Chief Human Resources Officer

New York, NY
Full Time
Executive
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve the systems of democracy and justice in the United States. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. Among our core priorities, we fight to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, strengthen checks and balances, and preserve constitutional protections in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them – in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.  

The Brennan Center has experienced unprecedented growth in the last five years – more than doubling its employee size, donations, budget, and impact. As the Brennan Center’s mission – defending democracy and justice – continues to draw more public attention, the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) must manage and optimize this growth. This is an opportune moment to bring an experienced CHRO to address the current and future human capital needs of the organization.

The CHRO will be a critical and strategic member of the Brennan Center’s executive leadership team. Partnering and collaborating across all departments and levels, the CHRO will work with senior leaders to set strategy, collaborate on organizational structure, and develop a human capital strategy that supports and aligns with the organization’s mission, strategy and goals. The CHRO will be responsible for all aspects of human capital for approximately 160 employees, including attorneys, scholars, writers, and other development, communications, and administrative staff to continue the Brennan Center’s commitment to building a fair and equitable workplace for all. 

Reporting to the Executive Director, the CHRO will lead efforts to ensure the Brennan Center meets the changing needs and expectations of its employees, while preserving the culture, values and development opportunities that make the Center effective and special. The CHRO will shepherd the important work of ensuring the Brennan Center, as an employer, embodies the values of diversity, equity and inclusion that are imbued in its mission; this will include the implementation and continued development of the Brennan Center’s ongoing DEI initiatives. 

Note: The Brennan Center operates on a hybrid schedule, with employees currently required to work in the office a minimum of three days per week. The schedule and number of in-office required days is subject to change. This position is based in New York City or Washington, D.C. It will require occasional travel as well.  
In addition, we have engaged a search firm for this role.  Therefore, please read and follow the application instructions at the end of this posting.

Responsibilities: 
  • Develop the vision and long-term strategy for the People function that aligns with the Center’s business objectives and cultural values, while supporting the company’s plans for growth and market impact.
     
  • Build on the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion – and the productive values of DEI.
     
  • Deliver proactive, strategic guidance and support for organizational planning and development initiatives that align the human resources agenda in support of key initiatives and goals.
     
  • Direct the human resources organization in developing and executing best practices to promote employee engagement and enable an engaged and motivated workforce.
     
  • Rethink the company’s talent acquisition strategy with consideration for current business needs as well as future growth plans. Ensure Brennan is efficiently recruiting, motivating, training, and developing high quality talent in all segments and organization functions. 
     
  • Develop talent development programs that fuel the organization’s creativity and capacity.
     
  • Develop the vision and long-term strategy for the People function that aligns with the Center’s business objectives and cultural values, while supporting the company’s plans for growth and market impact.
     
  • Build on the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion – and the productive values of DEI.
     
  • Deliver proactive, strategic guidance and support for organizational planning and development initiatives that align the human resources agenda in support of key initiatives and goals.
     
  • Direct the human resources organization in developing and executing best practices to promote employee engagement and enable an engaged and motivated workforce.
     
  • Rethink the company’s talent acquisition strategy with consideration for current business needs as well as future growth plans. Ensure Brennan is efficiently recruiting, motivating, training, and developing high quality talent in all segments and organization functions. 
     
  • Develop talent development programs that fuel the organization’s creativity and capacity.

Qualifications:
The ideal candidate will bring a successful and progressive track record of HR positions within nimble, action-oriented organizations characterized by collaboration. This individual will have an appreciation for discipline and process but can also demonstrate flexibility and innovation.

Furthermore, this leader will have a reputation for discretion, integrity, judgment, responsiveness, strong attention to detail and common sense. Overall, the CHRO should be a hands-on self-starter and possess the ability to act autonomously in strategizing, articulating and executing human capital practices. 

In addition, the individual will demonstrate:
  • Human Resources Leadership: Significant experience leading HR in a complex, diverse, and mission driven organization, ideally with a unionized workforce. Ability to manage all areas of HR, including talent strategy, talent management/acquisition, organizational development/design, culture creation, employee relations/engagement, total rewards, and HR operations. 
     
  • Sector Expertise: Significant experience leading HR in a complex, diverse, and mission driven organization, ideally with a unionized workforce. Ability to manage all areas of HR, including talent strategy, talent management/acquisition, organizational development/design, culture creation, employee relations/engagement, total rewards, and HR operations. 
     
  • Transformation/Change Management: Track record of leading and succeeding in dynamically changing, growth-oriented environments. Ability to assess and enhance the HR function to meet the changing needs of a business, particularly across areas such as talent development, performance management, DEI, and talent acquisition. 
     
  • Stakeholder Management: Track record of leading and succeeding in dynamically changing, growth-oriented environments. Ability to assess and enhance the HR function to meet the changing needs of a business, particularly across areas such as talent development, performance management, DEI, and talent acquisition. 
     
  • Mission-Orientation: Conveys a genuine passion for the Brennan Center’s mission; values and respects the Brennan Center’s uniqueness, reputation, and impact.
     
  • Collaboration: Demonstrates a transparent and authentic orientation towards working collaboratively with others to complete shared tasks; brings others along to ensure the success of relevant organizational changes and/or initiatives; is highly visible within the Brennan Center employee population (beyond just the HR team).
     
  • Ownership/Patience: Ability to make decisions in an effective/timely manner, motivate/develop talent, while maintaining the highest levels of integrity and ethics; operates with the patience necessary to work within a dynamic, youthful and somewhat idealistic environment.

The Brennan Center is committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace. We continuously work with our staff to find new ways to increase diversity and to build and cultivate an inclusive and equitable work environment, where everyone can be their true self and feel a strong sense of belonging. As such, we seek to hire employees who have a commitment to and/or experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, we expect employees to participate/contribute with DEI initiatives or activities with recruitment, retention, and workplace culture.  

Application Instructions: 
The Brennan Center has engaged Heidrick & Struggles for this search, and applications (resume and cover letter) should be emailed directly to
[email protected]. Applications submitted via our website will not be reviewed, accepted, or forwarded to Hedrick & Struggles. Therefore, please do not apply via our website.

Compensation and Benefits: 
The salary range assigned for the scale is $280,000-$300,000 and has been determined based on market competitiveness. Additionally, we offer a very robust and competitive array of benefits such as a generous time off program, 401k plan, comprehensive health insurance (medical, dental, and vision), and wellness and office perks. 

Note: The Brennan Center is committed to public health and to the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and visitors.  As such, we have adopted a policy requiring all employees working in the New York and Washington, DC offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19, including having a booster, or to meet the legal guidelines for an exemption. 

The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center

  • Welcomes applicants with disabilities and applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities, sexual orientations, and national origin or citizenship, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
  • Hires diverse candidates and works to improve our recruitment practices to allow for such
  • Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged;
  • Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and
  • Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.
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