Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion

Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion

San Francisco-Marin Food Bank

San Francisco, CA   |   June 17, 2021

About San Francisco-Marin Food Bank (SFMFB)

Since 1987, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank (SFMFB) has been on a mission to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. SFMFB envisions a community where every member is able to obtain enough nutritious food – in a dignified manner – to support the health and well-being of themselves and their families.

By the numbers:

  • 1 in 5 neighbors are at risk of hunger;
  • 55,000 households served each week;
  • 60% of food is fresh produce;
  • About 70M pounds of food distributed this year;
  • 2 major facilities in San Francisco and Marin .

The Food Bank operates through a variety of programming, including a robust food pantry network, farm to family, food pharmacies, and home-delivered groceries, 55,000 households each week. Even so, SFMFB is only serving about half of those in need. SFMFB operates facilities in both San Francisco and Marin. SFMFB distributes about 70 million pounds of food each year, providing well over 200,000 meals every day to the community, helping to bridge the meal gap that Bay Area neighbors are experiencing. The Food Bank also supports and collaborates with a network of more than 240 community organizations, including 27 Pop-Ups Pantries, some of which are drive-throughs.

The pandemic has further elevated the importance of the Food Bank’s mission to address food insecurity and its root causes. Renovations are currently underway for an expansion of the San Francisco Food Bank facility, which should be completed by mid-2022. This 32,000 square foot expansion will enable SFMFB to increase capacity to receive and efficiently serve 200,000 people every week.

The expansion will allow SFMFB to distribute food through hundreds of new partner pantries and meal programs. They will also add weekly pantries in underserved neighborhoods and food deserts.

Additionally, the increased space will add capacity to welcome more volunteers in San Francisco and Marin, and create more opportunities to support, train, and collaborate with partners, such as colleges, local healthcare institutions, and nonprofits who are also working to end hunger.

SFMFB has shown tremendous leadership through the COVID-19 crisis. The local community has rallied around the Food Bank, exemplifying the strength of the institution and its leadership position in the Bay Area.

SFMFB has an annual operating budget of about $52M, plus millions more in charitable food resources, with a projected staff of 250. The organization is a registered affiliate of Feeding America.

For more information on San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, please visit their website.

The Opportunity

At this pivotal time in its history, SFMFB seeks an inaugural mission-driven Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion (CPOEI). Reporting to the Executive Director, the Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion will be responsible for guiding, developing and executing an integrated people strategy that will advance equity across the enterprise in addition to developing a strong mission and people-centered culture. The CPOEI will support the enterprise built by the people of SFMFB and enable staff to continue operational excellency.

As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, the CPOEI will lead the HR team and position the function to build and strengthen its organizational capacity to reinforce accountability through equitable policies and practices within a union environment. They will collaborate closely with senior leaders to assess the current needs of the Food Bank and will lead efforts to define an integrated people, equity, and inclusion strategy. The CPOEI will act as a thought partner, advising on best practices as various departments develop processes and solutions that align with the overall vision for equity and inclusion. This individual will help create space for all employees to work, develop, succeed, and foster a sense of belonging. They will implement procedures and initiatives on employee learning and talent development. The CPOEI will be a clear communicator and bring a track record of rolling out effective change initiatives across an organization.

The CPOEI will need to be a skilled relationship navigator who can garner buy-in for a new vision within an institution with pre-existing culture and history. This is a change agent who brings rigor, a passion for problem-solving and an inspirational leadership style. The Food Bank is seeking a leader who is bold in their efforts to challenge the status quo and who feels comfortable navigating the challenges of diverse opinions and perspectives.

The successful candidate will bring a demonstrated understanding of the importance of a transparent, values-driven and inclusive employee culture. The CPOEI will manage the strategy, policies, and processes related to recruiting, building, rewarding and retaining a growing team of professionals with different lived experiences.

