Director of People and Culture

Lambda Legal
New York
Mission Statement: 

Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and everyone living with HIV, through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Headquartered in New York City, Lambda has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas, with an emerging office in Washington D.C.Since 1973, Lambda Legal has used impact litigation and other advocacy tools to decriminalize same-sex relationships, fight HIV discrimination, win marriage equality, and advance the rights of transgender people, among other key issues impacting the lives and wellbeing of LGBTQ people. Contributions from supporters nationwide enable a growing budget of approximately $19M. Clients are not charged for legal representation or advocacy and Lambda Legal receives no government funding.Rachel B. Tiven joined Lambda Legal in 2016 as CEO and is bringing an ambitious and forward-thinking approach to leading the organization’s work during an extraordinarily heightened period of vulnerability for the communities served by Lambda Legal.The staff totals 105 people who are deeply committed to the organization’s mission. Staff is the organization’s greatest resource in fighting the threats against the LGBTQ community, which makes it more critical than ever for Lambda Legal to invest in recruiting, retaining, and growing a richly diverse and exceptionally talented workforce.“Our beautiful, slowly improving, two-steps-forward-one-step-back country took a giant step backward. We will fight back in our beautiful diversity and without compromise.”– Rachel B. Tiven, CEO, Lambda Legal, November 9, 2016For more information on Lambda Legal, please visit

Position Description: 

Candidate Profile:Based in New York City, the Director of People and Culture will be a change leader who enables Lambda Legal to achieve its plans for growth and increased impact during a period of organizational transition.Reporting to the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer and leading a small team, the Director of People and Culture will be dedicated to ensuring that Lambda Legal attracts and retains the highest quality staff. With commitment to development at every stage of engagement with the organization, the Director of People and Culture will serve as a partner to the Executive Team to implement best practices in recruiting, training, human resources systems, and diversity/equity/inclusion.The Director of People and Culture will drive recruitment, ensuring that the organization attracts a highly diverse and extraordinarily gifted staff. They will have oversight of the compensation system and will drive continuous refinement of benefits offerings to attract and retain high-performing staff, while controlling costs. With expertise in human resources systems and functions, the Director of People and Culture will ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations for offices across the country.Through the building of an effective performance management system that supports clarity of expectations and feedback, the Director of People and Culture will apply a growth lens to employee learning. Partnering with managers throughout the organization, the Director of People and Culture will support the development of supervisory skills and build managers’ effectiveness in growing, mentoring, and retaining highly effective staff members.The Director of People and Culture will lead with an attentiveness to employee morale and quality of life issues. They will be a leader across the organization in fostering and strengthening a culture of collaboration, excellence, and initiative that will be vital to Lambda Legal’s success.



  • At least 12 years of business and HR/talent management experience (with a minimum of five years of direct managerial responsibilities); ideal candidates will have served as the HR leader of an organization or as the senior-most HR leader of a division or service line of an organization
  • Fluency with all primary HR disciplines (leadership partnering, employee relations, diversity and inclusion, recruitment, development, rewards, performance management, HR administration, and compliance)
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices and experience in building inclusive and engaged workplaces
  • Experience leading organizations through change (i.e. change management expertise), with exposure to acknowledged change management methods
  • Direct involvement in creating and successfully deploying diversity, equity, and inclusion practices

Ideal Personal and Professional Characteristics

  • Commitment to the mission and values of Lambda Legal
  • Collaborative workstyle that enables partnership and engagement with others at all levels of the organization, as well as with key external stakeholders
  • Shows initiative through self-directed, appropriate action to influence outcomes and/or drive progress and positive change
  • Comfort demonstrating confidence and appropriate assertiveness as an organizational leader
  • Ability to effectively communicate with and engage staff at all levels of the organization, in large and small meetings, as well as one-on-one.
  • Trustworthy, ethical, and able to maintain discretion and confidentiality
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity with lens on racial equity and comfort working in a gender-fluid environment and with diverse constituencies
  • Effective listener and evaluator
  • Able to travel domestically (about 10% of the time)
Application Deadline: 
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Application Instructions: 

Compensation & Benefits: Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Excellent employer-paid benefits package is provided including medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance, and generous employer contribution to retirement account. Generous vacation package available.Contact:Lambda Legal has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Melissa Madzel here.Lambda Legal is committed to further building and maintaining a staff that reflects the full range and diversity of LGBTQ, HIV, and allied communities, and is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, transgender and gender-nonconforming people, women, people with abilities in multiple languages, immigrants, people with disabilities, and anyone living with HIV are encouraged to apply.About Koya Leadership Partners:Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit  

Position Level: 
Country/US Territory: 
United States