Jun 02, 2021

Vice President, People Operations

  • Room to Read
  • Remote (San Francisco, CA, USA)
Full-Time Education

Job Description

Position Overview:

The Vice President (VP) of People Operations will join a dynamic, fast-paced global organization embarking on a new 5-year strategic vision to benefit 40 million children by 2025 through literacy and girls’ education. The VP will support Room to Read’s mission through leading, directing, and providing technical insight and best practice guidance on all people functions of the organization: workforce planning, talent and performance management, global compensation and benefits, employee relations and engagement, learning and development, and policies and compliance. The position provides an exciting opportunity to adapt and enhance Room to Read’s practices in line with our vision to scale impact through taking on more variable project-based work, expanding our global operations to 10 new countries, and enhancing our workforce in new leadership and technical capabilities. The VP will be the internal ambassador for Room to Read’s “CARES” culture ensuring practices that foster a safe, diverse, equitable, inclusive, and joyful work environment for over 1,600+ employees, volunteers, interns, contractors in approximately 20 countries.

The VP will be a highly strategic and accountable leader, and a versatile and capable project manager, experienced in managing change and its impact on people, policies, and systems. S/he will be responsible for inspiring, developing, and leading a service-oriented team of People Operations professionals based in the US and India, as well as guiding and building a matrixed cohort of human resource managers based in 9 program countries. S/he will bring deep functional and global expertise to the role and serve as a trusted advisor and business partner to Room to Read’s Management Team, departmental leadership, and country teams. A collaborative problem-solver and skilled communicator, the VP will drive the implementation of People Operations strategies and initiatives through strong inter-departmental partnership and employee engagement. The VP will also harness best practices and build constructive relationships among human resource, international development, and other relevant networks to position Room to Read as an employer of choice.

The VP reports to the Chief Operating Officer and is a member of the Operations Senior Leadership Team. The position can be based in Room to Read’s headquarters office in San Francisco, California, in New York, or in Washington DC. The position typically requires several international trips per year to Room to Read’s program countries, and may require domestic trips to Room to Read's headquarters depending on the candidate's location; however, all travel is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Key responsibilities will include (but are not limited to):

1. Strategic leadership: Leads the development and implementation of the worldwide People Operations strategy, annual plans, goals, policies, and practices in alignment with the Room to Read’s mission, values, and Global Strategic Plan; embraces best practices and innovations to continually enhance Room to Read status as an employer of choice.

2. Organizational partnership: Serves as a strategic partner, advisor, and coach to senior leadership, departmental and country leadership, and other staff; builds positive relationships and holds regular consultations across the organization to understand human resource needs; provides insight, innovative solutions and best practices; leads engagement with the Human Resources Committee of the Board in partnership with the CEO and COO. 

3. Team leadership: Leads, coaches, and inspires a high-performing People Operations team of 7 staff based in the US and India as well as a matrixed cohort of human resource managers who provide country-level support to 9 offices in Asia and Africa; manages the People Operations budget and guides the global personnel budget.

4. Functional leadership: Leads the development and implementation of human resource systems, processes, practices, and tools in the following areas:

  • Workforce Planning: Provides technical advice on department and country staffing structures to maximize productivity and goal achievement; brings creative approaches to adapting staffing as Room to Read expands global operations and project-based work; ensures consistent, high-quality human resources support to all Room to Read staff, consultants, interns, and volunteers worldwide.

  • Talent and Performance Management: Leads effective practices to attract and retain exceptional talent and advance a high-performance culture that brings out the best in each employee; drives optimal utilization of the Human Resource Management System (Workday); embraces data-driven analysis to inform planning and decision-making; supports the People Operations team in recruitment for senior-level positions.

  • Global Compensation and Benefits: Advances a global compensation and benefits philosophy in line with strategic and operational priorities as well as external benchmarking criteria; ensures that total compensation processes like salary benchmarking, salary adjustments, promotions, job evaluation, salary structure design and job analysis are defined and undertaken regularly; assesses and manages changes to Management Team’s compensation and employee benefits’ plans in consultation with the COO and the Board; serves as a trustee, plan administrator, and/or fiduciary for certain benefit programs, including 401(k).

