While studying psychology at the University of Toledo, Ohio, Ann Marie Musto had the opportunity to connect with a strong leader who introduced her to human resources and became an important mentor. As a first-generation college student, the connection was invaluable to Musto, sparking a curiosity and passion for the field while opening the door for a professional career. She earned a master’s degree in human resources development, later working in higher education, health care and manufacturing.
Musto now joins the UC Santa Barbara campus community as the new associate vice chancellor and chief human resources officer, bringing with her 26 years of experience focused on strategic leadership, building partnerships and empowering teams.
“I am continually reminded of this initial, impactful experience in my current efforts,” Musto said, “championing HR services and creating environments where employees feel they can do their best work.”
Most recently, Musto was a chief human resources officer at Stanford University. In this role, she led human resources for Residential and Dining Enterprises, the university’s largest auxiliary unit. She has also served as a human resources director at the University of Michigan, and as a human resources generalist at the University of Toledo. “I enjoy working at institutions of higher education because I am afforded the opportunity to learn and develop while using my unique skill set in service to the campus community,” she said. “Universities foster creativity, innovation and individual thought all within a living-learning environment. It is really gratifying to feed and support this mission.”
“Ann Marie is a collaborative and versatile leader with more than two decades of experience in human resources, and she is dedicated to supporting our campus’s strategic goals through a commitment to promoting excellence, diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “I extend my heartiest congratulations and welcome her to UC Santa Barbara, and look forward to the wealth of knowledge and experience she will bring to our campus."
Yang added, “I would like to take this opportunity to extend special thanks to Lisa Romero for her dedicated and outstanding service as interim director of human resources. Her many leadership contributions have been invaluable to our campus community, particularly during the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Working in the university setting as well as across multiple disciplines has allowed Musto to become a true HR generalist. Her depth and breadth of experience is broad, and she has found a common thread throughout her career in finding opportunities to be creative and to think boldly in aligning the work of the Human Resources Department with the organization’s strategy and priorities. She is especially proud, she said, of projects and programs she has implemented around training and talent acquisition including developing internal talent.
At Stanford Musto was at the forefront of building and implementing programs both for inclusive talent acquisition, developing employees with high potential and succession planning. “I value building relationships with people,” she said. “Especially working together and partnering to provide transformational change in preparing our workforce for the future.”
In her new role at UC Santa Barbara, Musto is hoping to provide exemplary HR services while remaining committed to supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. “From everything that I have heard and read about UCSB, there seems to be a true value for diversity and a commitment to building systems and policies that support accountability for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” she said. “I am very much interested in establishing key partnerships that will help drive programs that promote a fair and equitable workplace. This type of work motivates me, and makes me excited to join this community.”
“Throughout the recruitment effort, Ann Marie was recognized for both her knowledge of human resources as well as her superior communications skills,” said Garry Mac Pherson, vice chancellor of administrative services. “Multiple interviews were conducted with various stakeholder groups on campus and uniformly Ann Marie was recognized as the top candidate.”
Being new to the Santa Barbara area, Musto said she is looking forward to exploring the hiking trails, taking walks along the coast and finding the best used bookstores so that she can lose herself in a good book. She is excited for her new position — ready to immerse herself in the culture and engage with the campus community to identify areas of opportunity for her work.
“My leadership style is grounded in service and principles of social justice,” said Musto. “It is important to me to work in partnership with university leadership and the campus community in order to continue to advance key initiatives around DEIB, looking through a social justice lens, so that faculty, staff and students feel like they belong. Really, no task is too small for me and I cannot wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”