Director of Human Resources

Deborah Southerington was appointed Director of Personnel and Human Resources (HR) in March, 2011. The Department of Personnel and Human Resources is part of the Public Affairs Cluster and is responsible for ensuring HR services are delivered consistently and efficiently City-wide. Services include general HR administration, employee health and benefits, education and research, labor relations and equal employment opportunity, employee records and HRIS. This department also works closely with the Civil Service Commission to post vacant positions and hire qualified applicants.

In her capacity as Director, Southerington and her team are committed to transforming the department into an innovative, efficient and service oriented department. The team is devoted to efficiently administer approximately thirty-one collective bargaining agreements, manage the City’s performance management system, administer personnel policies and procedures, centralize HR functions and streamline processes through automation.

Before joining the City, Southerington served twelve years in the Office of Human Resources with Cuyahoga County. In 2010, she served as the Interim Director and prior to that, she served in the role of Assistant Director for five years. During her twelve years with the County, she gained a wealth of HR experience. Working with her team at the County, she implemented an Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP) which reduced staff by 900 employees, facilitated a comprehensive training program for managers and supervisors and consolidated HR functions County-wide which led to a more accountable, efficient HR management system thus, drastically reducing the duplication of services and saving money.

Southerington earned her bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and is a graduate of the 2002 Leadership Academy at Cleveland State University and the LeadDIVERSITY Class of 2009. She is married and has two children.