Vice President, People

· Chicago, Illinois
Employment Type Full-Time

Job Title: Vice President, People

Location: Chicago (IL) highly preferred; Newark (NJ), or New York City (NYC) Atlanta (GA)

Employment Type: Full-time

Start Date: March 2023 or sooner

About Braven

We believe that the next generation of leaders will emerge from everywhere. We empower promising college students with the skills, confidence, experiences, and networks necessary to transition from college to strong first jobs, which lead to meaningful careers and lives of impact.

Learn more about Braven’s impact:

Braven was named one of America’s Best Startup Employers 2022 by Forbes! We’re proud to be a nonprofit organization that values its employees and has always been committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace that mirrors our country.

About the Role

The extraordinary, diverse team is the greatest asset at Braven. Our Founder & CEO believes that Braven’s core values driven culture must strive to be world class in order to achieve the floor of our ambition to advance the economic mobility of 80,000-100,000 Fellows in the near future. Braven is therefore hiring a Vice President, People (VPP). Reporting to the Chief Financial & Operations Officer and working very closely with the Chief Executive Officer, the Vice President, People will play a crucial role in helping usher Braven into a new era through engaged, strategic, and compassionate People leadership and is expected to be one of the most exemplary models of our core values. The Vice President, People will be a member of Braven’s executive team, known as the Alignment Team (AT), and manage the new and growing People & Culture team.

Braven is on the precipice of a new era: The operating model is evolving to support projected growth from 100 staff members to 250 in the next 3-5 years and this is up from ~40 people at the start of the pandemic. Braven is evolving from a scrappy start-up to a stable, yet growing organization that must have stronger systems, policies, and structures. The Vice President, People will be an invaluable member of the team that leads Braven into this new area. If you are a match for this awesome role, your work will focus in 3 primary areas outlined below.



You will manage and provide strategic support to leaders of all workstreams pertaining to attracting, onboarding, developing, engaging and retaining an exceptional and diverse staff. Specifically, you will:


  • Set and oversee the execution of Braven’s People vision, priorities, goals, and strategies.
  • Be a strategic business partner to the Alignment Team and other leaders and managers within the organization.
  • Oversee and develop workforce-needs projections, based on current and future Braven priorities and goals to facilitate achievement of org-wide goals and to inform headcount planning, resource allocation (e.g. professional development, external training, etc.), organizational structure, talent philosophy, total rewards package, performance evaluation, career planning, etc.
  • Oversee and uphold the annual equity analysis with regards to compensation, performance, retention, and promotion.
  • Ensure Braven’s People policies are innovative, sustainable, in line with best practices and with our growth strategy. 
  • Oversee the work to ensure the organization is in compliance with labor laws in Braven hubs/regions in collaboration with General Counsel.
  • Evaluate existing People infrastructure as well as replace, eliminate or develop and implement elements of it that are necessary to facilitate effective and cohesive workforce planning and development, such as identifying, evaluating and/or putting in place Professional Employer Organizations (PEO), Learning Management Systems (LMS), Application Tracking Systems (ATS) and/or Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) as well as internal utilization and reporting procedures.
  • Constantly observe, evaluate and support evolution of systems for attracting, hiring, developing and retaining the team through deep collaboration with the People & Culture team.


As the whole team works to live out and strive towards our core values, you will irrefutably model these values and serve as a mirror – showing the organization areas of strength and growth in service of a thriving culture, and as a guide – helping set the vision and coaching leaders to realize it. To do this, you will:

  • Model Braven’s core values and uphold Braven’s policies at the highest level, in spirit and in practice.
  • Set and model People & Culture Team operating norms that support the People priorities and that foster a thriving People & Culture Team culture. 
  • In partnership with the Chief of Staff, Communications, and other team leads, support or lead strong team communication and engagement, including but not limited to all weekly team calls, rituals, and other team engagement strategies that are aimed at creating a great workplace as measured by our bi-annual team survey.
  • Oversee execution and analysis of bi-annual culture survey and equity analysis to measure impact of organizational processes, etc. as well as to make and implement recommendations to leverage our strengths while constantly improving. 
  • Set an agenda for the organization's commitment to foster an equitable, inclusive, and diverse workplace, project managing cross-functional efforts aligned to this priority in close collaboration with the Alignment Team.
  • Serve as a culture interpreter–helping people of diverse backgrounds and experiences decode, understand and operate within Braven culture–as well as a confidante to support team members’ ability to model and positively contribute to culture.
  • Actively promote the organization as a great place to work, building our “employer brand” with potential hires and externally.


