Universities Announce the Appointment of Six Women to Administrative Posts

Cybele Bjorklund, a veteran of Capitol Hill and the healthcare industry, will be the inaugural executive director of the new Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center in Washington, D.C. She will also serve as vice president for federal strategy for Johns Hopkins University and Medicine. She was senior vice president of policy and government strategy at Virta Health, a healthcare start-up focused on type 2 diabetes.

Bjorklund is a graduate of the University of Oregon, where she majored in journalism. She holds a master’s degree from the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

Iris A. Elijah was named deputy general counsel at Florida A&M University. Elijah was an associate general counsel at Florida International University in Miami for five years. Before that, she was an assistant general counsel for the Florida Board of Governors.

Elijah earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida. She holds a juris doctorate from Florida International University.

Kim Kuerten, who served on the leadership team of the Harbert College of Business graduate executive programs, is the new administrative director of the Institute for Real Estate Development at Auburn University in Alabama. The institute serves as a link between the university and all major sectors of the real estate community.

Kuersten has a bachelor’s degree in economics and an MBA from Auburn University.

Wendy Thompson was appointed chief of staff for the president of Fisk University in Nashville, She most recently served as vice chancellor for organizational effectiveness for the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Thompson is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. She earned a juris doctorate at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Karen Kennedy, senior advisor in the Office of the Executive Vice President at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed associate vice president for residential life in the Division of Student Affairs, effective spring 2024. She began her career at Notre Dame in 2012. Earlier, she was the director of the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps at Boston College.

Kennedy earned a bachelor’s degree in science-business from the University of Notre Dame. She holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from Boston College.

Lynn Byrd has been promoted to division director of human resources for the Office of Research and Innovation at Virginia Tech. She has more than 28 years of experience in human resources and joined Virginia Tech in 2002.

Byrd received a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Averett University in Virginia.

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