Roseanna DeMaria


Adjunct Professor, Leadership and Human Capital Management

"Most recruiters would never have considered me for a human resources position,” explains Roseanna DeMaria, an attorney and an NYU School of Professional Studies adjunct professor in the M.S. in Human Resource Management and Development program. “This is precisely why I believe the HR profession is evolving in its approach, and why I love my work preparing the next generation of leaders for those changes,” she says.

It’s hard to disagree with DeMaria. Her impressive 20-year career includes broad-based business and management experience in the C-suite suites of Merrill Lynch and AT&T Wireless Services, and in her tenure as chief of the Organized Crime Narcotics Unit for the New York County District Attorney's Office. One common thread throughout her career, she explains, is the fact that she’s “always been a teacher, from developing young lawyers, including the late John F. Kennedy, Jr., to mentoring the exceptional adults in the master’s program at the NYU School of Professional Studies.”

DeMaria’s passion for the future of the HR industry and her students’ role as transformational leaders is infectious. “HR is at the nexus of all key functions in an organization,” she explains. “When its professionals are viewed as true strategic partners with business acumen equal to that of their peers, the value of HR becomes transformational, not transactional.” This is the secret ingredient of the NYU School of Professional Studies program, according to DeMaria. “We are building a robust pipeline of C-suite leaders. Our students will be the ones leading people, leading business, and leading change,” she says.

Preparing these future leaders for the challenges ahead means developing their critical thinking ability to “identify the issues, analyze the problems, and formulate and operationalize solutions,” she continues. This is precisely what they acquire the muscles to do in the classroom with DeMaria and recently online via virtual learning. “Teaching online is one of the most exciting and impactful learning adventures I’ve ever participated in,” DeMaria asserts. Using case studies exclusively, DeMaria explains that online learning allows her students to “blow the hinges off the doors” of deep learning, in terms of both innovation and intensity.

The students who begin DeMaria’s classes are not the same students who leave. “This is my goal. I want the learning experience to be transformational in every way,” DeMaria says. “The learning is more important than grades. It’s personal, value driven, and intimate. That’s the mindset of the next generation who will win in leading HR.” Thanks to DeMaria, her students are one step closer to doing just that.