The Jackson Laboratory Taps Heidrick & Struggles to Find CHRO

December 9, 2019 – CHROs have become critical stakeholders in defining the strategy of a company, and they are expected to tackle the HR challenges and evolving expectations of a dynamic workplace environment that will consist of constant change, calculated risk taking and evolving expectations from top stakeholders.

Those well-equipped to achieve the greatest success will have diverse skill-sets, be adaptable and agile, and gain hands-on learning from working through real life situations and acquiring knowledge across disciplines and industries.

The Jackson Laboratory recently retained Heidrick & Struggles to help assist in its search for a new chief human resources officer. Irenee Sitbon is the point person for the assignment.

Initially based in Bar Harbor, ME, the CHRO will be responsible for establishing and activating a people strategy that advances the overall institutional and strategic direction of the organization, said Heidrick. The new CHRO must be an engaged leader with a deep commitment to equity and inclusion and in developing institutional strategies, improving institutional culture and building organizational capacities related to people and the work environment.

“They will be responsible for the design and operation of HR systems that support the employment of faculty, staff, and supervisors and developing and implementing personnel policies, procedures and programs that support the mission of the organization,” the search firm said. “The CHRO will provide functional leadership in the following areas: talent acquisition, succession planning, performance management, staff training and development, compensation, benefits/wellness, employee safety, employee relations, and compliance with all federal, state, and local laws.”


The Jackson Laboratory wants someone with a minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible HR management and leadership experience with at least seven years at the executive level. The winning candidate will have direct experience leading a distributed HR team across multiple sites and disparate business lines as well as proven success in evaluating and recommending appropriate solutions to ensure HR is properly aligned to support an every growing and complex organization.

In addition, the individual should be effective in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. They will have experience working with enterprise-wide administrative systems and in analyzing personnel policies and business processes and workflows.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, non-profit biomedical research institution with more than 2,300 employees. It has a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in Augusta, ME, a genomic medicine institute in Farmington, CT, and facilities in Ellsworth, ME, Sacramento, CA, and Shanghai, China. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.

Heidrick & Struggles’ human resources officers practice team works with clients to ensure that HR leaders and their teams are equipped with the right qualifications to lead and manage in this rapidly changing environment, with the adaptability, insight and operating skills to have impact on business results. Heidrick said that similar to any line function, such roles demand strong business acumen, strategic and market insight, financial savvy, operational capabilities and the ability to exploit data and technology. Lisa Baird leads the firm’s global human resources officers practice. She has more than 25 years of diverse management consulting, executive recruiting and human capital management experience across industry sectors.

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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