Koya Leadership Partners Seeks Chief Diversity Officer for Natural Resources Defense Council

March 16, 2020 – Koya Leadership Partners, which recruits leaders for the non-profit sector, has been chosen by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to find a chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. Leading the assignment are founding partner and executive vice president Molly Brennan and consultant Shelby Woods.

“NRDC is currently seeking an exceptional chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer to join the organization and help lead a collaborative, organization-wide initiative to deepen NRDC’s internal diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) across all of its policies, procedures and activities,” said Koya Leadership Partners. The chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer will be a member of the executive leadership team and report to the organization’s president. The role will be located in the organization’s New York City office.

“NRDC is committed to infusing the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into its work and workplace,” said the search firm. “This high-level commitment and focus will enrich the work environment and enhance NRDC’s effectiveness as an advocate for the safeguarding of our earth and environmental justice. The creation of the chief DEI officer role, a new executive-level position, reflects NRDC’s ongoing commitment to continuing this work and ensuring that policies and processes across the organization are fully aligned with DEI principles and values.”

The chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer will be expected to provide vision, leadership and coordination for NRDC’s efforts to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion across all aspects of the organization’s work and efforts, said Koya Leadership Partners.

Role Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of the role include leading an inclusive, collaborative design process that results in a framework for NRDC’s DEI initiatives internally and in NRDC’s external-facing programmatic work; establishing and communicating key institutional DEI goals and metrics as well as the measurement of NRDC’s performance in attaining DEI objectives and regular, transparent reporting on progress; and collaborating with NRDC’s HR team to help deepen and strengthen an inclusive and diverse internal culture and reinforce principles of diversity and inclusion in hiring and workplace conditions.

The individual will be expected to work in close partnership with NRDC’s incoming president and colleagues on the executive team as well as staff members across the entire organization to develop and implement a framework and vision for NRDC’s equity and inclusion work. While it would be helpful for candidates to bring an understanding of environment/climate justice and NRDC’s programmatic areas of focus, it is not a requirement for the role.

Candidates should also have a track record of extensive leadership in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, including race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Strong diversity, equity, and inclusion analyses and commitments as well as experience successfully leading the integration of DEI throughout organizational policies, practices, management, and culture are also required. Prospects should have a significant background as a thought leader in the field with unquestioned commitment to DEI values.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is among the nation’s most effective environmental action organizations. The non-profit uses law, science and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970, and its staff helped write some of America’s bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations. The non-profit’s staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts and others work across the U.S. and internationally from its offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica, CA; San Francisco, Bozeman, MT; and Beijing.

Non-profit Recruiters

Boston-based Koya Leadership Partners is a national executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. This year, the firm was again recognized by Hunt Scanlon Media as one of the top 50 search firms in the Americas. In June, Koya was acquired by Diversified Search. With the combination of revenues and resources, Diversified Search and Koya now represent one of the largest non-profit and higher education practices in the executive search industry.


Hunt Scanlon Top 50 Non-Profit & Higher Education Search Firms
Hunt Scanlon presents its first ever roundup of leading recruiters in the non-profit / higher education sectors. Check out these top 50 trailblazers – ranging from the largest recruiting and talent leadership solutions firms to the leading boutique specialists.

Top 50

Ms. Brennan joined Koya in its early years and has worked in close partnership with founder and CEO Katie Bouton to grow the firm over the last decade. In addition to leading senior-level searches, she also oversees search operations, marketing and communications. Ms. Brennan has partnered with boards of directors and senior leaders to identify and place exceptional leaders for a range of clients, including Habitat for Humanity, Sierra Club and Slow Food USA. Her particular areas of focus include leadership, retention, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Ms. Woods works closely with search teams to manage candidate development and client engagement for a wide range of mission-driven organizations across the country. Most recently, she served as a contract corporate recruiter for a technology company. Prior to that, Ms. Woods was a recruiter in the non-profit practice of the boutique search firm ThinkingAhead. There, she focused on candidate development and led a number of searches.

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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