Organization: FIRST

Location: Manchester, NH

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Who We Are:

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the not-for-profit organization designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

What We’re Looking For:

FIRST is experiencing exciting growth and interest in their programs throughout the country and the world. To help maintain and fuel that growth, the organization seeks an experienced and creative Director of People and Organizational Development to help FIRST create best-in-class programs and strategies for employees and volunteers alike. The Director is an integral part of the senior leadership team and will be responsible for all aspects of organizational development, performance management, talent recruitment and leadership development. The Director will be expected to quickly provide leadership and oversight to existing programs and also to think creatively about the approach to talent issues at FIRST moving forward.

The Director of People and Organizational Development position is located in FIRST headquarters in Manchester, NH, is full-time and will report directly to the President. This is a tremendous opportunity for a strong leader to help FIRST implement programming designed to achieve organization-wide talent objectives and ensure great experiences for employees and volunteers alike.


Strategic management and planning

  • Provide leadership to the Human Resources staff and continually assess programs to assure the group’s contribution to the mission of the organization.
  • Develop appropriate procedures and policies for effective management of the people resources of the organization.
  • Design and execute on operational HR plans that align to the strategic and tactical business plans for the organization as a whole.
  • Develop human resources planning models, identify gaps and then design appropriate programs in the areas of talent management, leadership development, succession planning and training and development.
  • Establish credibility at all levels of the organization as an effective listener and a solution-enabler regarding talent-related opportunities, topics and issues.
  • Participate in the development of the overall organization’s plans as a strategic partner with a particular focus on how to best engage and inspire people to help achieve the organization’s mission.

Talent Acquisition

  • Develop staffing strategies and implementation plans designed to identify top talent both within and outside the organization. Identify effective and appropriate external sources of talent for positions at all levels.
  • Evaluate and advise on the impact of new programs or regulations on the ability of FIRST to attract, motivate, develop and retain critical people resources throughout the organization.
  • Put systems in place that allow the organization to encourage the full development and performance of all employees and embrace and support applicants and employees of all backgrounds.

Performance Management and Professional Development

  • Develop, manage and continually improve the organizations performance management, feedback and recognition systems
  • Develop and execute effective training programs and education opportunities with a focus on leadership development for the organization.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Develop best-in-class compensation and benefits programs to provide motivation and recognition for effective performance and to serve as a tool to recruit and retain top talent.
  • Develop programs that reflect an employee-organization partnership for the short- and long-term health of the organization and its employees.
  • Assess the competitiveness of people-related programs against the relevant market.

People Engagement and Culture

  • Serve as a culture evangelist in the organization, demonstrating high personal engagement and a commitment to the mission of the organization.
  • Demonstrate and contribute to a culture of transparency where employees feel empowered with information.
  • Combine a strong work ethic with a recognition of the importance of humor, lightness and fun in a work environment.


  • Extensive experience and depth of knowledge in Human Resources and in successfully motivating and engaging people.
  • 10+ years of directly related experience; management experience required.
  • Exceptional presentation skills and the ability to successfully represent FIRST both externally and internally.
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to contribute to organizational strategy and programming.
  • Demonstrated passion for social engagement and the mission of FIRST
  • Strong communication skills with the ability to quickly form trusting relationships and earn the respect and confidence of employees.
  • Ability to set strategy and then execute on that strategy; comfortable with an all-hands-on-deck environment.
  • Successful experience in managing teams and budgets.
  • Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) in a related field; Master’s degree preferred.

Compensation & Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

To Apply:

FIRST has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Erin Reedy via our online application link:

FIRST 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 nonprofits 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 about Koya Leadership Partners, visit