  • Employee Relations and Engagement:  Advances practices and programs that foster employee satisfaction, morale, productivity, and well-being; mediates escalated employee relations issues; guides the People Operations team in launching “Room to Read Cares”—a global wellness initiative to support staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond; oversees the implementation of a global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan; seeks new and innovative ways to deepen global workforce cohesion in partnership with the COO and other departments.

  • Learning and Development: Building on existing initiatives, shapes a cohesive program that advances leadership, supervisory, and staff professional development in line with Vision 2025 and the 70/20/10 growth model; identifies opportunities to leverage external partnerships for content delivery and best practice innovations; embraces agile, low-cost, hybrid or remote learning approaches.

  • Policies and Compliance: In partnership with the Legal team, oversees the development of a global compliance framework that ensures Room to Read is systematically up to date on all local laws and regulations and industry best practices related to personnel; oversees the development and rollout of HR policies and procedures; embraces a Duty of Care approach with particular attention in the short term on COVID-19 response measures to support staff.



  • Bachelor’s degree, and 12+ years of relevant, professional experience

  • 7+ years’ experience leading a global HR or People Operations function including working with country office and project teams

  • Strong business acumen, preferably in a non-profit or low overhead environment, and proven effectiveness acting as an advisor and working directly with executives to provide an HR perspective in organizational decisions

  • Strong technical knowledge of the principles and best practices of human resources administration with deep technical expertise in several of the functional areas listed above

  • Proven track record of success in implementing programs to attract and sustain a high performing, engaged, global workforce

  • Ambidexterity to operate at both the strategic vision-setting level and the tactical execution level

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural and global environment with cultural sensitivity

  • Demonstrated ability developing and implementing organizational improvements with experience leading successful change management processes globally

  • Solution-oriented and proven ability to problem solve complex HR challenges with limited resources

  • Prior experience in a fast-paced, growth-oriented organization

  • Adept at using MS Excel, MS Word and MS Outlook

  • HRMS experience, Workday preferred

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English with the ability to communicate effectively with audiences ranging from entry-level staff to executives

  • Track record of coaching and developing staff across functional areas and levels

  • Experience working in or spending significant time in low-income countries

  • Ability to travel frequently to field offices and global offices post-COVID pandemic, as needed

  • Legally eligible to work in the United States; no sponsorship required


  • Experience working at a nonprofit organization

  • GPHR certification

  • Master’s degree in Human Resource management or related Personnel/Human Resources field

  • Experience with compliance and personnel management under bilateral (e.g. USAID) and/or multilateral (e.g. UNICEF) donor funding


Room to Read offers a competitive pay with excellent benefits. Benefits include health, dental, vision, long-term disability insurance, life insurance, commuter benefits and a 401(k) match. The non-monetary compensation includes a unique opportunity to be part of an innovative, meaningful, fun, and rapidly growing organization that is changing transforming the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. 

Application Procedure:

All interested applicants are encouraged to apply with their resume and cover letter.


Global Office - Main - San FranciscoGlobal Office - New York

To be successful at Room to Read, you will also: 

  • Have passion for our mission and a strong desire to impact a dynamic nonprofit organization 
  • Be a proactive and innovative thinker who achieves results and creates positive change
  • Have a very high level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness  
  • Embrace diversity and a commitment to collaboration 
  • Thrive in a fast-paced and fun environment 

Room to Read is proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to identifying and developing the skills and leadership of people from diverse backgrounds. EOE/M/F/Vet/Disabled

To apply for this position please visit our job board. Select the Vice President, People Operations role, click apply and complete the online application which will ask you to provide your resume, cover letter and some personal information. You will receive an email confirmation when your application has been received. Due to high applicant volume, we regret that we are not able to send personalized responses to all applicants. However, if you need technical assistance, please email[email protected]. Applications are accepted until the position is filled. 



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