You will serve as a trusted thought-partner and counsel, bringing deep management experience and People-related content knowledge to bear to help guide the organization and support the individuals within it. To do so, you will:

  • Set the strategic vision and priorities for all talent work, in collaboration with the Alignment Team, ensuring the organization has an eye on what it will need in the coming 3-5 years, leveraging an explicit equity lens throughout the work.
  • Participate and offer guidance in conversations with leadership around decisions about strategic priorities and planning, ensuring talent management is fully integrated.
  • Coach and develop teammates, particularly managers, through People-related matters, varying in type, sensitivity, urgency and acuteness.
  • Actively collaborate with key partners, such as the CEO, Chief Finance & Operations Officer, General Counsel as well as external counsel and vendors.
  • Demonstrate strong management skills to support and manage the People & Culture teammates toward the vision, priorities, goals and strategies for People & Culture as well as toward them reaching their fullest professional potential. 

Experiences, Qualifications & Skills: Braven is looking for an experienced manager and People leader. While the profile below is for the most competitive candidate, we realize that the match for this role might bring a different set of qualifications and skills. The ideal candidate for this role will likely possess: 

  • An innate entrepreneurial and result-driven orientation while also being kind
  • Deep alignment with Braven’s mission and core values, including strong cultural competence and a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Extraordinary judgment, including but not limited to:
    • Experience and adeptness at handling very sensitive and highly confidential matters; 
    • Ability to have direct and honest conversations with care about sensitive topics, 
    • Strength in navigating ambiguity and gray spaces, holding fast to policies and expectations but also making strategic exceptions responsibly, in rare cases, and evolving related policies or procedures as needed
  • Deep experience serving on and/or supporting an executive leadership team
    • 5+ years of experience in People/Talent/Human Resources leadership; and/or 
    • 10+ years managing a functional team with highly-regarded People and culture management skills
  • Experience leading and managing in complex environments during times of growth and employing change management skills, including but not limited to:
    • Strong direct, lateral, and culture-based management ability
    • Experience making lots of decisions with speed, agility, and common sense, while identifying and engaging key stakeholders appropriately
    • Strong organization skills, tracking and managing big picture ideas as well as key details
    • Organization-wide project-management with complex workstreams, managing complex decision making processes, including stakeholders with diverse needs and interests, and laterally managing team leads 
    • Exceptional relationship building skills, enabling you to build trust quickly and collaborate across management levels, internal and external relationships as well as across dimensions of identity
    • Balanced perspective, leading you to effectively prioritize levels of urgency, regulate your emotions along with helping others do the same, when required
    • Experience managing financial and human capital
  • Exemplary verbal and,written communication skill as well as deep listening ability
  • Comfort and motivation to work 50 hours/week on average, balancing your personal and professional related responsibilities with care

Please know that no one ever meets 100% of the qualifications. If much of this describes you, we encourage you to apply.

Additional Requirements

  • Ability to work in-person for 2-3 days/week in Atlanta (GA), Chicago (IL), Newark (NJ), or New York City (NYC). Chicago (IL) is highly preferred.
  • Ability to travel roughly 12 times per year for strategy meetings, team stepbacks, regional visits, etc.
  • Authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Must be fully vaccinated and have received the Booster vaccination against COVID-19 and provide proof of such by the date of hire. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. Exempted individuals will be subject to weekly testing if they engage in any in-person work activities.   

Compensation and Benefits

The salary for this position, which depends on prior work experience and our assessment of your demonstrated fit for the role, will likely be between $127,100 - $158,800 for Atlanta, $133,700 - $167,100 for Chicago, and $144,400 - $180,500 for New York or Newark. Braven offers competitive base salaries based on the midpoint of the market among not-for-profit organizations of similar size, with opportunities for salary growth over time. We believe in compensating staff members fairly in relation to each other, their qualifications, and their impact on behalf of the organization, and take internal and external equity seriously. Given our commitment to equity, Braven does not negotiate salary offers; instead each salary offer is determined carefully using external and internal benchmarking. You will have an opportunity to discuss salary in more detail after you begin the application process.

Braven also provides competitive, comprehensive benefits, recognition, and career development. While Braven reserves the right to change benefits at any time, current benefits include: 

  • Unlimited vacation time in addition to org-wide, week-long shutdowns in July and the end of the calendar year 
  • Match of your 401K contribution up to 5% of your base annual salary, starting your first full month
  • Coverage of 85% of health insurance premium 
  • A one month paid sabbatical after 4 years on staff


When social distancing is not in place, we gather in the office two to three days a week. Therefore, we require teammates to live within commuting distance of one of our hubs: Chicago, New York City, Newark, and Atlanta. Each teammate can use two flex days per week of their choosing to work remotely. We believe in the magic, connection, and collaboration that happens when people work together face-to-face and we believe in giving people flexibility to focus, balance personal priorities, and save themselves two commutes per week. 

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

At Braven, we are committed to attracting, engaging, developing, and retaining a diverse team. Braven operates in the context of our American culture, against the backdrop of systemic racism and oppression of marginalized people since our country’s founding. We are committed to assembling leaders at our organization who have emerged from everywhere, with a particular emphasis on those who share the racial and income backgrounds of our Fellows, and creating an inclusive culture that allows all teammates, of all experiences and identities, to thrive.  

Braven is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, veteran status, or any other protected factor.  We encourage talented individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

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  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Employment Type