Keys to Success include:

  • Drive accountability around employee support, hiring, training, and access by focusing on positioning HR within an equity imperative and sustaining a culture of inclusion;
  • Design, develop, and communicate a clear SFMFB Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) people strategy that is aligned to the mission and critical organization outcomes;
  • Provide servant leadership to develop and advance SFMFB’s strategy as well as plan to advance Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion across initiatives and cross-functional teams;
  • Develop a strategic, thoughtful and inclusive talent acquisition and development strategy with a keen understanding of the food bank’s goals and initiatives;
  • Implement a training and development program to support long term development for all staff across the organization;
  • Collaborate cross-functionally with others to develop an integrated strategy and associated plan, embedding recommendations from cultural assessment into systems and processes;
  • Develop metrics and ongoing benchmarks that support growth as organizational capabilities and competencies evolve;
  • Build effective and transparent communication systems across teams, departments, and staff to identify opportunities for impact and trust building;
  • Serve as a thought partner and subject matter expert on equitable practices; and
  • Support and enable effective union education and relations throughout the organization.
Candidate Profile

The Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank will possess the following qualities, skills, and characteristics:

People-Centric Leader

The Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion will bring a leadership philosophy that centers staff in the work. They will be a highly responsive leader for the team, resolving immediate issues while solving root causes strategically and inclusively. The CPOEI will lead in service of staff, and by extension, the community in which SFMFB supports. They will be committed to developing staff, providing the tools, education and support to allow them to flourish in their roles. This leader will promote a culture where everyone feels valued, fostering a sense of belonging across the organization.

Relationship Builder

This leader will be emotionally intelligent and will be deeply comfortable connecting with people of different philosophies, backgrounds, and cultures. With confidence and gravitas, the CPOEI will have the ability to build trust quickly, while fostering an environment of collaboration and partnership. They will also demonstrate an ability to build bridges and lead through influence. They will work to develop relationships with the team to ensure positive outcomes for the organization, identifying organizational efficiencies and leveraging opportunities to advance the Food Bank’s mission, policies, and practices. This leader will include the perspectives of team members from across the organization while setting clear objectives for the HR function.

Transformational Leader

The Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion will be a strategic thinker and a hands-on leader with the experience to understand and balance a complex array of organizational needs. With an entrepreneurial spirit, a measurable track record of articulating Human Resource needs, and an outcome-driven mindset, the CPOEI will serve as a strategic advisor across all teams and the Senior Leadership Team. A successful CPOEI will be highly skilled in shaping of strategy, down to executing and sustaining process details. They will have the ability to clearly and consistently communicate critical areas for change, while increasing the understanding of those affected by the change. They will bring a natural ability to build consensus, challenge others to improve, and foster cohesion within the organization. An inclusive leader, they will be committed to embedding equity into human resource and organizational structures, culture, programs, and processes that guide the Food Bank internally as well as externally.

Change Agent

The Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion will bring energy to inspire the team and the community that the Food Bank serves to achieve new heights around equity and inclusion. They will have an exceptional ability to listen intently, think clearly, and respond effectively, empathically, and judiciously to a variety of challenges. This individual will be a proactive, collaborative change agent with the skills to challenge the status quo while remaining sensitive to SFMFB’s culture and place in the community. They will be experienced leading and managing organizational change, with a thorough, detailed and wide-ranging perspective on the impacts of these changes on the culture and community. This leader will garner support for all aspects of the management of equity and inclusion, including developing the internal structures and systems to support new and innovative programming. The Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion will be consultative, promoting open dialogue across SFMFB, synthesizing divergent views, and coalescing the organization around a shared and inclusive vision for equity and inclusion.

Passion for the Mission

The Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion will have a passion for the mission of SFMFB and the organization’s history, model, and potential for future impact. This leader will be driven by the opportunity to change lives and break the cycle of poverty, racism and hunger for underserved communities. They will feel a sense of ownership to accelerate change by motivating and empowering others to contribute to a shared vision and purpose. They will model openness, honesty, and accountability to colleagues. This leader will ensure the health of the Food Bank’s culture overall and proactively seek opportunities to highlight positive contributions to long term success. The Chief People Officer, Equity and Inclusion will be an empathic leader, treating others with respect.


Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. Tiara Muse and Ally Johnson are leading the engagement. To express your interest in this role or make recommendations please email [email protected].

All inquiries, nominations and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part 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 Partners, visit