Organization: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Location: Washington, DC

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Founded in 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing science, engineering and innovation for the benefit of all people. With more than 120,000 individual members in over 91 countries, AAAS is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through the Science family of journals. As one of the leading voices for science worldwide, we spearhead initiatives in policy, international cooperation and diplomacy, STEM education, public engagement and more. We strive to promote and defend the integrity of science and its use, provide a voice for science on societal issues, and strengthen and diversify the science and technology workforce.

At AAAS, you are part of a talented team, dedicated to advancing science and serving society. The AAAS seeks to “advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.” To fulfill this mission, the AAAS Board has set the following broad goals:

  • Enhance communication among scientists, engineers, and the public;
  • Promote and defend the integrity of science and its use;
  • Strengthen support for the science and technology enterprise;
  • Provide a voice for science on societal issues;
  • Promote the responsible use of science in public policy;
  • Strengthen and diversify the science and technology workforce;
  • Foster education in science and technology for everyone;
  • Increase public engagement with science and technology; and
  • Advance international cooperation in science.

This is a full-time position located in Washington, DC. For more information on AAAS, please visit

Candidate Profile:

AAAS is looking to hire a dynamic, mission-driven Director of Human Resources who will be responsible for leading and implementing human resources programs, policies, and services that enhance, support, and sustain a high-performance culture and will provide strategic operational and administrative expertise in all functional areas of human resources. This is a tremendous opportunity for a motivated human resources professional with strong leadership skills and strategic expertise to join an innovative organization.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Director of Human Resources (Director) will act as a key partner to the organization’s leadership, providing expertise on matters such as performance management and professional development, and working with the leadership on strategies for organizational development. The Director will be responsible for directing all of the people functions of the organization in accordance with the policies and practices of AAAS. They will develop and drive the implementation of HR strategies and initiatives that align with AAAS’s priorities and goals and serves to position the organization as the employer of choice by instituting best practices from within the field of human resources and organization development.

A skilled communicator and thoughtful partner, the Director will serve as a strong ambassador both internally to staff, as well as to outside constituents. The Director will be a highly strategic and accountable leader, ensuring that AAAS’s systems are efficient, accurate and secure. The Director will be a versatile and capable project manager with an organizational development perspective, experienced in navigating large-scale change and its impact on people and policies.

The Director of Human Resources at AAAS will be responsible for the following:

Key Responsibilities

  • Plans, develops, organizes, implements, directs and evaluates the organization’s human resource function and performance, including organization effectiveness. Translates the strategic and tactical business plans into HR strategic and operational plans.
  • Participates in the development of the organization’s plans and programs as a strategic partner of top management, but particularly from the perspective of the impact on people. Specifically, continues improving the programs, policies, practices and processes associated with meeting the strategic and operational people issues of the organization. Continually assesses the competitiveness of all programs and practices against the relevant comparable organizations, industries and markets.
  • Evaluates and advises on the impact of long-range planning of new programs/strategies and regulatory action as those items affect the attraction, motivation, development and retention of the people resources of the organization.
  • The Director is responsible for driving a human capital plan to meet the strategic goals of the organization through ensuring that we have the talented, motivated, diverse workforce that will fulfill our strategic goals.
  • Assesses organizational performance and effectiveness, identifies talent gaps, and proposes solutions that support the business.
  • Develops progressive and proactive compensation and benefits programs to attract talent and provide motivation, incentives and rewards for effective performance, ensuring that such programs are competitive and aligned with relevant comparable organizations.
  • Establishes credibility throughout the organization as an effective listener and problem solver of people issues.
  • Develops appropriate policies and programs for effective management of the people resources of the organization, ensuring legal compliance. Included in this area would be programs for employee relations, affirmative action, sexual harassment, employee complaints, external education and career development, among others.
  • Plans and leads organization design and change management projects to streamline and implement new structures, roles and/or processes in accordance with best practices in organization development.
  • Coaches managers on HR policies and processes, including talent planning, learning and development, and performance management to promote engagement and a culture of continuous growth and development.
  • Enhances and/or develops, implements and enforces HR policies and procedures of the organization by way of systems that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the organization. In particular, oversees the human resource information systems database and provides necessary reports for critical analyses of the HR function and the people resources of the organization.
  • Manages the budget and other financial measures of the HR department.
  • Develops and drives people engagement and organization effectiveness strategies that foster an environment where all employees are respected and valued.
  • Evaluates the HR division structure and team plan for continual improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of the group as well as for providing individuals with professional and personal growth opportunities.
  • Oversees benefits administration and benefits processes, working closely with the Benefits Manager.
  • Oversees HR related software and systems, with a strategic approach to utilize tools that result in efficiencies and better information and reports on staff for both HR and supervisors across the association.


  • At least 10 years of business and HR/talent management experience (with a minimum of five years of direct managerial responsibilities); ideal candidates will have served as the HR leader of an organization or as the senior-most HR leader of a division or service line of an organization
  • Fluency with primary HR functions including employee relations, recruitment, staff development, compensation and benefits, performance management, HR administration, and compliance
  • Understanding of best practices and experience in building inclusive and engaged workplaces
  • Experience providing HR support through organizational change (i.e. change management expertise), with exposure to acknowledged change management methods
  • Demonstrated success in managing employee relations, performance management, employee training and development
  • Track record of advising a senior management team on organizational processes and development
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with exceptional coaching, communications, and conflict resolution skills
  • Bachelor’s degree and Human Resources certification (SHRM or equivalent)
  • Passion for and commitment to the mission of AAAS

Compensation & Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


AAAS has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Turner Delano and Liz Lombard here.

AAAS is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education, and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information, visit