Sr. Director of People & Culture

Location: San Diego, CA
Reports To: CEO
Compensation: $95,000 – $120,000 DOE/Neg.
Direct Reports: 3(HR Generalist, Director of Volunteer Services, Director of Training & Education)


Founded in 1972, The San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center) is one of the largest and most dynamic LGBTQ organizations in the country, serving as the LGBTQ community’s anchor organization and a regional leader in housing, behavioral and sexual health services, youth and senior services, community empowerment, civic engagement and social justice advocacy. Over the past three years, The Center has experienced an exciting period of growth for our programs and services. We are led by a 14- member board of directors, overseeing an annual operating budget of $10.2M. Our team of nearly 90 staff, supported by over 1,200 community volunteers, provides targeted programs and services to the full diversity of the San Diego LGBTQ community, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, nonbinary, immigrant, and HIV communities. Last year, The Center provided more than 87,000 direct service visits to San Diego community members, and through our events, activities, and advocacy, touched the lives of thousands more.

Through advocacy, civic engagement, and coalition building, The Center works to promote LGBTQ health and wellness, fight homophobia, transphobia, and racism, and advance human rights by amplifying the voices of our LGBTQ community and families, especially those who remain most marginalized— youth, seniors, those experiencing homelessness and poverty, communities of color, those living with HIV, and immigrants. A core value of The Center is that the health and wellness of our community cannot thrive without strong advocacy and community power.

In early 2020, The Center announced our Three-Year Strategic Plan, charting a bold vision of The Center’s future. This plan, created from feedback from over 2,000 community members, volunteers, staff, and stakeholders, will further scale the impact we deliver for our growing and diverse community. We created a new Mission and Vision Statement and, with great intention, named our Values, Strategies, and Objectives. Like so many organizations, during the pandemic, The Center has been on a journey of introspection as to how we can emerge from this pandemic as an even stronger champion for our communities. We are nearing completion of a $300,000 renovation of our main facility, to make our space even more welcoming and increase our capacity to better serve the community.


As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, The Center is still working at full capacity to serve our LGBTQ community through this pandemic. In the first year, we provided 80,424 service visits to our community representing help, connection, safety, and security to a community member in need. Our impact areas include:

  • Food Services: we increased those we serve at our twice-monthly food banks and created innovative food programs like Nourishing the Community and Non-Perishables Home Delivery, and have proudly conducted more than 14,000 service visits to community members.
  • Housing: The Center provided critical housing assistance and more than $141,000 dollars in rental relief funds to help community members stay in their homes. Our team made over 2,400 service visits to transitional age youth to The Center’s Housing Programs and Services for those experiencing homelessness.
  • Behavioral Health: we have continued to care for and support our community’s mental health, providing over 4,900 virtual individual counseling and group sessions. Our Emergency Referral and Resource Phone Line has fielded more than 3,200 calls to help and direct our community to resources.
  • HIV Services: we continue to support our community’s Sexual Health and Wellness by providing HIV testing through the pandemic, redesigned with drive thru and walk-up options. Through our 3-part strategy of education, engagement, and services, The Center is a leader in the fight to reduce stigma and barriers and improve access to screening and supportive services.
  • Essential Support: our critical support and discussion groups are still held virtually, and we’ve created new offerings to keep community connected, providing more than 1,200 support groups this past year. The Center also serves as a vital, trusted source of information our communities can turn to for assistance and to stay informed.
  • Black Services: we have increased resources and services for our Black community, creating our Black Services Program, the first for The Center, that includes social events, support and discussion groups, and referrals to additional resources, including HIV testing and PrEP navigation, and more. The Center has also re-dedicated ourselves to our anti-Black racism work and trainings internally with our staff, board of directors, and our volunteers.
  • Latin@ Services: has helped with support, advocacy, housing and rental assistance, translation services for documents, referrals to legal help, food resources, health education and referrals, and crisis intervention to our Latino/a/x and immigrant communities.
  • Advocacy & Engagement: The Center conducted critical Civic Engagement work, engaging with our community for participation in both the U.S. Census and the 2020 General Election and connected with over 10,500 community members, and produced a 96% voter turnout rate amongst those we engaged with. The Center also served as a 4-day Super Polling site, helping more than 1,200 community members to cast their ballot.
  • Events: we held exciting virtual events like AIDS Walk &Run San Diego, The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, and a four-day reimagined Dining Out For Life® San Diego that saw The Center give back to local bars and restaurants that have been so impacted by the pandemic.


