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Director of Human Resources

  • Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Business Operations

Job description

Third Way (TW) is a national think tank that was founded in 2005 to champion modern center-left ideas. Our work is grounded in the mainstream American values of opportunity, freedom, and security. We are proud of the organization that we have built and continue to seek out talent who contribute to our ambitious mission. We are deeply committed to promoting a culture of results and respect where every employee has opportunities to contribute, develop, and grow professionally.

Third Way is looking for a Director of Human Resources to lead the delivery of practical and strategic HR initiatives in our growing organization. The successful candidate is a well-rounded generalist who will plan, direct, develop, and coordinate the policies, personnel, and activities within the HR department. The ideal candidate will balance business acumen with a people-first approach as they steer the development and implementation of HR policies and practices which foster a vibrant, inclusive, compliant, and high-performing culture.

The Director of Human Resources will manage the administration of human resource programs including, but not limited to, full cycle recruitment, compensation, benefits, and leave; disciplinary matters, disputes, and investigations; performance and talent management; awards, recognition and engagement; compliance and risk management; and training and development. 

The Director of Human Resources reports to the Senior Director of Business Operations. This role is pivotal in shaping and executing HR strategies that align with our core values and mission. With a focus on Culture & Employee Experience, Operational Excellence and Compliance, and Full Cycle Recruitment and Talent Management, this role is critical in driving the organizational culture forward, ensuring seamless HR operations, delivering exceptional learning and development opportunities, and fostering a dynamic workforce. As a strategic partner to leadership, the Director of Human Resources ensures agile HR practices that contribute significantly to attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent, thereby fueling organizational success and growth.

As the Director of Human Resources, a typical day may include…

  • Diving deep into TWs HR information system (HRIS), Paylocity to unearth insights from HR reports and metrics, influencing organizational strategies. 
  • Vigilantly monitoring and enforcing compliance with all employment laws, regularly updating policies to reflect best practices and legal requirements. 
  • Readily hopping into an impromptu call to provide support and guidance to team members, fostering a supportive work environment.
  • Forging and maintaining strong connections with key vendors, partners, and service providers, enhancing HR services and offerings.
  • Leading lively discussions on HR project progress, ensuring transparency, team alignment, and momentum.
  • Addressing staffing and recruiting needs through the development and implementation of best practice hiring and talent management strategies.
  • Conducting information sessions which cover employee benefits, HR policies, and DEI initiatives, enhancing organizational culture and compliance.
  • Managing and distributing critical HR executive reports, offering our leaders strategic insights into organizational health and performance.
  • Working closely with the rest of the Business Operations team including Finance, IT, Operations, Learning & Org Development, and Office of the President, aligning strategies with organizational objectives.
  • Ensuring the organization's performance management practices are consistently applied, supporting a culture of professional development and excellence.
  • Being prepared to take on varied duties as needed, showcasing flexibility and a dedication to the HR mission.
  • Proactively suggesting and implementing HR activities that deliver impact through operational efficiency and employee satisfaction.

Job requirements

Full Cycle Recruitment, Talent Management, & Organizational Branding

  • Demonstrated expertise in designing and implementing comprehensive talent acquisition strategies that align with organizational objectives, ensuring a seamless integration of top talent into our culture.
  • Proven ability to enhance our employer brand both inside and outside the organization, crafting a compelling value proposition that resonates with potential candidates and fosters a sense of pride and loyalty among our team.
  • Experience orchestrating workforce diversification strategies, ensuring recruitment practices are inclusive and contribute to a culture rich in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Skilled in articulating and promoting organizational culture and values through various channels, significantly strengthening our ability to attract high-caliber candidates.

Cultural Leadership and Employee Experience

  • Extensive experience in cultivating a positive, engaging workplace culture that maximizes employee engagement and fosters a strong sense of community.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and implementing DEIB initiatives that enhance workforce cohesion and motivation.
  • Skilled in implementing impactful employee wellness programs that support mental health, work-life balance, and overall well-being, contributing to a positive and productive work environment.
  • Experience in leading change management initiatives, guiding the organization through transformation with clear communication, empathy, and strategic foresight.

Strategic, Operational Excellence, and Risk Management

  • Strong capability in developing HR metrics and analytics frameworks that drive strategic decision-making and operational improvements.
  • Strong experience in crisis management within HR, preparing and leading the organization through potential challenges with resilience and planning.
  • Background in optimizing HR processes for greater efficiency, adopting technological solutions for streamlined HR practices, and maintaining strict compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. 
  • Capacity to collaborate effectively with external partners to ensure compliance and risk management best practices are consistently applied. 

HR Administration

  •  Exceptional organizational skills in managing personnel records, updating HR databases, and preparing critical HR documents  with precision.
  • Ability to revise and communicate organizational policies, responding to HR inquiries with expertise and discretion.
  • Competence in generating insightful HR reports and surveys, providing key metrics on turnover, retention, and engagement to inform strategic decisions.
  • Experience in offering and gernerating insightful HR reports and surveys, providing key metrics on turnover, retention, and other engagement-related metrics to inform strategic decisions.

