Senior Director, Talent & Culture

Website GAIAnoburn GAIA

Nothing and no one should be disposable

Senior Director, Talent + Culture 

GAIA is a global network of grassroots organizations and national alliances in over 90 countries working toward a just and zero-waste world without incineration. We see waste, plastics, and their resulting pollution as symptoms of a larger, profit-driven extractive economy, and we aim to power a transition towards circular systems that support people’s right to a safe and healthy environment. This entails fighting pollution and building regenerative solutions in cities through local campaigns, advocating for shifts in policy and finance, leading collaborative research and communication initiatives, and supporting movement building. 

Learn more about who we are.

GAIA’s U.S. nonprofit organization plays an important role in our global network, providing infrastructure support for the network’s offices, growing team, and membership in the U.S. and other countries, including help with fundraising, staff and financial management, and fiscal sponsorship. Our main office is located in Berkeley, California, and will support a team of 20 staff working with two other regional offices and over 30 consultants as well as many member organizations spread around the world.

We are searching for an innovative human resource professional to lead an operations & finance team with an outstanding staff management track record. The Senior Director, Talent & Culture will be responsible for GAIA’s talent systems, supervise three or more direct reports, oversee grantmaking and budgeting systems for our U.S. organization, support GAIA’s U.S. Board of Directors, and manage our international team’s knowledge-sharing platforms. As an integral member of GAIA’s senior management team, the Senior Director, Talent & Culture will also be charged with stewarding an inclusive and equity-oriented culture, developing and implementing program planning and evaluation systems, and supporting internal communication, feedback loops, and alignment. This is an exempt, full-time, salaried position that reports to GAIA’s U.S. Executive Director. 

On a daily level, the person in this role will lead work to build and establish new systems that address priority needs, including building DEI into our plans and policies, new approaches to monitoring and evaluation, providing operational support in a remote and trans-local organizing environment, and tackling other emergent or smaller special projects, as well as oversight and maintenance of existing systems for personnel management, operations, and team coordination.

This is an outstanding opportunity for a skilled professional in non-profit operations, with a proven track record of creative problem-solving, to join an innovative and vibrant global network working in service to grassroots movements for social and environmental justice.


Talent Systems (20 percent)

  • Lead in maintaining and developing best practices across all areas of talent management and culture, including recruitment, hiring, professional development, staff management, performance evaluations, promotion pathways, and employee retention plans
  • Build and deliver long-term, data-driven professional development pathways and plans that positively impact individual and team performance, leadership, and strategic goals
  • In collaboration with the Leadership Team, maintain a supportive and positive workplace culture and work environment
  • Maintain and improve robust, consistent onboarding procedures to welcome and orient new employees with the knowledge and support to thrive from the outset
  • Manage employee engagement processes, including developing and analyzing an annual staff culture survey and co-leading efforts to track organizational progress and integrate feedback into policies and practices
  • Manage periodic compensation analyses to ensure staff are compensated competitively and equitably

Human Relations (20 percent)

  • Oversee maintenance of employee handbook, including evaluating all human resources policies and procedures and identifying and implementing policy improvements
  • Provide support and guidance to management and other staff when complex and sensitive issues arise, including providing reasonable accommodations
  • Maintain compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations; reviewing policies and practices to maintain compliance
  • Maintain knowledge of trends, best practices, regulatory changes, and new technologies in human resources, talent management, and employment law
  • Serve as a point person for Employee Relations, including confidential and sensitive personnel issues that require follow-up and consultation with the Executive Director (ED) as needed, and management of the confidential internal grievance process 
  • Coordinate GAIA’s annual performance evaluation process set staffing priorities, and work with the ED and fellow Directors to assign accountabilities and establish staff performance and development goals.
  • Work with the ED and Regional Coordinators to monitor and supervise regular contractors and build as much equity as possible into our relationships with international consultants who serve GAIA’s team.
  • Coordinate approval of staff timesheets and requests for paid time off with supervisors.
  • Manage the relationship with GAIA’s fiscally sponsored projects to ensure legal and contractual compliance with GAIA’s HR policies, benefits, training, and employee resources.

