2015 Alumni Achievement Award
KerriLaine Prunella ’01 International Politics is the senior advisor to the deputy assistant secretary for human resources of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She counsels top leadership on human resources policy and strategy. The department oversees important public programs protecting all Americans’ health and well-being through programs across 11 divisions, with more than 92,000 employees.
Prunella is an expert in highly complex and sensitive human resources issues. Previously, she was the human resources branch chief to the Office of the Director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH is the nation’s medical research agency, with 1,200 principal investigators and more than 4,000 postdoctoral fellows in basic, translational, and clinical research. She led specialists and assistants in delivering a full range of human resources management functions for NIH institutes and centers.
Prior to her current position, Prunella worked in the public and private sectors, including the U.S. Department of Treasury and UBS. In her positions, Prunella developed, directed, and evaluated human resources policies and programs in connection with key programs.
She earned a master’s degree in business administration from Trinity University and a graduate certificate in organization development from Marymount University. She also completed graduate level coursework in public policy. Prunella mentors Penn State students in the College of the Liberal Arts and the College of Health and Human Development. She previously served as president of both the Penn State Alumni Association’s Metro Washington, D.C. Chapter and the Penn State Professional Women’s Network in Washington, D.C.