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Vice President or Director of People and Culture

Full-Time Position in Oakland, CA or Washington, DC

Impact Justice is a growing organization and focused on building the internal infrastructure we need to support the incredible work we do externally. IJ launched in 2015 and now has a staff of 85 and an $18M budget. We anticipate more growth in the future and we’re looking to expand our team. It’s the people at IJ who make everything we accomplish possible – and we’re looking to hire folks who are experts at Getting It Done!

Who We Are

Impact Justice dares to dream of a humane and restorative system of justice in the United States. Through innovation, research, policy, and advocacy, we are forging a new path to a justice system that is fair to all of us. In addition to our core programs around the enforcement of the Prison Rape Elimination Act, Restorative Justice, and the Research and Action Center, we are continually adding more to our portfolio of Innovation programs. Overall, we all work to reduce the number of individuals (adults and youth) entangled in the criminal justice system, to improve conditions and outcomes for those who are currently incarcerated, and to provide opportunities to those who are rejoining communities. We employ a national team of advocates, researchers, monitors, practitioners, and experts united by this vision. We work closely with communities of color, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, gender nonconforming, and transgender communities, the formerly incarcerated, and we are continually looking for opportunities to bring those with lived experience in those communities into our teams. A majority of individuals on our current executive team identify as BIPOC and/or LGBTQ. We’re committed to living our values and to creating the kinds of equitable and inclusive team environments internally that we fight to help create in our broader communities. Check us out at

Who You Are

You are someone excited and prepared to take on leadership of our People Department and to play a key role in the organization’s cultural transformation and infrastructure development work. You have deep knowledge and experience leading human resource functions and administration, and can effectively manage people and talent issues, particularly with an eye towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, you can spot and solve DEI  issues when examining how programs and communications play out with internal and external stakeholders. You are committed to an accountability and results-oriented culture, where good management is not only prized but is also trained, coached, measured, and enforced. You are an experienced manager yourself (with an ability to devise creative and pragmatic solutions) and are adept at informally coaching individuals at all levels of an organization in a way that balances a commitment to excellence with heart. You have a practical, positive, and direct approach to communications and interactions, are empathetic, and have the ability to quickly build strong relationships (both internally and externally). You have a high-bar and discerning eye for talent and have experience that allows you to discern between those who talk a good game and those who can actually deliver (including the hidden gems).   

That said, we know there are great candidates who may not think they fit into what we’ve described above or who have important skills we haven’t thought of. If that is you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself!  And if you’re a formerly incarcerated individual or someone who has a family member who is or has been incarcerated, we will be particularly excited to hear from you.

What You Will Do

The anticipated start date for this position is as soon as possible, so please don’t delay in applying. You’ll be responsible for ensuring we have an effective talent strategy and  working with others in the organization to create and maintain an environment in which we are living our values (operationally and programmatically), and your core responsibilities will be:

  1. People Department Oversight and Development – You will own building out a People Department that is poised to serve our rapidly growing organization that we anticipate will cross the 100-person threshold in 2022. This involves managing all staff working in or for our People/HR department and ensuring that the People Department is adequately attending to all aspects of its obligations – both those that sit primarily with you and those things delegated to others – with a customer-service orientation that centers equity and inclusion at every point. This will also include working closely with external consultants and with other members of the Executive Team on those efforts/initiatives already under way. 
  1. Talent Planning and Recruiting – You will oversee recruiting and hiring moving forward, as well as developing a pipeline of future candidates. This will include making sure we’re anticipating and so are fully staffed on each team and any given time (including by working closely with Dept Heads), making a particular effort to identify, cultivate, and then recruit candidates with lived experience in those communities IJ serves. This also includes working with the HR Manager on developing/refining the organization’s overall hiring and interviewing processes to ensure hires understand and are ready to succeed in IJ’s outcome-oriented culture.  You will also play a significant role in specific hiring processes by role (e.g. posting development, recruiting strategy, screening and interviewing), with an eye toward building managerial and organizational capacity and habits that, with time, will require less support. 
  2. DEI Integration – You will own leading the organization’s efforts to integrate our commitments around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and to dismantling systems of identity-based oppression in both our internal policies and procedures and our external programs and communications.  This means that you will be asked to audit our existing policies and procedures that impact the staff experience and to identify recommended additions, modifications, or considerations. It also will entail working closely with each substantive Program Head to identify considerations where unintended consequences may disproportionately impact marginalized communities and to make recommendations on adjustments, clarifications, or communication strategies to address those concerns. You will drive the implementation of agreed-upon solutions and reporting out as appropriate to the Board, Management, Staff, and/or other stakeholders.
  3. Cultivating and Supporting Staff Belonging – You will oversee efforts to ensure that staff experience a sense of belonging (rather than assimilation or tolerance) for the entire duration of their employment – from onboarding to offboarding. You will work with your team to ensure that training and development efforts are attuned to this expectation, that Employee Resource Groups are appropriately and adequately supported and engaged, and that regular assessments of staff experience (both internal and external) are conducted and then meaningfully utilized in decision-making. You also should be prepared to serve as a point of contact for passionate staff who are oriented towards advocacy and regularly leverage those skills internally as well.
  1. Executive Team Advising You will serve as a Member of the Executive Team and will, in that capacity, be expected to identify and suggest People and DEI opportunities and unintended consequences that arise within the full range of decision-making. In many cases, you will plan and lead Executive Team discussions around cultural transformation and People-oriented infrastructure development. This may also include providing coaching to members of the Executive Team, one-on-one and as a group, to develop the awareness and competencies around DEI-informed management and leadership. This will include substantial time on strategic planning and response, both in the broad sense and on day-to-day matters.


IJ seeks a Director level candidate but will consider hiring at the Vice President level if the candidate has prior qualifying performance at that level or similar senior executive experience  – characterized by a highly strategic emphasis and independent leadership authority. The position will be paid $130,000-$150,000 at the Director level, or $150,000 to $170,000 at the Vice President level, depending on qualifications. The benefits that come with working at Impact Justice include medical, dental, and FSA plans, significant vacation and wellness leave, and immediate vesting in our 401k. This is a full-time, salaried position. We would prefer that the candidate be located in our Oakland, CA office, although we would also consider someone based in our Washington DC office. We are not considering remote staff for this position because of the relationship-building requirements for this role. There will be some regular travel as a part of this role so you can maintain a presence for staff in both of our primary locations.

If this all sounds like a good fit for you, please send your resume and a brief email or letter explaining why you are particularly interested in the role and why we should be particularly interested in you!  You can send this to Please have the subject line of the email read “[Your Last Name], [Your First Name] Application for IJ People and Culture Director. Please specify in your email or letter whether you are applying for a position at the Director level, the Vice President level, or both. 

We plan on making decisions on a rolling basis, so the earlier you apply the better. We hope to formally close the application process no later than February 20, 2022 if we have not already filled the position.    

Note that we are committed to workplace diversity and providing equal employment opportunities. Please also note that we are going to be especially excited in candidates who understand the unique nature of a mission-driven organization, have helped other organizations with cultural transformations and/or infrastructure building, have direct experience with the criminal legal or juvenile justice legal systems, and have a good sense of humor about themselves and the complexities of collaborating with team members in remote locations.