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Vice President for People and Culture 

Location Museum of Life and Science  
About the Organization The Museum of Life and Science, one of North Carolina’s top family destinations, has been a beloved Durham institution for 75 years. The Museum features 84 acres of exhibits, experiences, and outdoor exploration, including one of the East Coast's largest butterfly conservatories and a two-story science center. As an accredited zoo, the Museum is home to lemurs, black bears, endangered red wolves, and more than 140 species of live animals, butterflies, and insects. Readers of Durham Magazine, Indy Week, and Carolina Parent have repeatedly named us the top Museum in the Triangle. Charity Navigator rated the Museum, a 501(c3) nonprofit organization, 100 out of 100-- the highest possible score.

Our mission is to create a place of lifelong learning where people of all ages embrace science as a way of knowing about themselves, their community, and their world. The Museum serves our increasingly diverse community with interactive and accessible experiences that build and develop lifelong connections with science, nature, and critical thinking. The Museum partners with NASA, NOAA, the National Science Foundation, Duke University, NC State University, and the University of North Carolina on many research projects and programs.

In addition to an incredible team of co-workers, the Museum provides competitive compensation commensurate with experience, as well as a full array of employee benefits for eligible positions, including a generous 403b retirement plan with employer contributions, health, dental, and vision insurance, flex-spending plans, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, nine paid annual holidays, employee appreciation events, and a family membership to the Museum.  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  

Position Objective: Supports the Museum mission by acting as a member of the Executive Team, with primary oversight of the HR functions and ensuring Museum efforts support a culture that attracts and retains staff and volunteers committed to the Museum’s mission. Leads all human resources operations, recruiting, staff engagement efforts, and other crucial processes that advance and expand the Museum’s commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI). Collaborates with partners to direct, coordinate, and implement organization-wide programs that deliver equitable opportunities for all team members and foster an inclusive community. Working with Museum leaders, staff, Board, volunteers and the surrounding community, the position will reinforce engagement, shared accountability, and ownership for DEAI efforts across the institution.

The Vice President provides strong, creative, energetic, and strategic leadership on all HR topics and is responsible for supporting an organizational culture of equity, integrity, transparency, and respect.

We encourage you to apply even if your experience is not a 100% match with the position. We are open to candidates with relevant skills and experience and a commitment to our mission, not simply someone who “checks all the boxes.” We want to help you grow and in return, have you help us grow into a stronger, more inclusive organization.


  • Serve on the Museum’s Executive and Leadership Teams

  • Act as a strategic advisor to the CEO on all human resources issues and partner with the Museum executive team to continuously improve policies, procedures, and practices in employee relations

  • Collaborate with staff, board, and community to develop a cohesive DEAI strategy so that DEAI principles are embedded throughout the organization

  • Provide perspective, insights, and knowledge in a consultative manner; partner with all operational groups to implement DEAI initiatives, by setting clear goals and benchmarks, providing guidance, and coordinating the implementation of DEAI initiatives throughout the Museum

  • Provide input and oversight of the organization’s HR policies, procedures, and resources that support achieving organizational priorities with leading edge tools and measures

  • In support of Museum goals, design and implement staff development and assessment programs

  • Work with leadership and staff to ensure operations, policies and procedures support a culture of zero-tolerance for discrimination

  • Monitor and report on employee recruitment, retention and satisfaction monthly or as needed

  • Actively cultivate strong working relationships with all managers and supervisors and work to maintain a strong understanding of department needs and challenges. Support managers so they can carry out their responsibilities on employee matters.

  • Participate in cross-departmental teams as needed to support operations and/or new initiatives

  • Ensure staff have easy access to critical benefits information and other critical resources

  • Manage relationships with vendors to support the Museum’s day-to-day HR needs

  • Manage a team of three, ensuring their delivery on goals, development, and job satisfaction

  • Maintain knowledge of federal and state employment legislation and seek to gain necessary compliance in employee relations matters throughout the organization

  • Communicate changes in policies and procedures and work with supervisors and managers to implement across the Museum

  • Lead the development, roll-out, and administration of an equitable wage and salary structure

  • Evaluate and oversee employment life cycle from recruiting and on-boarding to exit interviews

  • Contribute to establishing a culture that attracts and retains a staff committed to MLS's mission

  • Consult with legal counsel as appropriate on employment matters

  • Oversee and maintain the HRIS to assure accurate and compliant reporting

  • Serve on Green Team, Diversity & Inclusion, Operations and Safety committees

  • Work with the Museum’s Safety Committee to develop, implement, and monitor safety standards and training

  • Evaluate annual benefits renewal process, leading enrollment and providing information to staff

  • Collaborate with VP of Finance to lead risk management, including special project planning and implementation

  • Lead and manage annual HR budget

  • Oversee volunteer program, maintaining a trained cadre of dedicated volunteers

  • Train as an Emergency Coordinator and be available to assist in case of emergencies

  • Other duties as assigned by CEO

Position Requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Psychology, Social Work, or related field; equivalent experience may also be considered

  • 5+ years as an HR generalist or similar role

  • At least 5 years' significant supervisory experience, with demonstrated success in motivation and team building that achieve short-and long-term objectives

  • Experience overseeing benefits administration and compliance

  • Genuine enthusiasm for and commitment to Museum’s mission and to the value of science to the community and the world

  • Strong interpersonal skills: diplomatic, empathetic, and consensus-building

  • Exceptional ability to build relationships across lines of differences and resolve conflict

  • Ability to extract, analyze, and present data to support quality decision-making

  • Skilled at supporting staff at all skill levels to develop programs and communications that meet the organization’s strategic goals

  • Skilled at goal setting and measuring success, possessing the agility to move in new directions when necessary and prioritizing long-term sustainability

  • Able to manage multiple priorities and projects at various stages of completion

  • Strong digital literacy, with advanced abilities in managing HR software

  • Able to pass a background check prior to employment


  • Experience with development and managing of multi-year strategy and budget

  • Experience with vendor selection and management

  • Experience working with a CEO and Board of Directors on long-range planning

  • Ability to work with external stakeholders including community leaders and outside vendors

  • Lived experience in addressing issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging

Shift Days  
Pay Range $95,000-110,000 DOE  
EOE Statement The Museum of Life and Science is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment regardless of race, color, religion, creed, age, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law. In addition, we will provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities to participate in the job application or interview process, perform crucial job functions, and receive other benefits and privileges of employment. As an equal opportunity employer, we value the differences and benefits that a diverse culture brings. Join us!
Category Administration  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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