Matthew S. Harrison, PhD

The youngest of three boys, Matthew was born and raised in a small rural town in northeast Georgia. Growing up on a farm, his father taught him and his older brothers the value of hard work, and his mother instilled in the three of them the importance of education.

Taking both to heart, Matthew graduated 5th in his high school class and went on to Emory University for his undergraduate studies. Having thought he was always destined to be a (medical) doctor, Matthew began as a Chemistry/Pre-Med major. Once coming to the realization that he somewhat detested natural sciences, which might prove problematic in medical school, Matthew shifted his focus to the field of Psychology, and stumbled upon the subfield of Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology. He instantly knew he had found his calling.

After attaining his B.S. in Psychology from Emory, Matthew entered The University of Georgia’s (UGA) I/O Ph.D. Program. While working to obtain his M.S. and Ph.D., Matthew also served as a research and teaching assistant with a specific focus around the area of workplace diversity. Matthew’s master’s thesis on colorism received wide publicity–being featured on websites such as CNN, CNBC, ABC News, was reported in various newspapers and media outlets across the U.S. and United Kingdom. Focusing on the area of workplace diversity, Matthew authored a chapter for a general psychology textbook, as well as a number of other books. Additionally, he authored several academic journal articles.

While completing his final few years of graduate school, Matthew began working at Manheim (now Cox Automotive) as an Organizational Development/Effectiveness consultant and was later promoted to Manager, Talent Management & Recruiting. He then joined McKesson as a Performance Consultant providing performance improvement solutions (at the individual and team level) to two of McKesson’s largest business units.

At the age of 30, Matthew was asked to join The Weather Channel as Vice President, Talent Management where he served as a key member of the HR Leadership Team providing expertise and leadership on initiatives related to performance management, succession planning, employee & leadership development, employee engagement, as well as diversity and inclusion. To gain executive experience in a Fortune 50 organization, Matthew accepted a position at Comcast. Serving as Sr. Director, HR & Talent Management, he led a team of HR Business Partners and Organizational Effectiveness leaders to support Comcast’s largest division–comprised of approximately 30,000 employees.

With a desire to obtain greater experience in other areas of HR, Matthew joined Jackson Healthcare in February 2018 as Vice President of HR. His initial responsibilities included managing employee relations and compensation for the enterprise; but more recently, he has taken on the additional duties of also leading talent, learning & development, and diversity, equity & inclusion. While at Jackson Healthcare, Matthew has introduced Associate Network Groups (with an embedded mentoring program), a formalized talent review process, more structured recruiting processes, as well as heightened focus around best practices pertaining to the recruitment and retention of diverse talent.

In addition to his corporate role at Jackson Healthcare, Matthew currently serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor of I/O Psychology for UGA where he has taught a course in Talent Development since 2017. Matthew currently resides in Smoke Rise, GA (a suburb of Atlanta) with his partner of 15 years–Hedren– and their two German Shepherds–Smith & Wesson.