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SHRM Foundation | Executive Director

SHRM Foundation Logo.jpg

Executive Director

Client Overview

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation has retained Sterling Martin Associates to find its next Executive Director.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management.  Representing more than 285,000 members in more than 165 countries, SHRM serves the needs of human resources professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession.  SHRM was founded in 1948 and currently has more than 575 affiliate chapters, both in the US and abroad, which provide additional programming and networking opportunities in the field.  SHRM’s 51 state councils are autonomous organizations, allowing individuals to join one or the other, or both.  SHRM maintains subsidiary offices in China, India, and the United Arab Emirates. Over 400 professionals are employed by SHRM which has a budget of nearly $139M.

The SHRM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) wholly-owned subsidiary of the Society for Human Resource Management.  The Foundation is SHRM’s philanthropic organization, and it raises funds through donations and sponsorships to champion workforce and workplace transformation by providing philanthropic interventions that are research-based HR solutions for challenging issues facing current and potential employees. The SHRM Foundation also provides scholarships to educate and develop HR professionals to make change happen, and it allows for opportunities for HR professionals to make a difference in their local communities.  The SHRM Foundation literally changes the lives of our HR professionals.

Current Foundation initiatives include: (1) addressing issues facing an aging workforce; (2) engaging and integrating military veterans; (3) building an inclusive culture; (4) preparing for future trends; and (5) building on resources from past initiatives.

The SHRM Foundation is governed by an 11-member volunteer Board of Directors whose members come from the HR profession, including academics, practitioners and representatives from SHRM.  To fund its programs, the SHRM Foundation conducts an annual fundraising campaign and is also supported by grants from foundations and from SHRM itself.

Executive Director

The Executive Director of the SHRM Foundation leads, manages, and spearheads strategy for the Foundation. This position reports to SHRM’s Global Chief Human Resource and Strategy Officer.   The Executive Director manages a team of six professionals and oversees a $3M annual budget. The Executive Director also supports the Board of Directors and other standing committees and oversees Board governance, and works closely with the Chair of the SHRM Foundation.   As a member of SHRM’s Vice President’s Council, the Executive Director also participates in SHRM planning and operations and serves as liaison between SHRM and Foundation.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The Executive Director’s duties and responsibilities are defined and categorized as follows:

Development Efforts

  • Be the visible leader/ambassador for raising funds and championing caused-based initiatives.
  • Oversee the annual fundraising campaign with the expectation of continued exponential growth.
  • Oversee and manage fundraising strategy and development operations with development staff.
  • Provide effective stewardship relationships with SHRM and its many chapters, which are currently the main sources of funding.
  • Manage the Major Gifts Council and market the Foundation to potential donors.

Strategy Planning

  • In collaboration with the Board of Directors, set the strategic direction for the Foundation, create and execute realistic growth plans and ensure alignment with SHRM goals, and devise and implement operating plans.
  • Review goals regularly to ensure achievement.
  • Oversee ongoing evaluation of current and future products, awards, and events.
  • Identify collaboration opportunities and strategic business partnerships, both inside the organization and externally with other organizations.
  • Serve as liaison to SHRM, participate as Vice President, attending weekly Vice President Council, representing the Global HR, Diversity, and Strategy Unit as needed.
  • Attend SHRM Board meetings and bi-annual SHRM leadership team planning meetings to ensure alignment between two organizations.

Brand Management | External Communication | Vendor Management

  • Direct marketing and communication strategy with all Foundation stakeholders (SHRM and its affiliates [CFGI and HRPS]) and constituency groups (senior leaders, academics, HR practitioners) to expand the global visibility of the SHRM Foundation through Core Leadership Area activities, Membership Advisory Council, Foundation ad hoc committees, Research Advisory Council, research centers, media, and outreach.
  • Manage vendor relationships and explore and implement future partnerships.
  • Serve as public relations liaison for Foundation by participating in SHRM activities (attendance, speaking engagements) to increase awareness and support of the Foundation among SHRM members, the at-large HR community, academics, and senior leaders.
  • Oversee external SHRM philanthropic activities as needed.

Governance and Board Support

  • Support the Foundation Board of Directors and other standing committees.
  • Plan and execute three annual Board meetings and monthly Executive Committee calls.
  • Plan and lead the annual Executive Committee retreat and manage operational and strategic planning sessions as needed.
  • Manage all governance issues, including Board education, Board self-evaluation, the annual nomination process, and new Board member orientation.

People Management

  • Select and set the vision for SHRM Foundation staff to enable achievement of strategic goals.
  • Manage a current staff of six, including bi-monthly status update meeting, staff development, and goal achievement.
  • Oversee engagement strategy for SHRM chapters, state councils, the SHRM regional team, and Membership Advisory Council.
  • Through staff, provide indirect oversight of the research function, educational products, thought leadership, branding, and scholarships/awards.
  • Manage external volunteer committees including Major Gifts Council, Research Advisory Committee and Board task forces.

Operational oversight and budget management

  • Prepare and produce the Foundation’s annual budget, monitor revenue and expenses monthly, generate bi-annual forecast reports, and monitor variances quarterly.
  • Support the Foundation Board’s Finance Committee.
  • Oversee the annual audit and tax filing processes.
  • Monitor endowment growth and investments, including interacting and overseeing the work of the financial organization that manages the Foundation’s assets.

Product Development and Distribution

  • Oversee all product development and distribution.
  • Oversee and direct contracted research projects.
  • Facilitate the work of the Research Advisory Council.
  • Oversee all scholarship programs.
  • Facilitate the Losey Research Award and the Meisinger Fellowship.

Requisite Qualifications, Characteristics, and Experience

Qualified candidates for the position will be experienced professionals with deep experience leading an organization of the SHRM Foundation’s size and scope.  Specific qualifications, characteristics, and experience include:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree | Master’s Degree strongly preferred.
  • Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation strongly preferred.
  • Six to ten years of professional experience, preferably managing an association foundation with a focus on research.
  • Experience working with a governing board and deep understanding of philanthropic nonprofit board governance.
  • Experience leading an affiliate of a larger organization preferred.
  • Demonstrated track record of success in fundraising.
  • Demonstrated track record of building partnerships
  • Superior oral and written communications skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated collaboration skills.
  • Experience and comfort making presentations.
  • Evidence of organization skills.
  • Demonstrated decision-making skills.
  • Superior problem-solving skills.
  • Experience developing and executing strategic plans.
  • Strong leadership skills.
  • Experience managing a multi-million dollar budget, including a substantial endowment.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, priorities, and agendas.
  • Experience with project management and marketing.
  • Experience with a membership association.
  • Knowledge and ability to use various software systems.
  • Maturity and acumen to interact with senior leaders, both within SHRM and in external organizations as well.
  • Familiarity with Human Resource Management and/or academic research preferred.
  • An established network of other foundation professionals preferred.

Compensation and Availability

A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.  The position is available immediately.

SHRM is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer committed to inclusion and cultural diversity in the workplace.  Employment selection and related decisions are made without regard to sex, race, color, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual preference, genetic information or any other protected class.

 For more information, please contact:

Sterling Martin Associates
David S. Martin
Managing Partner
p. 202.327.5485 |  
Kahti Motley
Senior Associate
p. 703.622.2632 |