VP, Human Resources

Washington DC
Sep 20, 2018
Nov 07, 2018
Full Time

The VP, Human Resources, together with the President and as a member of the senior management team, will provide strategic, visionary, and compassionate leadership for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The VP, Human Resources provides strong overall leadership of the Center's human resources function, including recruitment, staffing, workforce inclusion & diversity, benefits, training and development, performance management and employee and labor relations. This position will be the chief architect of all human resources policies and practices across the organization to foster a healthy, vibrant and equitable work environment.

The position leads the HR function that serves the Kennedy Center, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera, with a total of approximately 1,500 employees, including approximately 650 Administrative (Trust) employees, 800 Union employees, and 50 Federal employees, in addition to a number of seasonal and temporary employees. This position provides overall management and direction of the Human Resources staff. Specific areas of responsibility include inclusion & diversity, recruitment, employee engagement, compensation, benefit administration, employee relations and counseling, labor relations, performance management, workforce diversity, recruitment, HRIS, training and professional development, staff management, organizational design, HR budgetary management, development of policies and procedures, and oversight of all technical aspects of departmental operations and legislative compliance as related to Human Resources.

Summary/Primary Responsibilities

45% Lead and manage organizational HR priorities for Trust, Union, and Federal staff including:

  • Ensure strong execution of Human Resources practices and services to attract, develop, and retain great talent. Continue to develop effective measurements of department quality and effectiveness. Implement strategic employee recruitment, to support the Center's cultural policy around inclusiveness and diversity as well as standards of excellence.

  • Implement and maintain an ongoing performance management process that aligns with the Center's goals.

  • Influence the employee orientation and training programs that address the Center's needs and long term strategic goals.

  • Ensure focus on talent management and learning & development.

  • Lead efforts to ensure competitive and equitable compensation and benefits programs that help enable the organization to attract, retain, and engage top talent. Engage Finance leadership on Total Rewards strategy and planning.

  • Define workplace strategies and initiatives to enhance culture and engagement of employees. Lead quarterly HR Open Forum.

  • Drive the use of data analytics, and external/internal insights to design innovative HR solutions based on short and long term needs of the organization.

  • Lead the formulation and implementation of the organization's HR objectives, policies and practices.

15% Develop appropriate policies and processes for effective management of the people resources of the organization. Included are processes for employee relations, compliance, harassment, employee complaints, learning and development, among others. Consult with legal counsel as appropriate on personnel matters; participate in complex investigative processes when necessary. Maintain knowledge of HR policies, programs, regulations and issues.

15% Provide HR vision, short & long term planning, as well as progressive human resources strategies to continue to build capacity within the HR function and the broader organization, develop strong talent pipeline, and maximize organizational development and performance. Evaluate and advise on the impact of long-range planning of new programs/strategies and regulatory action as those items affect the attraction, motivation, development and retention of the people resources of the organization.

10% Participate actively in the Center's long range planning process and implementation to ensure the human resources functions are appropriately addressed and that employees broadly and specifically support the work of the Center's goals.

5% Serve as a leadership advisor and coach to senior leadership. Provide proactive leadership with senior management and staff managers around employment related issues, coaching and personnel development and succession.

5% Oversee the budget and other financial measures of the HR department.

5% Advise on executive compensation matters and serve as a staff liaison to the Human Resources Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors.


  • Minimum of 12-15 years of progressive experience as a senior human resources leader.

  • Bachelor's degree in human resources, management or related field required.

  • Advanced degree preferred.

  • JD degree preferred.

  • HR certification preferred.

  • Federal HR experience beneficial.

Minimum Skills

  • Strong experience in all core areas of HR with added emphasis in talent management, broad scope of HR generalist work, organizational design, change management, employment and labor law, and demonstrated capability building a high-performing HR function.

  • A seasoned, visionary HR executive with demonstrated experience building HR strategy and driving progressive HR practices and execution.

  • Experience with managing union contracts and negotiations.

  • Strong critical thinking, communication, and facilitation skills; compassionate and articulate speaking skills.

  • Demonstrated success influencing and collaborating with senior leadership.

  • Strong recruiter and assessor of talent.

  • Solid metrics, analytics and financial acumen.


  • HR Expertise (tactical and strategic)

  • Relationship Management

  • Influential Leadership & Facilitation

  • HR Metrics

  • HR Compliance

  • Organizational Change

  • Union Labor Negotiation

  • Collaboration

  • Communication

  • Ethical Practice

  • Cultural Competence

  • Business Acumen and Negotiation

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world premier performing arts organization and our nation's cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. Our staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which enable us to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion. We offer a comprehensive range of benefits including medical, dental and vision insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and a 403(b) retirement plan.

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