The New York City Ballet, the largest dance organization in America, seeks a thoughtful and accomplished leader for its inaugural Senior Director for Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion. Charged with providing comprehensive oversight, planning and management of all human resources functions of NYCB, the Senior Director will be a champion of the organization’s core values and strategic commitment to attract, retain, advance and support a broadly diverse workforce of the highest level of excellence that thrives in a respectful, inclusive and equitable workplace culture. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Senior Director is a member of the senior management team, and serves as staff liaison to the Diversity Committee of the Board of Directors.
About The New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet is one of the foremost dance companies in the world, with an unparalleled repertory of ballets, nearly all created specifically for NYCB, and many of which are considered modern masterpieces. Widely acknowledged for its enduring contributions to dance, NYCB is committed to promoting creative excellence and nurturing a new generation of dancers and choreographers.
The Company was founded in 1948 by visionary arts patron Lincoln Kirstein and legendary choreographer George Balanchine, who served as Ballet Master of NYCB from its inception until his death in 1983. In 1949, Jerome Robbins joined the Company as associate artistic director and, with Balanchine, created a varied repertory that grew each season. In 1964 NYCB moved to its current home at Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater (now the David H. Koch Theater), which was built especially for Balanchine and NYCB.
From 1983 until his retirement in 2017 Peter Martins was the Company’s Ballet Master in Chief, and in February 2019 NYCB named Jonathan Stafford Artistic Director and Wendy Whelan Associate Artistic Director. The administrative management of the Company and the Koch Theater is overseen by Executive Director Katherine Brown. In 2009 Katherine Brown was named NYCB’s first-ever Executive Director, a position created to oversee the administrative management of the Company and its long-time home, the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.
Today the Company has more than 90 dancers, a 62-member orchestra, and an institute for choreography (the New York Choreographic Institute), and over 150 works in active repertory. Virtually all of its dancers come from the affiliated School of American Ballet. The Company performs a 22-week season in New York City each year, in addition to annual engagements at both its summer home at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC., and periodically at other performance venues in cities throughout the world. The Company is also responsible for the management the David H. Koch Theater, and has an annual budget of approximately $89 million.
George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein formed New York City Ballet with the goal of producing and performing a new ballet repertory that would reimagine the principles of classical dance.
The Company remains dedicated to their vision as it pursues two primary objectives:
- to preserve the ballets, dance aesthetic, and standards of excellence created and established by its founders; and
- to develop new work that draws on the creative talents of contemporary choreographers and composers and speaks to the time in which it is made.
This mission is accompanied by a commitment to expand the Company’s audience and make ballet accessible to the widest possible public through touring, education programs, the creative use of media, and other outreach efforts.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In spring 2017, NYCB launched ENTRECHAT: The New York City Ballet Initiative for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the goal of which was to expand the Company’s organizational demographics and strengthen its culture to become inclusive, equitable, and reflective of the diversity of the country. With the full support of the Board of Directors and the assistance of an outside consultant, the NYCB worked assiduously to create a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan to identify strategic priorities and specific objectives to be achieved in the next five years. Its work is guided by the following statement of commitment:
New York City Ballet pursues the highest levels of artistic excellence and innovation and, therefore, seeks to attract, retain and cultivate the most talented dancers, choreographers, musicians, designers, stage technicians and arts administrators.
To that end we are deeply committed to creating and sustaining an organizational culture that values diversity, inclusion and equity, and are inspired by Balanchine, our founder, who envisioned an authentically American expression of ballet with a company that reflects the rich cultural diversity of this nation. In pursuit of his vision, we are committed to educating, developing, and supporting an organization that embodies diversity in its many forms.
For more information on the NYCB, please visit https://www.nycballet.com.
NYCB’s workforce is a mix of union and non-union personnel. The non-union administrative staff includes approximately 130 employees, the SDHRDI’s focus for which includes overseeing recruiting and hiring as well as developing and managing all aspects of HR policies, procedures and issues. The Company’s 90+ dancers work under a collective bargaining agreement and virtually all are recruited from the affiliated training institution, The School of American Ballet (SAB), and the hiring decisions are made by the NYCB artistic team. NYCB’s 62-piece orchestra also works under a union contract and recruiting protocols are dictated by the contractual audition procedure. Thus, regarding these and 7 other unionized departments, the SDHRDI’s responsibilities do not include recruitment and hiring per se, but focus on company-wide personnel policies/practices and diversity strategies in coordination as appropriate with the Artistic Director, Executive Director, the Senior Director of Operations and the Managing Director of the David H. Koch Theater.
