Director of HR Projects and Change Management

Director of HR Projects and Change Management


New York, NY, or Flexible Location: Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA; Santa Monica, CA; Washington, DC, NY   |   October 18, 2021

About the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

The Natural Resources Defense Council (“NRDC”) is the nation’s most effective environmental action organization. NRDC combines the power of more than three million members and online activists with the expertise of some 700 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.

For more than 50 years, NRDC has worked to safeguard the earth –its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. Since its founding in 1970, NRDC’s trailblazing staff have helped write some of America’s bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations. NRDC’s water enforcement cases have played a major role in shaping current water policy throughout the country.

Using a lens of justice and equity, NRDC uses law, science, and the support of its members and online activists to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places, to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things, and to prevent special interests from undermining public interests. NRDC collaborates with partners to ensure that the transformative benefits resulting from its work are available to all, including cleaner air, healthier homes, good jobs, and empowered workers, pollution-free transportation options, and greater access to affordable renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

NRDC’s work includes an investment in racial equity through its strategic emphasis on expanding and deepening its partnerships with communities that have historically borne a disproportionate bure of environmental harms. NRDC focuses on developing programs and policies that address racial equity by acknowledging that these harms have disproportionately affected communities of color and working to remove these unequal burdens and end the longstanding pattern of overlooking ignoring or actively shutting out the voices and needs of underserved communities.

Today, NRDC’s staff of lawyers, scientists, economists, policy and communications experts, and others, work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Beijing.

As more people around the world come to understand the need to join together in tackling the climate crisis, NRDC will remain a key force and leader in safeguarding the earth for our generation and those to come.

For more information about NRDC, please visit their website.

The Opportunity

A vital member of the Human Resources Team, the Director of HR Projects and Change Management (the “Director”) will lead project management, evaluation, and the adoption of effective processes to enhance cross-functional collaboration, alignment, and communication.

Reporting to the Deputy Director, Human Resources Infrastructure and Operations, the Director is a new position that will collaborate with key team members to lead and strengthen project management across the Human Resources team. The Director will lead a wide range of HR projects that may focus on Benefits, Compensation, HR Technology, Talent Development, Recruitment, and other key HR initiatives that will have a deep impact on the organization. They will work closely with a communications team embedded in HR to develop and implement effective communication and socialization strategies, as well as internal data and analytics experts.

The Director will be joining a high-growth team and be responsible for a portfolio of critical projects, ensuring stakeholders are well-informed, deliverables are on target, and overall implementation and measurement are effective. The Director will set clear and accountable goals for themself and supporting the team and ensure alignment across the organization and with strategic goals. This role is highly cross-functional and will involve collaboration with both internal and external partners.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience successfully articulating and leading cohesive change management initiatives and strategies across a portfolio of projects. The Director will engage all of NRDC’s teams in these efforts, leveraging the full breadth and depth of NRDC’s staff. This approach will be paired with thoughtful management and oversight of the HR team’s capacity and resource considerations. Most importantly, the Director will ensure appropriate sequencing of all programs and change work to enhance NRDC’s ability to adopt and adapt to change.

This opportunity calls for a versatile leader with deep operational acumen, integrity, and strong communication and interpersonal skills. Strong candidates will enjoy working in a results-oriented and mission-driven environment.

