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Ash Buonasera


Dr. Ash Buonasera is a human resources leader at the Principal Financial Group, where he leads the People Analytics team, focusing on answering high-profile talent-related questions.  He believes a strategic and analytic approach to human capital can turn programs traditionally viewed as cost burdens into valuable levers that improve business performance. Dr. Buonasera brings a Ph.D. mindset with experience managing and analyzing workforce metrics, to ensure investments in people are made with rigor, discipline, and an understanding of their intended business impact. With experience in talent analytics, talent management, human capital reporting, and program evaluation, he helps organizations develop a rational framework to manage their human capital assets in a disciplined and structured fashion, similar to its approach to its financial assets

At Principal, Ash leads a team which is responsible for conducting analysis that provides insights to enhance management’s investment in the people who support the organization’s drive to achieve its objectives. Such work leverages cutting-edge data science techniques and methods that touch upon all aspects of the employee lifecycle.  Ash is also a lecturer at Columbia University, School of Professional Studies, where he teaches People Analytics and Decision-Making, as well as Digital HR and the Digital Workplace, that are both parts of the Human Capital Management Program.

Dr. Buonasera’s educational background includes a Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology from the University of Kansas and an MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Baruch College, City University of New York.  Prior to joining Principal, Ash held talent management and talent analytic positions at Gartner, Liberty Mutual Insurance, DaVita Healthcare Partners, and Marriott International.


  • Ph.D., University of Kansas
  • M.S., Baruch College, City University of New York
  • B.S., Fordham University