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Senior Vice President

New York City

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Senior Executive
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date:

Our Work

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises—including the climate crisis—to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. Founded at the call of Albert Einstein in 1933, the IRC is now at work in over 40 crisis-affected countries. We deliver lasting impact by pro viding health care, helping children learn, and empowering individuals and communities to become self-reliant, always seeking to address the inequalities facing women and girls.In 2021 the IRC and partners reached over 31.5 million people in countries affected by crisis.

The IRC is also committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of its work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those it serves. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.

The Role

Job Purpose

IRC is seeking its first Senior Vice President (SVP), People & Culture to develop and execute the organization’s strategic plan to further create a best-in-class People & Culture unit aligned with IRC’s vision, mission, and goals. IRC continues to pioneer operational and programmatic excellence in the humanitarian sector, and this exciting and rewarding new role will serve as a changemaker in advancing the wellbeing of IRC global workforce. Acting as an effective business partner, the SVP, People & Culture will be highly engaged with the CEO, senior leadership team, and Board of Directors and will provide strategic and operational solutions to the company. The ideal candidate is a highly empathetic, entrepreneurial, and emotionally intelligent executive with expertise as a “culture builder” and will be able to navigate the complexities and nuances of IRC’s purpose and diverse contexts in which we work.

The SVP People & Culture will be responsible for leading a global transformation of IRC’s global workforce culture by maximizing the full depth and breadth of the Human Resources, GEDI (Gender, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion), and Safeguarding functions and by capitalizing on the entire matrixed structure across our field programs. This includes involvement on mandates that span the entire employee lifecycle with a particular emphasis on Duty of Care & Wellbeing, Learning & Development, Inclusion, and Workplace & Client Safeguarding. Building organizational capability is a strategic imperative for the organization, requiring a targeted use of talent management as an instrument of business transformation to develop a higher-performance culture and to facilitate the delivery of outcomes to meet strategic objectives. Ultimate success will be measured not by department programs or service delivery, but long-term sustainable organizational change and workforce impact.

Whilst the role has oversight of these important functional areas the primary focus of the role is at the strategic level. This will require the application of business acumen, strong leadership, professional knowledge, and personal judgement to a variety of dynamic and complex demands. 20% of the role is dedicated to leading the IRC globally in partnership with other members of IRC’s Leadership Board.

The SVP People & Culture will support all levels of IRC in the achievement of the organization’s Strategy100 People goal. This will include translation of people strategies into tangible and practical methods that can be communicated throughout the organization as part of an ongoing culture setting, change management and performance management process. The SVP People & Culture will lead the

creation of scalable global organizational strategies and processes that build & foster the organization’s vision of a high-performance, diverse global team of employees and leaders that embody a resilient, courageous, and collaborative culture. The SVP People & Culture will be a proactive, resourceful, and pragmatic leader with a strong desire to drive high performance and transformation. This leader will provide sound advice, counsel direction and decisions to ensure mindset, competencies and required skills are aligned to the current and future growth strategies.

Key accountabilities


§  Serve as a strategic partner, advisor, and coach to the CEO, Leadership Board and Board of Directors.

§  Review and establish priorities, plans and delivery for all elements of a multi-year global People strategy.

§  Serve as chief steward and advocate of IRC’s Strategy100 People Goal as a key outcome of the organization’s strategy and enabler of client outcomes

§  Build cohesive business cases for change through high order collaboration and influencing of outcomes.

§  Lead the People and Culture function to partner with the business to deliver direct business support outcomes, ensuring the pro-active and effective operation of sub-functions within the broader team, aligned to IRC’s values and leadership principles.

§  Lead the capability development of the People and Culture team to create a performance oriented, outcomes focused and customer centric culture.

Human Resources

§  Partner with the CHRO on the development of an HR business purpose and plan which aligns to organization’s strategic agenda.

§  Support and maintain an HR team which is positioned to deliver a pro-active service to the business

§  Drive and influence innovation, championing key business transformation projects, which continually move the organization forward and support the achievement of its strategic objectives.

