Director of Human Resources

Director of Human Resources

Environmental Law & Policy Center

Chicago, IL   |   October 8, 2020

About Environmental Law & Policy Center

The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) is the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization, and among the nation’s leaders. ELPC develops and leads successful strategic advocacy campaigns to improve environmental quality and protect our natural resources.

This is an extraordinary time in our nation for effective public interest environmental protection advocacy and strategic leadership. ELPC is at the forefront of this work with a sophisticated team that includes some of the nation’s top environmental attorneys, analysts and innovators.

ELPC’s team of public interest environmental entrepreneurs engage in creative business deal making with diverse interests to put into practice the belief that environmental progress and economic development can be achieved together. ELPC’s multidisciplinary staff of talented and experienced public interest attorneys, environmental business specialists, public policy advocates and communications specialists brings a strong and effective combination of skills to solve environmental problems.

ELPC’s vision embraces both smart, persuasive advocacy and sustainable development innovations to win important environmental cases and create positive solutions to protect the environment. ELPC’s teamwork approach uses legal, economic, scientific and public policy analysis, and communications advocacy tools to produce successes. ELPC’s strategic advocacy and business deal making involves proposing solutions when it opposes threats to the Midwest environment. ELPC says “yes” to better solutions; it doesn’t just say “no.”

Operating an annual budget of $8.5 million, ELPC has close to 50 employees in eight offices throughout the Midwest and Washington, D.C. ELPC works to meet two major needs: (1) public interest legal, economic and technical resources devoted to the most important environmental and natural resources issues; and (2) a strategic regional perspective as environmental issues are increasingly regional in scope and complexity and require coordinated strategies to shape public policy. ELPC provides leadership in shaping sustainable environmental development policy innovations, and effectively linking environmental progress and economic development that improves the quality of life in our Midwest communities.

ELPC was founded in 1993 after a year-long strategic planning process sponsored by seven major foundations. ELPC is led by Executive Director Howard Learner. Under Learner’s leadership and direction ELPC has achieved sustained organizational growth, a high-performing entrepreneurial culture, and a strong track record of successes on both national and regional clean energy development and pollution reduction, transportation and land use reform, and natural resources protection issues.

For more information on the Environmental Law & Policy Center, please visit

The Opportunity

ELPC is seeking a Director of Human Resources (Director of HR), to provide strategic leadership and hands-on, roll-up-the-sleeves work and solutions in response to HR needs throughout the organization. Ideal candidates will have prior experience working with non-profit and advocacy organizations, with an understanding of how to work with and support attorneys and policy advocates.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of HR will work in collaboration with leadership throughout the organization, implementing and, when needed creating effective policies, procedures, and systems to support the staff and programs. As the lead for the function, the Director of Human Resources will communicate a vision and set the tone for all employees that is consistent with the organization’s mission, goals, and values.

Among their core responsibilities, the Director of HR will:

  • Continue the development and implementation of HR strategies, policies and practices that support ELPC’s goals and needs, and nurture a diverse, respectful, welcoming and inclusive work environment for all employees.
  • Coordinate a system of regular and ongoing staff evaluation, provide guidance and training to supervisors to enhance the effectiveness of the evaluation process. Partner with the Executive Director and Deputy Director on annual compensation adjustments for staff.
  • Lead appropriate response when employee complaints or concerns are brought forth.
  • Partner with the Staff Accountant and the Deputy Director to manage employee benefits and to act as the point person to help staff understand and maximize value of these benefits.
  • Coordinate staff recruitment and hiring processes, and develop relationships and familiarity with search locations, sites, firms and techniques. Expand the recruiting process to attract a diverse pool of candidates of the highest caliber.
  • Develop and implement effective staff orientation and on-boarding programs, in addition to working with supervisors on coaching and training/professional development opportunities.
  • Serve as a management representative to ELPC’s newly-formed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to collaboratively strengthen ELPC’s practices and policies around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Lead compliance with federal, state, and local employment law in multiple jurisdictions.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

Expertise in Leadership and Talent Development

The Director of HR will bring a proven track record of building, leading and/or executing a best-in-class human resource function with a superior understanding of staff development and talent management strategies. The Director of HR will be an experienced professional with a strong expertise and background in multiple aspects of human resources, and will be a hands-on generalist, capable of leading the function individually. This leader will bring an understanding of employment law and a commitment to staying current in the field. The Director of HR will have experience creating an environment with open communication and will champion a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. They will have the proven ability to establish and implement progressive systems and structures designed to support the development and engagement of staff and overall organizational goals. The Director of HR will have the proven ability to foster and strengthen a culture of collaboration, excellence and entrepreneurship. They will bring energy, high productivity, and an attention-to-detail to their work.

Relationship Builder and Influential Communicator

The Director of HR will possess the ability to listen intently, think clearly and respond effectively, empathically and judiciously to a variety of challenges. They will garner support for all aspects of the management of human resources, including developing the internal structures and systems to support a passionate and dedicated staff. With confidence and empathy, the Director of HR will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships with diverse people and with a demonstrated ability to connect, build bridges and command respect. Critical to success in this role, the Director of HR will be inclusive, allowing for the building of consensus and promoting the recognition of teamwork.

Cultivating Culture and DEI

Charged with helping the organization continue to diversify its talent while also developing a robust, dynamic and inclusive culture, the Director of HR will work to nurture a transparent and compassionate culture where staff feels able to bring their full selves to work. The Director of HR will come to ELPC with a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Equipped with a multi-faceted understanding of the evolving DEI landscape and best practices, the Director of HR will enhance ELPC’s culture that attracts, develops and retains diverse talent. A resourceful coach and capable facilitator, the Director of HR will uphold the values of equity and inclusion in the organization.

Passion for the Mission

The Director of Human Resources will bring a personal passion and commitment to ELPC’s environmental mission as well as an appreciation and understanding of the organization’s vision, methods, and impact. They will understand what motivates ELPC’s talented staff to bring their best to what they do. An empathic, confident leader, the Director of HR will treat others with respect. They will lead by example, understanding that at times, empathy is an essential quality. The Director of HR will have an eye consistently focused on the future and how to best adapt the organization to its changing environment. This leader will embrace ELPC’s culture, while continually innovating to help expand its brand and reach. They will have a collaborative spirit and a sense of humor. Above all, the Director of HR will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values — someone who can be trusted without reservation.

Compensation & Benefits

This is a full-time position based in Chicago, IL. ELPC offers excellent medical, dental, wellness and 403(b) benefits, in addition to others. The salary range for this opportunity is $110,000-$130,000.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Marissa Delgado and George Theotokatos are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please email [email protected] All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The Environmental Law & Policy Center is an equal opportunity employer and is continually seeking to diversify its staff.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the 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 Leadership Partners, visit