A former Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Diversity for Girl Scouts of the USA, Watson develops human resources strategies and systems to achieve organizational results. With more than 20 years of executive-level experience at Girl Scouts of the USA, GE, IBM and Time Warner, Inc., Watson integrates nonprofit and corporate best practices.
At Girl Scouts, Watson directed the development and implementation of strategies, policies, and programs in executive compensation, employee engagement and retention, compensation and benefits, employee relations, diversity, and executive search. Among other accomplishment, he advised the CEO on two major reorganizations to streamline staff structure and facilitate core business strategy implementation, and led redesign of Girl Scout’s executive and staff compensation systems, which strengthened organizational capacity to recruit, retain, and recognize talent. Michael outsourced Girl Scout Council CEO Search function, which saved more than $3.2 million and contributed to increasing diversity of Girl Scout Council CEOs from 8.9% in 1999 to 27% in 2013, the highest level in Girl Scouts’ history.
He served as chair and co-chair of the National Human Services Assembly’s Human Resources Council and was a member of the Nonprofit Workforce Coalition Board of Directors. Watson was granted the first Spirit of Collaboration Award from the National Human Services Assembly in 2010 for leadership in this association of 85 nonprofits with 1.1 million employees.
Prior to joining Girl Scouts in 1999, Michael was human resources partner for IBM Global Services, where he served as senior human resources strategist for two businesses with combined revenues exceeding $2 billion. He was also manager, corporate human resources for Time Warner, Inc., and manager, staffing and cultural diversity for GE Capital’s 7,500-employee Retailer Financial Services business where he was awarded Pinnacle Club for top performance.
In 1997, as part of a self-financed, one-year sabbatical, Watson volunteered at two public elementary schools in New Brunswick, N.J., where he helped develop education programs for students and a pilot tutoring/volunteer program with Rutgers University. He was inducted into the 2008 Hall of Distinguished Alumni by the New Brunswick Education Foundation. Currently, Michael serves on the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps Board of Directors and on the Manhattanville College Board of Trustees. He is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts of the USA and the National Black MBA Association. Watson has a BA in economics from Yale University and an MBA in organizational management and human resource development from Manhattanville College.