Around the Institute

Aspen Institute Seeks Vice President, People & Culture

July 16, 2020  • The Aspen Institute

About the Position

The Vice President of People & Culture (VP) will serve as a key member of the Aspen Institute’s Senior Executive Team and will help ensure the Institute is a values-driven, results-oriented, diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist/anti-discriminatory organization. The VP will partner with the Senior Executive Team to lead efforts to recruit, retain, support and develop our people, who are the drivers of our mission in addressing some of society’s most critical problems.

Cultivating continuous learning and growth, the VP will oversee the human resources functions of the Institute, manage a team of four Talent and HR professionals, and establish and oversee the work that will enable all staff to use and develop their talents to advance our collective mission and make an impact on the world.

The VP will collaboratively develop and help implement a wide array of organizational practices related to diversity, equity and inclusion, including helping lead the Senior Executive Team’s implementation of recommendations emerging from a summer/fall 2020 Institute-level Task Force on Equity and Inclusion. The VP will collaborate with the Institute’s staff-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council (DEIC). The VP will lead people- and culture-focused strategic initiatives, and oversee the Human Resources team. The VP will serve as a thought partner to senior leaders to help develop strategies and policies related to working virtually, which creates new opportunities for inclusion and raises new human resources policies.

The VP will report directly to the Institute’s President and CEO, serve on the Senior Executive Team, and work with Senior Leaders, Program Directors, and Managers. The VP will be seen as a leader and trusted advisor for all matters related to the Institute’s employees and professional culture; commitment to equity, inclusion, diversity, and anti-racism and anti-discrimination; ensure Institute staff and leaders are continuously learning in many areas; and help our programs and departments to attract and retain the best talent possible to support the Institute’s mission.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Recruiting, Retaining, and Developing People with an Emphasis on Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

  • Set a clear, compelling vision for attracting, developing, training and retaining exceptional talent. Oversee strategies focused on the recruitment of a diverse workforce; the maintenance of a professional culture that fosters inclusion and belonging among colleagues of all backgrounds;  retention of employees who represented historically underserved or under-represented communities and populations; and equitable compensation across programs; Support and guide the recruitment team to help create a brand that appeals to diverse applicants.
  • Recommend and implement compensation, promotion, and retention strategies to ensure that the Institute stays competitive in the market and provides fair and equitable compensation for all employees.
  • Design Institute-wide pipeline roadmap focused on the development of employees to ensure the highest level of performance in an employee’s current role as well as in preparation for new responsibilities.
  • Serve as a strategic advisor and functional expert to all Institute leaders regarding talent strategies and issues.
  • Lead a team of Talent and HR professionals to ensure excellence in all talent and culture operations.
  • Review the Institute’s workplace policies and procedures, to ensure they are inclusive and equitable. Ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations concerning employment practices, employee health and safety, and employee relations.
  • In coordination with the EVP for Finance & Administration/CFO, oversee enhancements and innovations for the organization’s benefits and compensation programs.

Creating a Collaborative and Inclusive Culture

  • Engage with members of the Senior Executive Team, the Task Force on Equity and Inclusion and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council to evaluate, implement and assess efforts to promote a collaborative and inclusive culture. This will empower the Institute to increase its reach and impact by harnessing the collective power of talent and expertise across programs and departments toward overall Institute goals and objectives.
  • Work collaboratively with leaders across the Institute to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies to be implemented across the Institute.
  • Lead development of change management strategies for internal and external work, ensuring that the rationale for change is clearly articulated and staff and leaders are equipped with the skills and support needed to move in new directions; recommend adjustments to related policies, practices, and culture needed for transition management.
  • Guide the development of Institute policies and programs to create a healthy and inclusive work environment, leading and championing diversity and inclusion efforts and ensuring a safe, supportive culture that fosters belonging and continuous learning among all.
  • Assist programs and staff in developing their professional and personal capacity by identifying and providing resources, training, and learning opportunities, including tools for inclusive leadership, implicit bias, anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion and management opportunities.
  • Work with leaders across the Institute to build a rewarding and engaging culture where creativity, quality, diversity, equity and inclusion are nurtured. Provide strategic direction for training initiatives on cultural competency, anti-racism, gender differences, disability, sexual harassment, building a climate of equity and inclusion, and other topics designed to increase awareness and support of equity and inclusion values, and maintaining compliance with applicable laws in collaboration with Institute stakeholders.

Assessing Progress and Driving Impact

  • Review and oversee a performance management system that reflects the Institute’s core values, incentivizes productivity and impact, and enables clear measurement and accountability of desirable behaviors, actions, and outcomes among all staff.
  • Develop role-specific standards for success at all levels, from entry-level staff to senior leaders, that align to the Institute’s values and mission impact goals; assess the skills and talents of our existing staff and leaders and develop training, guidance, and professional development strategies to help them aspire to these standards.
  • Develop and implement leadership development programming to empower Institute leaders to drive impact, promote equity and inclusion, and embody the ideals of values-based leadership inherent in our mission.
  • Administer bi-annual employee culture/engagement surveys, to assess employee experience and diversity, equity, and inclusion, and recommend strategies to senior leadership on areas for improvement and change.
  • Leverage the performance management system to assess the technical skill, management savvy, and leadership ability of all staff, aligning recruitment and professional development strategies to address Institute needs.
Candidate Profile
  • Exceptional leadership skills, including 10 to 15 years of leadership experience in organizational development, change management, human resources, or other related field
  • A passionate DEI advocate with a growth mindset who never stops learning, creates conditions for success for the Institute, and prioritizes growing talent
  • A strong mission orientation with a record of success of collaborative leadership in an organization driven by mission and values
  • A demonstrated record of leadership in fostering comprehensive organizational approaches to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Energetic, self-driven, curious, and relentlessly focused on building inclusive high-performance teams that are continually improving
  • Culturally and globally respectful and self-aware
  • A track record of getting results using collaborative and strategic project management and organizational skills
  • Experience with core concepts of human resources (e. g., recruitment pipelines, talent development, employment law, compensation philosophies, organizational planning, employee relations)
  • Kind, empathetic, humble, direct, mission-driven, flexible, influential with a very high degree of personal integrity including the ability to manage sensitive or confidential information
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • A good listener who focuses on the root causes of issues, listens to understand, and makes connections between qualitative and quantitative information
  • Familiarity with various talent management technology tools
  • Bachelor’s Degree required, advanced degree or HR certification preferred

Interested candidates can apply for the position here.