Career and leadership series discussion to focus on diversity and inclusion

December 07, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — What makes people feel that they are being treated fairly and valued? How do you incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into teamwork so that you can make an impact?

The next event in the School of Public Policy's monthly professional development series, "Strategies for Career and Leadership Success," will address leadership with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Since June 2020, the professional development series has been helping students, recent graduates, and current professionals develop career and leadership skills related to interviewing, developing a professional presence, maximizing the internship experience, navigating organizational change, and more.

The Dec. 9 discussion will be led by Penn State alumnus KerriLaine Prunella, who earned her bachelor’s degree in international politics. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Trinity University and a graduate certificate in organization development from Marymount University, and she has completed graduate-level coursework in public policy at George Mason University. 

Prunella is the chief human capital officer at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and has more than 20 years of experience in the private and public sectors. Prior to her current role, she was a specialist leader at Deloitte Consulting; served as deputy assistant inspector general for administration at the U.S. General Services Administration, Office of Inspector General; was the director of human resources for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General; and was the senior advisor to the deputy assistant secretary for human resource at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

During the event, Prunella will discuss leadership policies that can make an impact in fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She’ll explain how individuals can make a difference at every level in the workplace, provide strategies for approaching policy and teamwork by understanding the people behind the process, and more.

"In the workplace, the people matter when you connect the theory and practical aspects of policy," she said. "I’m excited to share examples of impact from leading across many sectors and to illustrate the value of teamwork to complement policy topics covered in classes."

Prunella has held leadership roles with the Penn State Alumni Association, including president of the Metro Washington Chapter and the Professional Women’s Network. She currently serves on Alumni Council and is a life member of the Alumni Association. She also mentors Penn State students.

The upcoming conversation will be held via Zoom and consists of a brief interview followed by questions from the audience. Participants have the option to ask questions during the live discussion or in advance of the presentation by sending an email to

For more information about the series and to RSVP for the Dec. 9 session, visit A Zoom link will be sent to all registrants in advance of the event.

  • KerriLaine Prunella

    Penn State alumnus, KerriLaine Prunella, will join the School of Public Policy's monthly professional development series, "Strategies for Career and Leadership Success," on Wed., Dec. 9.

    IMAGE: KerriLaine Prunella
Last Updated December 14, 2020