§  Develop/manage workforce plans to ensure resources are properly aligned to meet objectives and emerging challenges.

§  Support succession planning processes and related development initiatives.

§  Develop an ‘IRC People Brand’ to maximize employee attraction and retention

GEDI (Gender Equality, Diversity, Inclusion)

§  Champion IRC’s guiding principles: client-centered, intersectionality, decoloniality, accountability and engagement

§  Partner with the Chief GEDI Officer to execute the GEDI action plan

§  Continuously evaluate all employee policies, practices, and programs, ensuring fair, equitable and inclusive outcomes.

Wellbeing & Safeguarding

§  Be the strategic leader and champion of workplace psychosocial health, safety, and well-being for employees. Build a strong culture where health, safety and wellbeing are fully integrated in all areas of the business.

§  Partner with the Director of Safeguarding and programming leadership to drive delivery of IRC’s Safeguarding Strategy, ensuring that global Workplace and Client Safeguarding practices are best in class and taken up across all parts of IRC.

Candidate qualifications:

Senior leadership experience as a trusted advisor and business partner to the President/CEO and C-Suite leaders

Experience leading complex organization-wide transformations across large, global organizations (operating model design, culture change, employee experience)

Influenced organization design and development

Breadth and depth of experience in Human Capital / People Management to ensure effectiveness, high return on People & Culture investments and strong alignment with business strategies is a plus

International track record, can effectively and effortlessly relate to multi-cultural teams and client experiences

Drive, energy, and passion for the “human” in Human Resources / People & Culture

Possesses excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate at all levels of an organization, and influence business peers and executive teams

Proactive, self-starter with a hands-on approach; ability to balance both the strategic and operational needs of the role

Proven leader with successful track record of leading the people agenda and complex change efforts either from a business or HR function

Demonstrated affinity and passion for diversity and inclusion as a key part of organizational culture and sustaining through aligned HR programs, policies, and practices

Deep understanding and experience in driving transformative change from a culture and business perspective. Project management expertise are key

Key Candidate Competencies

Qualified candidates for this prominent position would need to demonstrate the following critical competencies:

Influencing Collaboratively - The candidate will have a successful track record of building credible relationships through proven powerful communication and persuasion skills across complex global organizations.  The ability to quickly build trust, create open channels of communication, and achieve collective buy-in is critical. The successful candidate will have strong EQ/interpersonal skills and be effective across all stakeholders including the Board, peers, and the full range of employees within the company. This leader is an integrator and must bring empathy, integrity, and authenticity to the role, getting to know the team and developing genuine and warm relationships across the organization.

Shaping Strategy - The successful candidate will be creative and capable of thinking broadly about business – not just People & Culture issues. The SVP People & Culture will have an enterprise mindset with the ability to think about the organization on a global, macro level. They will be capable of partnering with senior executives in a data-driven and insightful manner regarding people and organizational challenges. This person needs to clearly articulate the impact of organizational initiatives on company performance and operations. They should have demonstrated success in translating ambiguous business needs into strategies and concrete organizational, team, and individual development actions.

Developing Talent - The candidate will be an expert on the principles and methods of managing and developing talent. S/he will have prior experience building teams and will actively engage the team to develop plans and resolve issues through collaborative problem solving. The candidate must possess a strong track record of addressing organization needs and is able to both develop and recruit leaders to embed new skills and behaviors into an organization. The candidate will create a clear sense of team identity and hold teams accountable for meeting collective goals. S/he will be viewed as a natural leader across the organization and will have demonstrated a track record of successfully envisioning and implementing best in class leadership development initiatives that address challenges arising out of a complex organization. 

Delivering Results - The candidate will have the ability, determination, and tenacity to successfully move multiple initiatives and get things done within a large organization, being hands-on and able to get into the details as necessary. The successful candidate must be decisive and action-oriented, with a demonstrated record of getting things done in an organization where partnering and collaboration are valued skills. They will have the ability to challenge status quo by bringing contemporary industry thinking into the business and be willing to try different, creative ways to deal with business challenges and opportunities, understanding that positive outcomes are most desired.


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