This newly created position represents an extraordinary opportunity to impact the way our organization serves and develops our people. At the broadest level, the Senior Director of People & Culture will ensure we meet our commitment to developing all team members to their fullest potential, ensuring our organization is an outstanding place to build a career in the nonprofit sector. The Senior Director will oversee all areas Human Resources, including HR administration, diversity, succession planning, talent management, change management, performance management, training and development, and compensation. As a member of the Senior Management Team, this is a very high-profile position within our organization and will serve as a thought partner and strategic advisor to the CEO in all areas related to people and culture.

We seek an experienced HR leader who enjoys taking a very hands-on approach to the work, but who also brings a high level of strategic vision, and a strong diversity and equity lens. This is an opportunity to have major impact across every area of the organization. The Senior Director will expand HR’s role from basic employment administration to thought leadership and strategic support, positioning us for further growth. The role requires a thoughtful change agent who listens intently before making recommendations and who will keep staff and their well-being at the heart of everything we do.


  • Develop a deep understanding of The Center: visit each of our 5 program sites on a regular basis to keep HR visible and build relationships at all levels.
  • Spend time with each direct report, developing relationships, building trust, and getting to know their individual roles and skill sets.
  • Review, adjust, and implement our new strategic HR plan, implementing an HR structure to support organizational growth.
  • Leverage technology to improve efficiencies and outcomes; implement new HR systems and platforms with the goal of taking the organization all the way paperless.
  • Facilitate better communication by implementing methods for collecting internal and external feedback and most importantly, ensure we have the capability to act on recommendations from our staff and the community.
  • Ensure our staff feel valued, supported and empowered to grow both personally and professionally through their careers at The Center.
  • Create a culture that welcomes staff feedback about Center programs and emergent needs; implement regular comprehensive staff satisfaction and client satisfaction surveys, including a clear mechanism to respond and incorporate feedback.
  • Design career pathways with a clear promotional process for all positions within The Center; ensure great clarity but maintain flexibility in staff roles and responsibilities.
  • Ensure the onboarding process for new hires is organized, effective and welcoming.
  • Proactively conduct reviews of our salary structure at regular intervals; make recommendations for equalization of salaries across jobs.
  • Lead our talent retention efforts including employee recognition and promotion scales, as well as team recognition.


HR Management & Administration

  • Take ownership of the HR function, including department management and the full suite of human resource-related services and operations.
  • Create and implement HR systems that will meet the needs of the organization today and sustain our growth into the future.
  • Position HR as a customer focused business partner that proactively seeks opportunities to support The Center’s various programs and departments.
  • Analyze our current policies and procedures and upgrade them to ensure they are at the forefront of best practices and legal requirements; update our employee handbook accordingly.
  • Review our current benefits package to ensure we remain competitive; create materials that simplify and clearly explain our package for employees.
  • Risk assessment: review current processes to ensure confidential information is being handled appropriately; audit employee files.
  • Serve as the agency’s EEOC Officer and ensure agency compliance with state and federal employment regulations (including, but not limited to: equal employment and affirmative action, wage and hour laws, other federal, state and local personnel laws); ensure compliance with Center policy and procedure at all levels.
  • Ensure backup systems and procedures are in place, as well as appropriate checks and balances.
  • Manage The Center’s relations with HR vendors and service providers such as insurance and employee benefits brokers and consultants.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • In partnership with the Senior Management Team, oversee and implement organization-wide efforts involving diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competency.
  • Assist in identifying ways to better serve communities of color, transgender and nonbinary communities, and to intentionally reduce barriers for Center staff to fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement within The Center.
  • Serve as liaison to key staff committees such as our Black Staff Retention Task Force, COVID Reentry Task Force, Racial Justice Team.
  • Examine all Center policies, procedures, and functions with a racial justice and intersectional lens, and recommend changes to create an even more inclusive and welcoming organization for all who come through its doors. This work includes, but is not limited to: periodic comparative salary studies; reviewing job announcements and descriptions to reduce unintentional barriers; analyzing staff and volunteer demographics, development, and retention.

