Chief Diversity and Human Resources Officer

Chief Diversity and Human Resources Officer

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

New York, NY   |   January 6, 2021

About Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, and other manifestations of visual culture, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods. The Guggenheim realizes this mission through exceptional exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim strives to engage and educate an increasingly diverse international audience through its unique network of museums and partnerships. The Foundation is committed to nurturing an equitable, inclusive, and accessible work culture and promoting diversity among staff and visitors. With nearly three million annual visitors worldwide, the Guggenheim and its network is one of the most visited cultural institutions in the world.

An internationally renowned art museum and one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century, the Guggenheim Museum in New York is at once a vital cultural center, an educational institution, and the heart of an international network of museums. Visitors can experience special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, lectures by artists and critics, performances and film screenings, classes for teens and adults, and daily tours of the galleries led by museum educators. Founded on a collection of early modern masterpieces, the Guggenheim Museum today is an ever-evolving institution devoted to the art of the 20th century and beyond.

In 2008, the Guggenheim was designated a National Historic Landmark; in 2015, along with nine other buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the building was nominated by the United States to be included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List and was inscribed to the list in 2019.

The Guggenheim’s international presence is significant. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, established in 1951, is one of Europe’s premier museums devoted to modern art and is the second most frequently visited museum in Venice. At the core of the museum’s holdings is Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection of 20th-century art comprised of masterpieces ranging in style from Cubism and Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism. When it opened in 1997, the Frank Gehry–designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao—a spectacular structure made of titanium, glass, and limestone—was hailed as the most important building of its time. Located in the Basque city of Bilbao in northern Spain, the museum features exhibitions organized by the Guggenheim Foundation and by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, as well as selections from the permanent collection of the Guggenheim museums. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, currently under development, will be a preeminent platform for contemporary art and culture that presents the most important artistic achievements of our time. From its location in the Middle East—a central axis between Europe, Asia, and Africa—the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will contribute to a more inclusive and expansive view of art history that emphasizes the convergence of local, regional, and international sources of creative inspiration rather than geography or nationality.

For more information on the Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, please visit www.guggenheim.org.

Guggenheim’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion

In November 2019, the Guggenheim engaged over two hundred staff members across the organization on a Listening Tour, with the aim of better understanding staff member perspectives and experiences vis-à-vis the organizational commitment to Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI). Each department within the institution contributed to the collective vision for action as represented in Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) Plan. The Guggenheim has pledged to endeavor to work continuously to eliminate structural barriers to access and opportunity, and to embed equity in all they do, and has published the following statement to guide them in their process:

We, the staff and leadership of the Guggenheim, are dedicating ourselves to creating paths that lead to a more inclusive and diverse institution. We must not only diversify our team, but also amplify the voices of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) and broaden the scope of thought and perspectives within our museum. Communities across the country continue to experience trauma and anguish as the nation confronts hundreds of years of sustained injustices due to systemic racism. We aspire to center the voices of BIPOC communities because, historically, they have been the most marginalized and disenfranchised. We must reflect the plurality of our culture and our global audience.

Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) Plan: August 2020–August 2022

The DEAI Plan enumerates actions and priorities in the following areas:

  • Staffing and Culture
  • Board Diversification and Governance
  • Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and Publications
  • Audience Engagement
  • Vision of Success

We as an institution commit to the following vision of success:

  • An equitable and inclusive professional environment for all staff
  • A welcoming experience for all visitors
  • Actively diversifying our museum and our field by supporting current, emerging, and future professionals who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color
  • Programs and partnerships that amplify diverse voices and create shared authority
  • Support from the board of trustees and senior leadership to realize these plans, including the necessary allocation of resources and prioritization of fundraising efforts
  • Regular progress reports to the board and staff to ensure transparency, accountability, and collective feedback

The actions outlined in this plan cannot dismantle the structural inequities within our society or undo the ways in which institutions like ours have played in benefiting from such inequalities. However, the plan can and will address steps we are committed to taking as an institution to become a more equitable place. We are documenting these actions in hopes of nurturing mutual growth and accountability as a community.

For more information on DEAI at the Guggenheim, please visit https://guggenheim.org/foundation/diversity-equity-access-and-inclusion.

The Opportunity

As a newly created role for the Guggenheim, the Chief Diversity and Human Resources Officer (CDHRO) will be a prominent leader for the institution and its constituents and report to the director, Richard Armstrong. The individual will serve on the director’s senior leadership team as one of the Deputy Directors of the museum. Charged with providing comprehensive oversight, planning and management of all human resources functions of the Guggenheim, the selected candidate 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 and equitable workplace culture.

