Mary O’Hara is the chief human resources officer and senior vice president of Internal Communications at Blue Shield of California, a 4-million-member nonprofit health plan that serves the state’s commercial, individual, and government markets. O’Hara leads the people strategy, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and employee experience for 7,000 employees across California. She also heads the Internal and Executive Communications and Events team and chairs the Operating Committee of the company.
O’Hara joined Blue Shield in 2013 and brings to the position more than 25 years of experience leading award-winning talent and development strategies across large enterprises in many sectors. Before joining Blue Shield, O’Hara spent seven years as senior vice president of Human Resources for Toronto-based TD Bank Financial Group. Prior to that, she was a vice president for Bell Canada Enterprises. She has also been a guest lecturer at the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University in Ontario and serves on the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business Corporate Advisory Board.
Since joining Blue Shield, O’Hara has garnered numerous awards and recognitions. She was named Champion of the Year by Out and Equal in 2018; San Francisco Bay Area Most Influential Woman in 2015 and 2016, and Forever Influential in 2017 by the San Francisco Business Times; and one of 2016’s Most Powerful & Influential Women by the Northern California Diversity Council. She also received Legal Momentum’s 2017 Women of Achievement Award for Distinction in Business, and the 2015 and 2017 Brandon Hall Gold Medal for Best Advancement in Leadership Development.
O’Hara earned a Master of Arts degree in organization and leadership studies at Royal Roads University in Victoria, Canada, where she also completed her major research in diversity and minority inclusion. She is a Certified Human Resources Professional and has studied at the University of Southern California, Queen’s University in Canada, and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
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