Leadership & Strategy

  • Introduce us to new ways of thinking about our people analytics and drive activity accordingly.
  • Partner effectively with staff at all levels of the organization, building trusting, respectful, and highly communicative relationships.
  • Instill a culture of performance inside the HR team and partner with the Senior Management Team to do the same at the organizational level.
  • Conduct trainings for our management team, helping them to be better managers and ensure they are well-informed and empowered to talk to their teams about basic employee relations/benefits issues.
  • Collaborate with our fundraising and grant writing teams to support The Center’s grant writing and development efforts with data and narratives.

Talent Acquisition & Development

  • Develop a talent acquisition strategy to help us attract and retain talent in an extremely competitive market; lead efforts to brand The Center as an employer of choice.
  • Refresh our hiring process to ensure both consistency and effectives, including standardized position descriptions and interview training for managers.
  • Introduce new and/or improved methodologies for attracting, assessing, selecting, rewarding, and developing a strong and diverse workforce of staff and volunteers.
  • Develop and manage a performance evaluation strategy that works across all our programs and departments, ensuring both consistency and effectiveness, and that it integrates with our compensation plan, L&D initiatives, and talent management strategies.
  • Conduct a thorough market analysis and create a comprehensive compensation strategy to ensure The Center remains competitive; recommend creative performance incentives and noncash forms of compensation as appropriate.
  • Keep abreast of how external forces impact our organization’s culture, and our ability to recruit, retain and motivate high-performing team members.
  • Create and improve employee career pathways within the organization.
  • Oversee and guide the Director of Training and Community Education to implement a year-long calendar of staff training programs and opportunities.
  • Provide ongoing coaching and mentoring to direct reports so that they may continue growing and developing their capabilities.

Culture & Communications

  • Instill emotional intelligence and mindfulness into our HR operations.
  • Increase HR’s profile, playing a more active role in all areas of the organization; boost connectivity between staff across all our locations and departments; work to eliminate silos.
  • Serve as the “voice” of the staff at the senior management level, advocating for programs and driving solutions that align with our goals.
  • Drive employee and volunteer engagement through the refinement, maintenance, and ongoing evolution of The Center’s culture.
  • Ensure we instill a culture of diversity and social justice in every area of our organization and that our team reflects the communities we serve.
  • Implement and manage an employee recognition program.
  • Oversee and guide the Volunteer Services Manager in developing strategies and infrastructure to create and maintain a supportive environment for The Center’s 1,000 volunteers and support mission-driven community engagement.
  • Champion employee wellness by reinforcing a culture of work-life balance and ensure staff are practicing an appropriate amount of self-care to avoid burnout.


  • Minimum 5 years of human resources management experience with increasing levels of responsibility; Human Resources certification, such as SHRM Senior Certified Professional, is strongly preferred.
  • Proven ability to solve complex problems and to inspire and motivate staff required.
  • Hands-on experience building and maintaining positive and inclusive workplace cultures.
  • Prior management level experience working within the nonprofit sector, preferably within a direct service, social justice, LGBTQ, and/or HIV organization highly desirable.
  • A passion for The Center’s work and its mission to enhance and sustain the health and wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, nonbinary, immigrant, and HIV communities.
  • Demonstrated leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion; passion for The Center’s mission and vision to serve people of color, transgender, and nonbinary communities; commitment to developing leaders of color, transgender, and nonbinary leaders.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including strong organizational, detail, and interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with management, employees, clients, and the public.
  • Exceptionally high level of emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
  • Those with lived experience as a member of a historically under-served community (i.e., low income, communities of color, LGBTQ communities, immigrant communities, those who have experienced homelessness, those living with HIV, etc.) are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Tia Anzellotti, Director
Blair Search Partners