Janet Lindner, Yale’s vice president for human resources and administration, will retire at the end of the year after more than two decades of service to the university, President Peter Salovey announced Sept. 14.
“I am grateful to Janet for all that she has accomplished for Yale,” Salovey wrote in an email to the university community. “Her knowledge of the university, appreciation for the people within our community, skill at consensus building, and ability to focus on the importance of our work — even in the most challenging of times — make her a remarkable colleague.”
The president will soon begin the search for Lindner’s successor in collaboration with Senior Vice President for Operations Jack Callahan.
Lindner came to Yale in 1997 after serving as chief administrative officer for the City of New Haven. In a series of key roles over the next 23 years, she has contributed to many milestones in Yale history, including the university’s 2001 tercentennial celebrations, and has helped the campus through numerous emergencies, including its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lindner rose to vice president for human resources and administration in 2017, when Salovey promoted her from deputy vice president.
“In the past three years, she and her team have worked together with colleagues across campus to elevate the strategic role of the Office of Human Resources and Administration, developing a unified vision and plan for talent management and improving processes for hiring, career development, and retention,” he said. “Notably, Janet has been instrumental in increasing diversity among managers, more than doubling the proportion from historically underrepresented groups in the course of a decade. She has worked tirelessly to foster an inclusive and respectful culture at Yale. She often notes that how we approach our work every day can make a lasting difference and transform our community.”
Earlier in her career, Lindner worked as a union organizer and business agent in New York. Salovey praised her keen understanding of labor relations, noting that she helped usher in a more collaborative approach at Yale as a founding member of the union-management partnership, which addresses problems in a culture of shared respect.
Lindner has also worked closely with union leaders and community partners to develop the university’s New Haven Hiring Initiative and to create pipelines to careers at Yale.
Assuming responsibility for public safety in 2010, Linder led a successful search for Yale’s current police chief, Ronnell Higgins, and has partnered with him, Yale’s police officers, and the public safety staff to serve the community. She recently welcomed nationally recognized experts to assess all aspects of Yale’s policing, and the university is taking action based on their review.
Lindner also has led campus environmental initiatives, creating Yale’s ridesharing initiative and the “Y-Bike” program, for example, as well as helping steer Yale’s car and truck fleet toward alternative fuels.
“I will long remember both her serious commitment to sustainability as well as her more lighthearted effort to include the beloved image of Handsome Dan on each shuttle,” Salovey said.
An active community volunteer, Lindner has received numerous awards and recognition for public service and leadership. She is the executive sponsor of the Future Leaders of Yale affinity group, and has personally mentored many employees. She serves on the United Way of Greater New Haven’s board of directors, and was board chair from 2017 to 2019. She is a fellow of Saybrook College.
“Please join me in thanking Janet, congratulating her on her accomplishments, and wishing her success in her next life chapter,” Salovey said. “Knowing Janet, her wisdom and indefatigable good spirit will continue to benefit all whose paths she crosses.”