Team and Board Leadership, Evaluation, & Management (40 percent)

  • Facilitate U.S. team meetings and team building activities, as well as management team meetings, and support other team processes through facilitation and coordination as needed.
  • Seek out and champion opportunities to further diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-imperialism, and anti-oppression in all aspects of our work. This could include: creating and rolling out learning opportunities that build staff knowledge and skills, creating an internal DEI team (with consultant support as helpful), and coordinating with other regional teams on approach.
  • Support the development of annual work plans and the sharing of information between regional teams and programs, and track team workloads and adjustments to staff assignments.
  • Develop a streamlined monitoring and evaluation system for the network, in collaboration with GAIA’s Regional Coordinators and cross-regional workgroup leads, and work with the ED to develop an annual summary of network-wide lessons learned and reporting data to be shared with partners, allies, members, and donors.
  • Provide support to the ED in organizing quarterly Board meetings, including one annual in-person meeting. This includes developing meeting agendas and working with GAIA’s management team to create quarterly board reports on the financial health of the organization, as well as programmatic and team well-being reports.
  • Represents GAIA’s team in Board meetings and phone calls, and work with our U.S. Board Secretary to maintain minutes and accurately record decisions.
  • Work with Board members to lead critical board committee projects — such as recruitment of new board members and policy reviews.

Operations Management (20 percent)

  • Lead the operations team of four people to ensure smooth daily functioning and support of campaigns, including managing at least two direct reports and projects, delegating effectively, and flexing style to meet individual needs.
  • Work with GAIA’s U.S. Executive Director, Finance Director, GAIA’s Regional Coordinators, and other program leads to assist with organizational and program/project budget development, as needed.
  • Work with the Finance Director on budget analysis and planning related to staffing and HR.
  • Maintain and improve key systems, tools, and technology, and regularly identify gaps where processes and/or communications practices should be updated or formalized. 
  • As needed, review and approve GAIA expenses when Executive Director and Associate Director are unavailable, including but not limited to: check/reimbursement requests, grants and contracts, and wires.



  • 5-7 years of professional experience in non-profit human resources.
  • Familiarity with people management principles and a proven track record of innovating to improve beyond best practices.
  • Excellent organizational, coaching, and leadership skills. Experience creating strong relationships with remote team members, and/or building team culture in a virtual setting, and demonstrated ability to lead and support teams across gender, race, class, sexual orientation, nationality, and other identities.
  • Track record of identifying opportunities and taking action to build inclusion and equity into organizational strategy, culture, employee engagement, and professional development. Strong insight into dynamics around oppression and identity, power, and privilege in professional settings, including international inequities. 
  • Strong project manager, highly organized and detail-oriented, capable of balancing and prioritizing concurrent projects and deadlines. Experience using technical and online systems for coordination.
  • Demonstrated experience creating and improving organizational structures, processes, and systems.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and self-awareness, commitment to growth and skill-building, comfort-seeking out feedback to identify personal blind spots. 
  • Outstanding verbal and written skills in the following: communication, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and interpersonal relationships and dynamics.
  • Experience working with and supporting grassroots organizations and their members.
  • Flexibility and positive attitude, excitement about responsive network-centric work.
  • Deep mission alignment with GAIA.


  • Experience working in one or more of the movement sectors GAIA works in or is adjacent to, including environmental and climate justice, worker rights and just transition, zero waste and circular economy, anti-racism and anti-imperialism, or gender and other social justice movements.
  • Experience working or living outside of the U.S., and/or working with international teams.
  • Experience working with finance staff and/or accountants to manage a program or organizational budget, and spreadsheet skills.
  • Experience with major donor and/or foundation fundraising.
  • Substantial experience working or volunteering for grassroots organizing or advocacy campaigns.
  • Other language skills (especially Spanish, or secondarily Portuguese, Chinese, or French).
  • Existing familiarity with GAIA and/or our members.
  • Lives in or near the San Francisco Bay Area.


  • Salary range $120,000 – $140,000, dependent on experience. The preferred location in the San Francisco Bay Area, although we are willing to consider applicants with strong qualifications from anywhere in the United States. 
  • Comprehensive benefits, including employer-covered health/dental insurance, paid family leave, and approximately 30 days of paid time off each year (including vacation, holidays, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day), 401k plan.
  • National and likely international travel will be required when safe considering pandemic restrictions (eventually 20 percent). Some odd hours are required due to work with members and colleagues in other world regions.
  • We take pride in our ability to support one another’s work in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect and look forward to introducing the successful candidate to our welcoming and highly motivated team and members.


Please apply HERE and contact with any questions. Qualified applicants will be screened and shortlisted immediately, so please consider applying ASAP.  The post will remain open until filled.

We are committed to equal employment opportunity principles and providing all employees with a safe work environment free from discrimination and harassment. We welcome you regardless of your race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, age, physical ability, nationality, or any other status unrelated to the performance of the job and protected by law. GAIA practices affirmative action, and candidates from historically disadvantaged or marginalized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

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