Nikki R. Lanier, JD, Adjunct Professor, University of Louisville MBA/HR | Speaker
University of Louisville MBA/HR
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Nikki Lanier is an experienced leader with over 25 years of career achievements that span Banking, Labor and Employment Law, Collective Bargaining, Human Resources, and State Government. She is an author, a sought after keynote speaker, and has received many awards and recognitions for her expertise and leadership in talent development, HR innovation, community development, DEI, and economic equity.
Nikki spent eighteen (18) years as an HR Executive and employment attorney. She has worked in more than ten (10) sectors including manufacturing, consulting, consumer goods, health care, media, law, government, higher education and banking. She has led organizations in both the public and
private sector. She has served as an HR Executive with Philip Morris USA (VA) and Georgia-Pacific Corp (GA), CHRO for Charter Schools USA (FL), Vice Chancellor of HR for Maricopa Community Colleges (AZ), and Personnel Cabinet Secretary for the Commonwealth of Kentucky (youngest and first black female appointee).
In these roles, she drove accelerated cultural change, created and implemented innovative organizational development, and focused on strategic planning, employee relations, community engagements and partnerships, training and development, succession planning, recruitment and retention, and labor negotiations.
Nikki is deeply involved in the community and has served on more than 25 nonprofit boards, commissions and civic committees. Through her work and strong local and national board memberships, she is widely recognized as an accomplished thought leader in progressive HR strategies and in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism, corporately and civically.
She is the current Board Chair of OneWest Community Development Corporation, Chair of the Commonwealth of Kentucky – Kerner Commission 2.0, Secretary, Treasurer and Audit Committee Chair of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority Board (4th largest Cargo airport in the world w/ $129 mil budget); a board member of Greater Louisville Inc. Chamber of Commerce (GLI), Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and two national foundations.
Nikki earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law, a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Hampton University and holds a certification in Collective Bargaining from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She has served as an adjunct MBA professor for the University of Louisville College of Business since 2018, where she also serves on its Board of Advisors.