Job opening: Chief People Officer


The GroundTruth Project, Inc. is a non-profit media organization dedicated to supporting emerging journalists to tell stories that matter in under-covered corners of the world including the United States. Their primary goal is to increase understanding of critical global issues through meaningful enterprise journalism that serves the communities where they live. GroundTruth, which launched six years ago, established its flagship national service program known as Report for America in the fall of 2017. The Report for America program currently has 225 reporters posted in 160 local newsrooms across 46 states. GroundTruth also leads global reporting fellowships and has supported a total of more than 300 emerging journalists across more than 50 countries carrying out award-winning reportage, photography, video, and podcasting. On a mission to create a healthy and diverse pipeline of emerging journalistic talent, the organization’s mission is to restore journalism from the ground up by supporting in-depth public service reporting, and to serve as watchdogs in places where no one seems to be watching. They are focused on the craft of journalism and the power of accountability reporting, blended with the realities of the digital age and a spirit of public service. Headquartered at the PBS flagship WGBH in Boston, the 40-person team is building an engaged community around impactful journalism and powerful storytelling by a new generation, by supporting journalists’ careers as fellows, corps members and alumni. At GroundTruth we believe the crisis in journalism has become a crisis for democracy, and we believe trusted reporting that comes from reporters on the ground will be critical to ensuring that democracies represent and serve their citizens.

The Chief People Officer (CPO) has overall responsibility for the development and implementation of programs, processes, systems, and tools that enable the workforce and culture of GroundTruth to thrive, which in turn ignite commitment and realization of GroundTruth’s mission, vision, and organizational strategy. The CPO serves as a strategic advisor, content expert, thought partner, and coach on key people and management issues for senior leaders and managers across the organization. As a member of the executive team, this role contributes to the business strategy development process and helps lead change that will enable GroundTruth to effectively achieve its mission. The CPO drives the development and encourages the promotion of a strong organizational values and mission-centered, inclusive, and professional organizational culture.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Reports to Chief Operating Officer
  • Supervises the HR Director
  • Performance Management
  • Compensation Strategies
  • Workforce Planning
  • Succession Planning for Key Positions
  • Employee Relations
  • Diversity and Inclusion Practices
  • Organizational Development
  • Promote a culture of excellence, inclusion, learning, support, diversity and innovation

Organization Leadership

  • Partner with the Chief Operating Officer (COO) to lead change, enhance, and invigorate the culture of GroundTruth
  • Advise, consult with, and support senior executives in the development and application of the organization’s core values in the management and development of its people
  • Participate as a strategic member of the Executive Team and as a business partner with managers/functional leaders
  • Structure and implement an approach to the effective development of supervisory and management skills for all staff with people-management responsibilities, to develop leaders who inspire, build trust, and embody our cultural values
  • Assess GroundTruth’s organizational culture and structure to understand and recommend strategies to develop, change, influence, and mold desired outcomes
  • Lead people and organization initiatives across all functional areas of HR to engage employees in the organizational culture, which will in turn enable the delivery and support of development projects that help create sustainable change and impact in the communities we serve, and to meet the strategic and operational needs of the organization
  • Ensure the development and execution of the organization’s goals and strategies, including efforts to: o Conceptualize, define/refine, assess, and cultivate diversity, equity, and inclusion as a set of organizational resources and strategies
  • Recruit, hire, retain, and support the professional development of a diverse staff
  • Identify opportunities, design policies, and support practices that promote equity throughout the organization in areas such as recruitment, access to information and opportunity, compensation, and recognition
  • At all times function as a strategic business advisor to senior management regarding key organizational and management issues

Lead People, Culture & DEI

  • Partner with the COO to create a vision for People, Culture & DEI, including development and implementation of HR best practices
  • Ensure compliance with applicable employment laws and regulations
  • Develop and maintain clear, equitable, progressive, and empowering employee policies, programs, systems, and organizational structures appropriate for each operational division
  • Align the people and culture to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives; review current structure of the team; identify talent and knowledge gaps and restructure as needed

Talent Acquisition, Management, & Development

  • Develop systems and approaches that ensure the application of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lens in all activities
  • Lead the development and implementation of talent acquisition including: o Candidate identification, recruitment, selection, hiring and onboarding processes and tools are created to support talent acquisition efforts
  • Lead talent management, development, and retention strategies, including: Performance planning and support, succession planning, bridging talent between programs in a fair and equitable manner, and professional development
  • Lead development of meaningful total compensation and recognition programs
  • Lead delivery of training, coaching, counseling, and other resources as indicated to support ongoing learning, professional growth, and performance improvement at both individual and organizational levels

People & Culture Operations

  • Lead the development of best practices in P&C operations to enable higher level efficiency, cost effectiveness, and internal customer satisfaction in the areas of compensation and benefits; employee recognition and support services; learning and development
  • Develop and manage HR budget, including identifying and assessing available resources for professional development and team building purposes
  • Ensure that people-related policies comply with all applicable laws, and reflect business or operating norms, philosophy of the organization and application of a DEI lens
  • Assess and mitigate potential risk to the organization by identifying and implementing policies, procedures, and practices that improve the health and safety of the overall work environment while reducing the risk of harm to both staff and the communities we serve
  • Coordinate, manage, monitor and evaluate ‘future of work’ guidance, assessments and needs to ensure organizational efficacy

Total Rewards

Oversee total compensation and benefits programs to ensure these align with the GroundTruth Project’s total compensation philosophy and are fairly administered

Compliance and Risk Management

  • Collaborate with the Legal Department on compliance with employment-related statutory requirements
  • Lead compliance with the GroundTruth Project’s records and retention policies; ensure compliance with funder regulations and local labor law and regulations
  • Lead and/or oversee investigations into complicated/complex employee relations issues and ensure appropriate resolution

Key Selection Criteria:

  • Undergraduate degree with a minimum of 10 years of related work experience or a minimum of 12 years of related work experience
  • 10+ years of progressively responsible professional and leadership experience in senior level positions, including experience developing people and culture through periods of significant organizational growth and change
  • Strong knowledge of US labor laws
  • Five years of senior-level experience reporting to the CEO or COO preferred; board liaison experience may be advantageous
  • A philosophical alignment for the mission and values of The GroundTruth Project
  • Professional HR Certification, e.g., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, PHR or GPHR may be advantageous
  • Supervisory experience required
  • Proficient writer and practitioner of equitable and inclusive human resource policies and strategies; record of success in building diverse, engaged workplaces
  • The ability simultaneously to manage multiple priorities and projects
  • Outstanding communication skills, including the ability to deal with confidential, sensitive, emotionally charged situations with empathy and tact, and respond appropriately to internal and external inquiries
  • Demonstrated professional competence and success in organizational development and change management
  • Risk mitigation and partnership in collaborating with Legal and Finance teams to ensure compliance, business continuity, and risk management

Expression of Interest with Cover Letter and Resume should be sent directly to:

Iris Drayton-Spann
Stanton Chase
(O): 202-248-5088


About The GroundTruth Project
The GroundTruth Project is an international nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up. GroundTruth serves under-covered communities by supporting the next generation of journalists to do on-the-ground reporting and to advance sustainability, innovation and equity in journalism worldwide. GroundTruth’s flagship programs — Report for America and Report for the World — place talented, diverse local reporters in the newsrooms that need them most. 

The GroundTruth Project is an equal employment opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or any other protected factor.