Philadelphia Eagles HR director joins alumnae leadership panel

September 26, 2016

This is the fifth of nine in a series of Q&As with College of the Liberal Arts alumnae who will be participating in Penn State Women: Leaders of Today and Tomorrow. The event, scheduled for Oct. 25-26, will bring together leaders from the finance, technology and business fields for a panel discussion and one-on-one meetings with students from all majors across the University.

Kristie Pappal, a 2000 labor and industrial relations graduate with a minor in psychology, is now the director of human resources for the Philadelphia Eagles. In her position, she provides comprehensive human resources leadership, which includes ensuring a positive and productive work environment for all employees; providing strategic direction; and overseeing performance management, talent acquisition, employee relations, benefits, compensation and organizational development. 

What activities did you participate in early in your career and/or as a student that helped prepare you for leadership?

Being involved creates value. It builds strong relationships and naturally creates opportunities. As a student I was a TA, held leadership roles in student organizations, worked with Career Services, was invited to participate in LeaderShape, and was a member of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams. Demonstrate passion and excellence in everything you do. I earned and maintain professional certifications in SHRM-SCP and SPHR. Volunteer for leadership roles on Boards or professional interest groups. Be genuine and authentic in your words and actions; people observe and take notice. 

Everyone knows you can’t “have it all.” How have your priorities shifted throughout the course of your career?

It’s important to have a goal or a purpose to work towards. Over the years I established professional and personal milestones that keep me focused and moving forward. It is critical to stay relevant, stay involved, invest in growth and development, and prioritize what is most important both personally and professionally. A strong foundation of family, friends, and colleagues affords me the opportunity to focus time and attention appropriately.

What skills do you look for in identifying a potential leader?

Passionate, technically excellent in area of expertise, team player, demonstrates initiative, takes responsibility, and able to confidently articulate “your story” (what differentiates you, what drives you, and what you want to be known for accomplishing?).

How have you been able to utilize your liberal arts background during your career?

I am proud of the educational foundation I received at Penn State. I utilized many resources available on campus to maximize my experience. Over the years there have been a number of occasions that I reflected back to a course or a professor that was relevant to the project at hand.

  • Kristie Pappal

    Kristie Pappal of the Philadelphia Eagles against the St. Louis Rams at Lincoln Financial Field on October 5, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles won 34-28. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles)

    IMAGE: Kristie Pappal

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Last Updated October 11, 2016