The incoming CDHRO will join a senior leadership team as a collaborative partner and will foster an environment of strategic thinking around employee engagement. The selected candidate will build a strong department that is involved, trusted, and depended upon to guide the institution in human resources and diversity and equity matters, and one that produces results and has broad internal and external impact. Structural change management experience will therefore be critical as well as cultural redirection that will address communication, inclusiveness, honesty, and a team-oriented philosophy. With a new union just formed, experience in managing labor relationships will be expected.

Key objectives and responsibilities of the CDHRO include:

  • Establish the CDHRO function as a respected and vital role in the organization; be a support mechanism to all employees, the director and his leadership team, as well as to the Board.
  • Oversee, monitor, and develop 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 “best in class” planning and execution related to the function and change management strategies, and related organizational development and structure.
  • Oversee and coordinate human resources team recruiting and selection process across Guggenheim’s global footprint as required, with special emphasis on designing and implementing strategies and protocols to build the capacity of all departments to interview, hire, and retain a broadly diverse work force.
  • Oversee compensation and benefits strategy to ensure equitable treatment and industry alignment and make recommendations as appropriate to the Compensation Committee of the Board.
  • Develop, launch, and lead a development/performance management culture which aligns the values; lead the design process of the program; and oversee a system of regular staff evaluation to ensure applicability and relevancy to the institutional rewards philosophy and the functional and personal goals of the staff within Guggenheim.
  • Develop and implement strategies that demonstrate employee value and appreciation.
  • Design and implement strategies, including ongoing education programs, to build the capacity of all staff to work effectively, respectfully, and equitably in alignment with the DEAI Plan.
  • Work closely with leadership to implement innovative staff orientation and on-boarding programs in addition to coaching, counseling and training/professional development opportunities.
  • Educate 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.
  • Champion an environment that continues team building and increases communication across the organization.
  • Ensure Guggenheim’s 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.
  • Manage HR operations and systems, including overseeing a team of HR staff.
Candidate Profile

The Chief Diversity and Human Resources Officer of the Guggenheim will be an experienced human resources change agent who can celebrate the traditions, history and culture of the Guggenheim while simultaneously leading a forward thinking, well respected and effective human resources function. Recognizing the work already underway in changing the infrastructure, there will be a continued emphasis on embedding and celebrating a new culture and one that is focused on equity and inclusion. An exceptional communicator, the incoming CDHRO will demonstrate an ability to reposition the human resources function within the Guggenheim by engendering trust across the employee base, a wide range of artists, administrators, board members, and patrons.

As both a champion of and advocate for inclusion, the CDHRO will preserve the traditions and core values of the Guggenheim while serving as a change agent and influencer within its infrastructure. An exceptional human resource professional, the successful candidate will possess a broad knowledge of and experience in organizational development, employee relations, compensation design and strategy, recruiting, coaching and training, and best practices in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. The CDHRO will act as a trusted strategic and tactical partner to leadership, especially to the Director, and will provide strong mentorship to the human resources team which will seek support and guidance as plans unfold. The successful candidate will also possess many of the following competencies and characteristics:

  • Strong EQ and IQ; evident interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and collegially within a multi-faceted arts organization and across a variety of stakeholders while effecting and leading change where needed.
  • A leader who is goal oriented; one who understands what needs to be done and ensures successful execution.
  • Demonstrated track record leading, implementing, and communicating large-scale change management initiatives in a complex organization.
  • Experience in building and implementing a robust employee relations strategy and structure within a complex, matrixed environment, and ensure that all related matters are noted accurately and managed appropriately.
  • Some experience in a global environment – specifically in talent acquisition.
  • Demonstrated experience in the learning and development space to lead and develop an agenda focused in individual and team-based development, resilience, and human resources as well as support the senior leadership team.
  • Excellent listening, verbal, and written communications skills; ability to influence across all levels of the organization; unparalleled personal integrity, discretion, and tact.
  • Clear experience in organizational development, compensation, employee relations, and training and development.
  • Active affiliation with a broad range of professional networks and organizations and ongoing community involvement.

In addition, strong candidates will offer:

  • Fifteen plus years of progressive leadership experience and responsibilities in human resources positions.
  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, preferably in human resources, organizational development or related field.
  • Experience with private sector and non-profit cultural organizations welcomed.
Compensation

The Guggenheim offers a competitive salary and excellent medical, dental, life, disability, and retirement plan coverage. Staff also enjoys generous vacation, sick leave and personal days, access to a variety of cultural institutions, discounts to museum stores, and a stimulating and collegial work environment.

Contact

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has engaged Koya Partners to help in this hire. Managing Directors, Judy Boreham and Amy Sugin are leading this search. To express your interest or offer recommendations for this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

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The Guggenheim is dedicating itself to creating paths that lead to a more inclusive and diverse institution. We encourage inquiries from applicants who will reflect the plurality of our culture and our global audience. The Guggenheim does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, religion, marital status, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, or disability status.

 

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 www.koyapartners.com.