The Director’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Collaborate and build relationships across HR verticals to set operational and strategic priorities for change management that are in alignment with NRDC’s strategic plan and goals.
  • Align team functions in accordance with key HR goals that support the current and future scale of NRDC, including optimizing workflows for efficiency; leveraging technology; designing processes and systems that scale effectively; mitigating organizational risk; and adapting to the changing needs of the organization.
  • Partner with HR leadership to develop, define and monitor key metrics and evaluation methods.
  • Cultivate awareness in self and teams of the current best practices in organizational change processes, methodology, and tools, ensuring practices are attended to and followed to support the delivery of realistic and relevant project timelines and deliverables.
  • Serve as a trusted resource for HR staff on effectively leading and managing through change, both to support them as individuals and to inform NRDC’s organizational development.
  • Work with the internal communications team and other colleagues to maximize staff awareness of and engagement with HR projects, systems, and processes.
  • Coach and advise the HR team on leading transformation efforts, support them in aligning strategies to their priorities, and identify additional supports and expertise they will need to launch sustainable and effective change initiatives.
  • Monitor and strengthen change readiness and reinforcement strategies.
  • In partnership with colleagues, develop a set of metrics for evaluating projects, a learning culture practice for conducting post-project reviews, and a mechanism for reviewing implemented projects for any needed improvements.
  • Manage external consultants and project teams, providing leadership and ensuring productive communications and working conditions.
Candidate Profile

The Director will possess the following professional attributes and competencies:

Human Resources and Cross-Functional Project Management Expertise

The Director has a measurable track record of successful, progressive experience in human resources, with exposure to multiple areas, such as talent management, recruitment, compensation, technology implementations, and/or employee relations. The Director will evaluate and advise on the organization’s policies and systems concerning human resources and will have the proven ability to anticipate challenges and achieving sustainable, well-supported solutions with NRDC’s financial and personnel needs in mind. They will be analytical and data-driven, able to conceptualize and analyze challenges and corresponding solutions. The Director will have a proven track record in developing and implementing complex, cross-functional project and change management strategies that include various internal and external constituents. An innovative leader, the Director will have the capacity to form ideas that are new and enhanced while introducing constructive ways of looking at problems that foster creativity and cross-functional work.

Operational Leadership and Change Management

The Director will have demonstrated experience monitoring and measuring the impact of change on an organization’s overall strategy in a complex, growing and changing environment. The Director will lead themself and others by demonstrating the ability to pivot and respond to ambiguous and unpredictable situations. They will have experience developing processes, tools, and techniques used to advance desired organizational outcomes and manage change effectively. The Director will bring a demonstrable ability to exceed goals with a bottom-line orientation. The Director’s decision-making will demonstrate an ability to integrate logic, intuition, and sound judgment to analyze information to identify new opportunities, make decisions, and solve problems. Moreover, the Director will have the ability to set realistic priorities and expectations for change management efforts by assessing the team’s capacity, balancing requests against the realities of existing resources and sharing timely updates with colleagues. The Director will demonstrate mental agility by thinking strategically and creatively, anticipating future consequences and trends, and incorporating them into developing plans. The Director will be recognized for demonstrating and fostering a strong commitment to achieving goals in a manner that reflects thoroughness, accuracy, and quality.

Relationship Building and Collaboration

Critical to success in this role, the Director will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships across NRDC. The Director will be a natural partner with a demonstrated ability to connect and build bridges across teams and departments. The Director will work to develop relationships, identifying efficiencies and leveraging opportunities for the benefit of the organization, creating a common vision and goal that enables and enhances consensus and collaboration. The Director will be inclusive, allowing for the building of consensus and recognition of teamwork. They will thrive in an environment with open communication and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). An engaging and supportive leader, this leader will have a track record of motivating and inspiring others to achieve impact through influence and relationship building rather than direct authority.

Passion for the Mission

The ideal candidate will be passionate about NRDC’s mission and values and, as a result, will inspire and motivate others. They will have a sense of humor and be known for treating others with respect. The Director will come to NRDC with a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The Director will continually work to deepen their awareness, comfort, and confidence in addressing DEI-related issues. On the most fundamental level, the Director will believe that high-performing, inclusive HR systems and processes enable mission-driven work and be excited to play a key role in creating these systems at NRDC.

Compensation and Benefits

NRDC offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with skills and experience. Compensation for this role begins at $140,000. Internal equity considerations and the average salary of the peer range will be reviewed before making a final offer.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan, Chartise Clark and Kylie Troop of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here or email [email protected]. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet’s most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit