plan for the college which was featured in Trusteeship Magazine as a model for small colleges.
Christine also held prior Human Resources positions in the telecommunications, library services and automotive manufacturing industries. Earlier in her career, she worked in graphic design, journalism and the magazine, newspaper and book publishing industries.
Christine earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Averett University in Danville, VA, and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University New England.