Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Taps ChapmanCG for CHRO

The world’s largest private foundation is looking for a human resources leader who can align human capital leadership with the non-profit’s strategic goals. The CHRO is often involved in significant change initiatives that can have a big impact on the organization. Let’s go inside this important new search just underway.

November 12, 2019 – Executive recruiters are in hot pursuit of chief human resources officers and other senior-level HR leaders across the nation, and around the world. Just recently, Singapore-headquartered ChapmanCG was enlisted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to lead its search for a new CHRO. Steven Rice recently left the non-profit’s CHRO role to take on the same position at Vir Biotechnology. Director Jaemi Taylor is leading the assignment.

The CHRO of the Gates Foundation is charged with providing human capital leadership to align the organization’s strategic priorities with the necessary people capabilities to deliver on its missions and business objectives, said ChapmanCG. As an advisor and coach to the CEO and the executive leadership team, the CHRO is responsible for all facets of HR and will often lead significant change initiatives that impact organization growth, strategy implementation or cultural transformation.

Specifically, this role will be responsible for the success of all areas within HR, including talent management and acquisition, total rewards, diversity, equity and inclusion, and organizational development, said the search firm. An important focus will be on driving process, accountabilities and operational efficiencies across the function. This CHRO reports to the COO and is a member of the executive leadership team, as well as a key member of the operations management team.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is looking for someone with more than 20 years of HR experience or mix of business and HR leadership credentials, with prior experience leading HR for a global organization. Candidates should have deep technical HR expertise and past experience overseeing the full HR suite including talent and development, total rewards, HR operations, strategy and analytics, and HR business partners.

Robust Global Experience

In addition to all-around HR expertise, proficiency in compensation and benefits is required, said the recruiter. Candidates should have robust global or international experience across emerging and developed geographies. In addition, practical exposure to planning and driving organizational transformation as it relates to operational efficiencies, people capabilities and culture change is also essential. Lastly, the right candidate will have the ability to build trust and good faith with a broad range of stakeholders, including the CEO and the executive leadership team.


Changing the World, One HR Leader at a Time
Valerie Frederickson, founder and CEO of Silicon Valley-based Frederickson Partners, has forged a reputation not only for finding great HR talent but for her commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging. Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating and highly dedicated search leader.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wants someone with a foundation-first mindset, and strong decision-making skills with the fortitude to see the decisions through, said the search firm. The individual should have perseverance in tackling difficult, complex problems, and gaining multiple perspectives before making a decision. In addition, the non-profit is looking for a strong people manager who is passionate about building diverse, collaborative teams. Prospects should have the ability to work at pace and engender the same ways of working within the extended team.

Reducing Inequity

Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation team is made up of “impatient optimists” who work to reduce inequity. Their vision is to ensure a world where every person can live a healthy, productive life. The foundation’s goal is to increase opportunities for people in the developing world to lift themselves out of illness, hunger and poverty, and to help deliver targeted healthcare solutions in these regions.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization headquartered in Seattle, with additional offices in the U.S., Europe, India, China and Africa. The foundation has a worldwide staff of 1,600 people. With an endowment of more than $50 billion, it is the largest private foundation in the world. The organization is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., the father of Bill Gates. Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett are trustees of the organization.

Finding Global HR Leaders

ChapmanCG is a global search firm dedicated to the human resources profession. The firm partners with CEOs and CHROs in every industry to appoint their global, regional and country HR teams. The firm’s international network includes more than 110,000 HR leaders, and has a deep knowledge of the current trends, challenges and opportunities in HR. ChapmanCG works with leading companies across the Americas, the Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa to develop and execute HR search strategy.

Based in Seattle, Ms. Taylor leads senior searches for ChapmanCG’s major clients across a range of industries and identifies high-caliber CHRO and senior HR executive talent. Prior to joining the firm, she was with Robert Half Executive Search where she specialized in retained executive and senior-level searches.

Her clients have included Fortune 500 entities, early and late-stage venture-backed start-ups, law firms, national and international non-profits, healthcare organizations and international-based businesses establishing a presence in the U.S. Ms. Taylor has over 14 years’ experience in the search industry, including experience conducting international searches in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the U.K. Her sector experience includes technology, retail, transportation, non-profit, real estate, aerospace, professional services, healthcare and the maritime industry.

“Jaemi has a wealth of experience in executive search across a variety of industries and operations both in the United States and internationally,” said Alan Mait, managing director of ChapmanCG.

CHRO Recruiting in the News

Hunt Scanlon Media has tracked a number of CHRO search assignments over the past six months. Here’s a sampling taken from the company’s daily newswire archives:

Hanold Associates has been enlisted to find CHROs for two organizations: InMoment, a customer feedback company owned by private equity firm Madison Dearborn, and JCFS Chicago, a non-profit social service group. For InMoment, the CHRO will be the key leader of all HR processes throughout the Salt Lake City, UT-based company. The HR leader will report directly to CEO Andrew Joiner. Hanold Associates’ Neela Seenandan, co-CEO and managing partner, and Lisa Butkus, partner, are leading the assignment. InMoment’s CHRO will be expected to lead a growing team of HR professionals within the organization and focus on guiding it through a period of intense change and growth, said Hanold Associates.

Los Angeles-based Shelli Herman and Associates has been selected by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City to find its first CHRO. Shelli Herman, president of the recruitment firm, is leading the assignment along with her associate, Krista Haley. It is a plum assignment from one of the best known museum brands in the world. “The Whitney Museum is in the midst of implementing an exciting and ambitious strategic plan,” said Ms. Herman

Philadelphia-based Diversified Search has placed Brandon Guzzone as the new CHRO of Population Services International (PSI) in Washington, D.C. Judy Boreham, co-leader of the firm’s human resources practice, led the assignment. Mr. Guzzone has a track record in translating business strategies into effective communications plans that engage and influence employees. Previously, he was chief human capital officer of Millennium Challenge Corp.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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