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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
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Skye Duckett

Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer

Georgia Institute of Technology

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: 1885

Industry: Education

The pandemic helped change Skye Duckett’s view on what matters in the workplace.

“Over the past two years, I have developed a belief that emotional intelligence and flexibility are more important than ever, for two reasons,” Duckett said. “First, the pandemic placed a renewed focus on personal health and mental well-being that people brought to work with them when they came back — if they came back to the same industry at all. Second, with the low unemployment rates and uptick in workers changing careers, they have more choices than ever before about where they work and whom they choose to work for.

“Leading through a lens of humanity in both professional and personal settings resonates much better in the current environment. Skills like creating psychologically safe work environments and learning how to lead both in-person and remote teams are becoming increasingly necessary instead of ‘nice to have.’”

Duckett is the vice president and chief human resources officer at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Institute offers programs in engineering and computing as well as business, design, liberal arts and sciences, with more than $1 billion annually in research awards across all six colleges and the Georgia Tech Research Institute.
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation’s top public research universities with nearly 40,000 students who study in person at the main campus in Atlanta, at Georgia Tech-Lorraine in France and at Georgia Tech-Shenzhen in China, as well as through distance and online learning.

Duckett grew up strongly valuing education because of her parents, a mother who taught kindergarten and a father who was a college math professor. She has worked in public education in both Austin, Texas, and in Atlanta, developing an understanding of impoverished and marginalized communities and common struggles among people who come from them.

She moved to Atlanta in 2014 as part of the leadership team that was tasked with stabilizing the city’s school system following the historic testing scandal of 2009. As deputy chief and then chief human resources officer, she partnered with school leaders to recruit, develop and retain a quality teaching staff. While at Atlanta Public Schools, Duckett led teams that produced industry-leading teacher and leader retention rates, employee engagement rates, strong ethical practices, a renewed focus on compliance standards and over $100 million investment in teacher pay and helped restore public trust in the system.

Duckett was a founding member of the North Central chapter of the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators. She became a member of the National Alliance of Black School Educators and provided coaching and resume workshops. In Atlanta, Duckett became a board member for The Boyce Ansley School, a local pre-K through third-grade private school for homeless children that also provides housing and employment services for parents. She also served as the HR representative on the Federal Funds Optimization Task Force formed by the national council of Great City Schools to help urban school districts spend COVID-19 funds.

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Did you know?

Skye broke barriers as a child as well – she played soccer “with the boys” before girls soccer became it’s own sport. She also consistently placed first in Shotokan karate and the mile relay. Currently, a fund fact is that Skye picked up the hobby of caring for indoor house plants during the pandemic and has now turned into a “plant lady”.

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