Vice President, Human Resources

Reports to: Chief Operating Officer
Staff reporting to this position: Various Human Resources staff
Department: Administration
Position classification: Exempt, full time
Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


American Progress is seeking a mission-driven, energetic, strategic leader who is deeply committed to the values of American Progress and its mission to improve the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country. The ideal candidate will be an extraordinary leader of unquestioned personal and professional integrity and operational excellence. They will have the tenacity and drive to build and strengthen organizational culture and recruit, develop, and elevate current and future leaders of the progressive movement. This is an opportunity to make a mark at a key moment in the organization’s history and work alongside dedicated, highly motivated colleagues. The individual will have strong contemporary people and human resources capabilities with a proven track record in building an employee-centric culture.

The Vice President of Human Resources is responsible for ensuring that American Progress’ employment practices and all Human Resources functions are congruent with the organization’s core values and are compliant with all state and federal legal requirements. The Vice President will be a strategic business partner of the organization’s Executive team, charged with providing leadership that supports high performance and strong team culture across all departments.

The Vice President will lead a team of seven human resources professionals, focusing on the areas of recruitment, compliance, employee relations, performance, and benefits for all staff. The Vice President will be responsible for setting, enforcing, and evaluating legally compliant human resources policies, procedures, and best practices, as well as identifying and implementing long-range strategic talent-management goals.


  • Spearhead talent-management strategies to support American Progress’ long-term mission and goals.
  • Lead the Human Resources team in prioritizing a data-driven approach to identify key priorities, assess challenges, and collaborate with relevant stakeholders.
  • Identify and codify key performance indicators for the organization’s human resources and talent management functions, assessing the organization’s success and market competitiveness based on these measures, metrics, and analytics.
  • Serve as a strategic business partner to the Executive team to achieve organizational priorities, proactively plan for talent strategy implementation, and problem-solve as needed.
  • Partner with the Executive team to build strong employee engagement and culture.
  • Facilitate and oversee research to ensure American Progress has competitive compensation, benefits, performance appraisal, and employee incentive programs.
  • Stay abreast of larger workforce and industry trends by participating in external opportunities such as professional development, networking conferences, and events.
  • Manage and oversee the organization’s staffing budget and budget for the Human Resources team.
  • Maintain knowledge of laws, regulations, and best practices in employment law, human resources, and talent management. Ensure compliance with employment; benefits; insurance; safety; and other laws, regulations, and requirements.
  • Revise American Progress’ approach to titling. Set new metrics for benchmarking on titles and compensation.
  • Conceptualize and execute a new performance management system to improve feedback across teams.

Requirements and qualifications:

Setting strategy

  • Ability to formulate and present strategy and policy at a high level and to provide collaborative leadership in the development of policies, directions, new approaches, and methodologies in the assigned areas for American Progress.
  • Take a data-driven approach to identify key performance indicators for the talent and human resources function.

Executing for results

  • Ability to set clear and challenging goals; act as a change agent committing the organization to improve performance; and be tenacious and accountable in driving results.
  • Ability to seek data and input from others to foresee possible threats or unintended circumstances from decisions.
  • Comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty as well as the ability to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations.
  • A self-starter who can manage multiple projects simultaneously and maintain focus on priorities, acting with decisiveness, resilience, and integrity.
  • Excellent judgement and models respect and discretion.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.

Leading teams

  • Leads by example and demonstrates the ability to attract and recruit top talent, motivate the team, delegate effectively, celebrate diversity within the team, and manage performance; widely viewed as a strong developer of others.
  • A self-reflective leader who is aware of their own limitations; leads by example with an attitude of continuous improvement by being open to feedback and self-improvement.

Relationships and influence

  • Naturally connects and builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.
  • Inspires trust and buy-in from others through both collaboration and compelling influence, passion, and active drive.
  • Encourages others to share the spotlight and visibly celebrates and supports the success of the team.
  • Creates a sense of purpose and meaning for the team that generates engagement and engages others in the greater purpose of the organization as a whole.
  • Political sensitivity and the ability to relate and work effectively and strategically with colleagues and partners at all levels.
  • Excellent interpersonal and conflict resolution skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Demonstrated personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, displaying cultural competence while operating in an environment with a wide range of constituents and communities.
  • Demonstrated ability and track record in translating an organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion into specific strategies and actions, including advancing and sustaining an organizational culture that reflects these values.

Personal characteristics

  • Strong executive presence, integrity, transparency, respect, good judgment, and competence.
  • Highly accountable.
  • Creative problem-solver who is results oriented with a customer-focused mindset and who can initiate new ideas and perspectives to existing procedures.
  • Recognition and comfort with American Progress’ values and willingness to embrace the commitment to mission and community.

Education and experience

  • At least 10 years of experience in human resources management is required; experience with strategic, talent management, and/or business development is highly preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field; a master’s degree or Juris Doctor is highly preferred.
  • A Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) certified professional or senior certified professional credential is strongly preferred.
  • Experience leading diversity, equity, and inclusion work and initiatives within an organization.
  • Experience developing and leading a human resources function with a hybrid, diverse workforce.
  • Experience recruiting in an organization with ongoing recruitment cycles.
  • Ability to handle highly sensitive information and confidential documents appropriately.
  • A thorough knowledge of employment-related laws and regulations.
  • Knowledge of and experience with varied human resource information systems.

American Progress offers a full and competitive benefits package. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is not represented by a union.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the levels of community spread and adjust plans as needed for in-office work. Any changes to our current hybrid work policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.

Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to

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