Vice President of People and Culture

Location San Francisco, CA 94111
Date Posted February 17, 2022
Job ID 8072
Employment Type Retained
Scion Executive Search has been retained to conduct a search for the incoming Vice President of People and Culture on behalf of our impactful client, Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC); a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, whose mission is to inform and improve public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. This is an extraordinary opportunity to serve in a position of executive leadership at a dynamic, data-driven nonprofit that is committed to building a brighter future for California. This position is based in beautiful San Francisco, California.

About Public Policy Institute of California:

Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) provides essential information and frames policy debates about the issues that matter most to California. PPIC offers high-quality research and analysis to a broad policy-oriented audience, encouraging productive dialogue and inspiring the search for sustainable policy solutions in Sacramento and around the state. Institute events feature viewpoints from across the political spectrum and promote thoughtful and respectful discussions on critical issues facing California.

Purpose of the Role:

The Public Policy Institute of California seeks a Vice President of People and Culture to ensure that the institute’s staff have a strong and forward-looking human resources infrastructure, including systems, training, and support. This senior role will lead PPIC’s human resources and organizational development, as well as oversee people operations, talent acquisition, employee growth, and internal communications. The role is responsible for framing and executing all things related to organizational culture and health, in alignment with PPIC’s values and in service of PPIC’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work. PPIC’s staff represent a diversity of backgrounds and experiences and together we are working towards building an organizational culture that fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion, one where all employees feel valued. This position will lead, advise, and collaborate with managers and employees across the institute in advancing and integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion values into the fabric and structure of PPIC. The Vice President of People and Culture will report directly to the President, and will play a vital and strategic role as part of the seven-member Executive Team.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Lead and execute human resources strategies that effectively communicate and support the organization’s mission, strategic vision, and overall objectives.
  • Maintain deep human resources expertise that highlights knowledge of compliance and legal requirements for employers, while also understanding people dynamics, needs, and performance management issues.
  • Center values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
    • Continuing to build upon work to date at PPIC on a framework for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization.
    • Develop and implement human resource policies, procedures, practices, and functions across the organization, including recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training, compensation, benefits, and professional development and advancement through a DEI lens.
  • Recruitment, Team Development, and Performance
    • Create a long-term recruitment strategy and manage the recruiting effort to achieve ambitious hiring goals of attracting and retaining the most diverse and qualified talent.
    • Define reasonable retention expectations, develop a long-term strategy towards that, and implement the tools and tactics to sustain it.
    • Lead, coach, and create pathways to develop team members, including overseeing performance management and professional development.
    • Consult on employee onboarding, organizational training, and development initiatives within leadership and across departments.
    • Refine, streamline, and implement systems and processes to effectively meet needs across the employee lifecycle.
  • Organizational Culture
    • Represent and advocate for employee needs to ensure a positive, fulfilling, and meaningful experience from recruiting through off-boarding.
    • Focus on employee empowerment and wellness in addition to attracting and retaining the most diverse and qualified talent.
    • Serve as a leader, mentor, and trusted advisor to staff members and ensure they have what they need to achieve their highest performance and growth potential, including representing the executive team to staff employee resource groups.
    • Build relationships across the organization and generate excitement as milestones and momentum are achieved by communicating and effectively executing the vision for employee engagement.
    • Lead community building activities internally with an emphasis on building a culture that explicitly recognizes the value of each member of the PPIC community and holds a safe space that allows for learning and growth.
Key Attributes:
  • 10+ years of human resources leadership expertise, including direct responsibility for designing and successfully implementing equity and inclusion strategies and tactics in organizational environments that are relevant to PPIC.
  • Solid expertise in all aspects of Human Resources functions, including but not limited to:
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Recruiting and Staffing
    • Safety and Compliance
    • Training and Development
    • Talent Management
  • Experience and demonstrable ability to work closely and productively with people from various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, educational, religious, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, and generational backgrounds.
  • Demonstrable understanding of issues that negatively affect employees of PPIC and communities in California including, but not limited to: anti-Blackness, anti-brownness, structural racism, gender policing, anti-immigrant pressures, and many of the other societal stressors that have an inordinate impact LBGTQ communities and communities of color.
  • Expertise in and willingness to learn more about harm reduction strategies, trauma-informed practices, and restorative justice.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills, a high degree of emotional intelligence, confidentiality, and collaboration, empathetic in your relationships towards others, skilled listener and astute at absorbing organizational needs and priorities from leadership.
  • Experience in change management.
  • Proficient in creating powerful and compelling written and oral communications.
Equal Employer Opportunity (EEO) statement:

PPIC celebrates diversity and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to building a team that represents the backgrounds, perspectives, identities, and skills of California. No matter who you are, we invite you to apply for this role.

Compensation and Benefits:

This role offers a competitive base salary between $175,000 to $200,000 DOE, plus a generous benefit package, excellent work environment, and an exciting mission that will inspire you daily! This incredible opportunity provides a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance. PPIC will generously participate in the Vice President of Human Resources’ retirement plan at a contribution equivalent to 14% of the salary offered. The organization provides 11 paid holidays and 28 days of PTO annually (PTO balance increases with tenure) and more!

Applications and Nominations:

Public Policy Institute of California has retained the services of Scion Executive Search, a national executive search firm specializing in mission-driven organization recruitment, to assist in conducting this important search. For immediate consideration please apply with your resume and cover letter, formatted in Microsoft Word, via:

Please address applications to:

Elizabeth Crimmins, National Executive Search Principal
Scion Executive Search
(888) 487-8850

Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.

About our Firm:
Scion Executive Search ( is a national award-winning executive search firm! Since 2006, we have had the pleasure of successfully placing hundreds of exceptional leaders to organizations with incredible missions and programs. Through our innovative team building and recruitment solutions, we seamlessly bridge the gap in interim and executive searches. Our track record and recruitment process has made us one of the top recruitment firms in the nation.

We are proud to be part of the Forbes lists of the Best Executive Search Firms and the Best Recruitment Firms in America. Additionally, we have been recognized as a recruitment leader by ClearlyRated, as well as a top recruitment firm by The Business Times for over ten years running. More information about Scion Executive Search can be found at

Scion Executive Search, a division of Scion Staffing, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and service provider and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation or belief, or any other protected class. We are committed to the principles of Equal Opportunity Employment and are dedicated to making employment decisions based on merit and value, for ourselves, our client companies, and for the candidates we represent. We are committed to the principles of Equal Opportunity Employment and are dedicated to making employment decisions based on merit and value, for ourselves, our client companies, and for the candidates we represent. For opportunities located in a region that have enacted fair chance, arrest or conviction-based employment ordinances, Scion Executive Search proactively follows the enacted guidance and considers for employment all qualified applications with arrest and conviction records. We believe in following best practices and considering all qualified applicants that apply with us.

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