You might find yourself a perfect fit for this role if you…

  • Relish in the growth and development of your colleagues, always seeking to elevate both their skills and your own;
  • Find unparalleled satisfaction in positively shaping someone's career trajectory;
  • Take pride in crafting processes that significantly enhance the workplace and employee experience;
  • Engage deeply with leadership to align HR initiatives with broader organizational objectives;
  • Boast a proven track record in orchestrating HR strategies, from conception through implementation, to bolster compliance and support organizational goals;
  • Leverage data to inform decisions, fully grasping the extensive scope of HR responsibilities and the opportunities for substantive impact;
  • Excel in creating and nurturing relationships across all levels of the organization, balancing professionalism with approachability;
  • Are driven by a mission to contribute to a progressive, center-left organization, aligning closely with Third Way's core values;
  • Navigate change with agility, adapting swiftly to evolving organizational needs;
  • Communicate with clarity and impact, both in writing and verbally, engaging effectively with diverse audiences;
  • Have an undergraduate degree in a related field or relevant 4-6 years of experience, complemented by HR certification; and
  • Are motivated to leave a lasting mark on Third Way, championing our mission and embodying our values as the Director of Human Resources.

In the Third Way Culture, we are looking for…

  • Self-starters: People who see and seize opportunities, take risks, learn from failure, and will bring a sustained passion for our mission.
  • Collaborators: People who work in teams—sharing ideas, brainstorming, co-authoring products, and advancing its shared priorities.
  • Creators: People who foster divergent thinking; that aren’t afraid to take on the orthodoxies of the left or the right. Team members come up with original insights, find unique ways to look at data, and challenge their preconceptions.
  • Results-oriented: People who function with an organizational commitment to clear objectives, ambitious timelines, accountability for results, and a focus on impact.
  • Respectful: People who embrace the diverse perspectives of everyone and fosters the values of diversity, equity, and inclusiveness at all times.

In our Director of Human Resources, we are looking for…

  • Analytical & Research Skills : Someone who is skilled at identifying and defining problems, extracting key information from data and developing workable solutions.
  • Relationship-Building: Someone with the ability to develop a network and build alliances, collaborating across boundaries to build strategic partnerships and achieve common goals.
  • Complex Problem-Solving: Someone who excels at breaking down problems into smaller components to understand underlying issues, simplify and process complex issues, and understand the difference between critical details and unimportant facts. 
  • Customer Focus: Someone who collaborates with internal customers to provide high-quality service, is attentive and responsive to needs of internal and external parties, and treats all customers in a professional and courteous manner.
  • Knowledge Management: Someone who possesses an expertise in a chosen area and applies both the depth and breadth of knowledge to ensure the accuracy, integrity, and thoroughness of work products; Uses knowledge, skills, and abilities to generate and apply creative solutions to challenging situations.


  • Participate in Third Way’s comprehensive onboarding program where you'll learn about all aspects of Business Operations incl. HR, Learning & Development, IT, Office of the President, Finance & Grants, and Office Operations.
  • Be introduced to your Third Way Buddy, meet the entire TW team, and start to experience TW's culture;
  • Participate in weekly one-on-ones with Xiavian, your manager, to ensure you fully understand the expectations of the job;
  • Attend the Business Operations Team's weekly team meetings. You’ll learn about the key goals of your department, how they’re doing, what challenges they face, and how you will contribute.
  • Learn about our current HR processes and begin to envision how best to enhance them.
  • Share a coffee with other Directors in the organization and learn about the history and growth of Third Way.


  • Have an opportunity to learn more about how each program, department, and team contributes to TW’s mission.
  • Begin building your HR team by partnering with Xiavian to confirm the job description and recruitment plan for a new junior HR professional.
  • Participate in one of our internal Professional Development trainings or a Center for Fun activity.
  • Learn and experience TW’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and respect in the workplace.
  • Expand your knowledge as you become familiar with the existing HR resources, documentation, and administrator tools on your path to become our in-house HR superhero.


  • Feel a sense of comfort and familiarity with the staff, the Business Operations team, and your work.
  • Continue to attend weekly team meetings, now with a stronger understanding of your team’s strategic goal.
  • Publish a memo for our Management Committee that outlines an enhanced and refined talent philosophy and recruitment approach to achieve our staffing goals.
  • Create and/or refine HR metrics, be tech savvy, and be comfortable working with Paylocity and for HR administration and project management.
  • Complete your 90-day self-evaluation and performance review with your manager.
  • Bring new ideas and suggestions to your weekly one-on-ones with your manager.
  • Partner with your manager to establish your long-term goals for the remainder of the year.

Third Way is committed to the health, safety and wellness of all employees, candidates, stakeholders, and communities. In support of that commitment, all current and employees are required to provide proof of  full vaccination against Covid-19. Proof of full vaccination status will be required after an offer of employment is extended and accepted. Failure to provide proof of full vaccination prior to the start date will result in the offer of employment being rescinded.

Third Way offers a flexible, hybrid work environment to support our employees’ healthy work\life balance. This position is based in Washington, DC, and Third Way’s in-office days on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Third Way is an equal opportunity employer that celebrates, supports, and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity, or any other legally protected basis, in accordance with applicable laws.