Key objectives and responsibilities of the Senior Director include:
- Oversee, monitor and develop (as necessary) comprehensive HR strategies, policies and practices that support the organization’s goals and needs, and that create a diverse, respectful, welcoming and inclusive work environment for all employees.
- In partnership with management, lead strategic thinking and planning related to organizational development and structure.
- Oversee and coordinate administrative staff recruiting and selection process, with special emphasis on expanding the recruiting network to attract a diverse pool of candidates of the highest caliber. Design and implement strategies and protocols to build the capacity of all departments to interview, hire and retain a broadly diverse work force. Monitor compensation and benefits to ensure equitable treatment and industry alignment.
- Design and implement strategies, including ongoing education and training programs, to build the capacity of staff to work effectively, respectfully and equitably across race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender orientation and expression and other social identities and diversity segments.
- Work closely with artistic and administrative leadership to implement effective staff orientation and on-boarding programs, in addition to coaching, counseling and training/professional development opportunities.
- Oversee a system of regular staff evaluation, provide guidance and training to supervisors to enhance effectiveness of evaluation process. Advise managers and supervisors on progressive discipline and performance improvement processes as appropriate. Conduct investigations when employee complaints or concerns are brought forth. Keep senior leadership and executive team informed of significant issues that emerge and advise on addressing them.
- Create strategies that encourage team building and increase communication across administrative departments and between administration and artistic areas. Develop and implement strategies for demonstrating employee value and appreciation. Monitor the organization’s culture to ensure that it supports the Company’s values and goals.
- Lead Company compliance with federal, state and local legal requirements (EEO, ADA, FMLA, ERISA, OSHA, etc.) Keep job knowledge up to date by participating in industry-related organizations and conferences, and maintaining and expanding professional networks.
- With the assistance of the CFO, recommend and obtain cost-effective employee benefits, monitor national benefits environment for options and cost savings. Oversee benefit orientations and training as needed.
- Formalize and oversee student internship program with an emphasis on broadening the diversity of the students participating.
- Manage HR operations and systems, including overseeing a team of two HR staff. Collaborate with Finance Department on developing annual HR budget and accomplish goals working within that budget.
The successful candidate will be a dynamic, experienced human resources professional who can celebrate the traditions and culture of the performing arts while simultaneously building a culture of equity and inclusion. An exceptional communicator, the incoming Senior Director will demonstrate an ability to engender trust across a wide range of artists, administrators, board members, and patrons. As both a champion of and advocate for inclusion, the Senior Director will preserve the traditions and core values of the NYCB while serving as a change agent and influencer within the NYCB infrastructure. An exceptional human resource professional, the successful candidate will possess a broad knowledge of and experience in organizational development, employee relations, recruiting, coaching and training, and best practices in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. The successful candidate will also possess many of the following competencies and characteristics:
- Ten plus years of progressive leadership experience and responsibilities in human resources positions;
- Strong interpersonal skills, ability to work collaboratively and collegially within a multi-faceted performing arts organization while effecting and leading change where needed;
- Experience and success in advancing organizational diversity, inclusion and equity strategies in a complex, union organization;
- Demonstrated ability to lead and develop human resources staff members;
- Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with a board of directors with tact, diplomacy, and gravitas;
- Evidence of the practice of a high level of discretion, tact and confidentiality;
- Excellent verbal and written communications skills;
- Excellent organizational skills;
- Minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, preferably in human resources, organizational development or related field.
- Specialized training in organizational development, employment law, compensation, employee relations and staff training;
- Active affiliation with a broad range of professional networks and organizations and ongoing community involvement; and
- Experience with non-profit cultural organizations and union environments.
The New York City Ballet has engaged Amy Sugin, Shavon Bell, and Malissa Brennan of Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here.
About Koya Leadership Partners
Koya Leadership Partners is a retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that partners exclusively with mission-driven clients, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our clients and ensuring they have the strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.