About Us

Interim Vice Chancellor Brian Powell poses for a portrait.Brian Powell joined UC Merced in January 2015 as its Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer. In December 2016, he was promoted to the role of Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Administrative Services to oversee ongoing efforts regarding the UC Merced Workforce Planning Initiative, which is designed to strategically align the administrative workforce (both existing and prospective) with UC Merced’s most compelling priorities that are consistent with our Strategic Academic Focusing Initiative, Merced 2020, and Vision and Change Alignment Map. On July 1, 2017, Brian assumed the role of Interim Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services at the request of Chancellor Dorothy Leland and following the retirement of Vice Chancellor Emeritus Michael Reese.

Prior to joining UC Merced, Brian served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Human Resources and Administration at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University in New York. While there, he oversaw the school’s core administrative operations including: academic affairs and academic personnel; administrative human resources; grants and contracts administration; communications; facilities planning and space management; information technology; entrepreneurship initiatives; outreach programming and strategic administrative planning.

While at Columbia University, he also served as the principle investigator for a grant in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Commission (NYCEDC), working closely with the Bloomberg administration on developing pipelines and incubators for student, alumni, and/or faculty entrepreneurial start-ups in Manhattan and the outer boroughs.

Brian’s 20 years of human resources and administrative operations experience spans public and private higher education, non-profit and corporate sectors. He is a licensed attorney and holds a Juris Doctor with a concentration in employment and labor law. He is the author of several publications on employee privacy and has previously served as an adjunct professor of law, teaching courses on sexual orientation and the law, AIDS law, and law, gender and sexuality.

Brian K. Powell, J.D.

Interim Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Administrative Services and
Chief Human Resources Officer
(209) 355-4991

Contact Information:

Fabiola Elizalde
Interim Director of Operations and Chief of Staff
(209) 201-7059


Bernadette Mello
Executive Assistant to the
Interim Vice Chancellor
(209) 228-4430 vcadmin@ucmerced.edu

Jackie Hernandez
Executive Support Staff Manager
(209) 228-4764 jhernandez328@ucmerced.edu