12 days old

Vice President, Work Life & Culture

New York, New York 10006
  • Job Type
  • Job Status
    Full Time

Make a Lasting Impact 

Vice President, Work Life and Culture

 New York, NY

Do you believe everyone should have affordable access to knowledge and higher education? Join the ITHAKA team and help make that vision a reality.

The Role

ITHAKA is seeking a Vice President of Work Life and Culture to lead our efforts to ensure that ITHAKA embraces and supports the people, skills, and capabilities needed to serve our mission and meet our goals successfully. Our Vice President of Work Life and Culture reports to ITHAKA’s president and works to build a vibrant organizational culture for our 350+ staff that supports our organizational values while leading all human resources functions, including recruitment, benefits, employee relations, compensation, organizational development, and staff effectiveness.

Specific Objectives and Responsibilities

As a member of the senior management team, you will contribute to our success by helping to create and maintain a cohesive organization that works well together to adapt effectively to a rapidly changing environment.

In this role, you will:

People and Culture

  • Build and maintain a productive and collaborative work environment.
  • Help leadership and staff embrace change with enthusiasm.
  • Build and maintain strength and depth of talent.
  • Serve as a trusted advisor to all staff.
  • Maintain a department that is relied upon for personal and professional development by everyone in the organization.
  • Create effective mechanisms for measuring and improving performance. 
  • Shape strategy and lead implementation efforts for key culture-building efforts such as the integration of organizational values.

Talent Acquisition and Management

  • Ensure that the organization recruits great performers well-suited to every role. 
  • Drive diversity and inclusion efforts that embrace applicants and employees of all backgrounds and encourage their full development and engagement.
  • Identify and provide training to help staff develop their skills and adapt to changing needs of the organization.
  • Help every employee realize his or her full growth potential as a professional first at ITHAKA, but also by providing support when continued growth can only happen elsewhere.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Lead the Compensation and Benefits Committee for the Board of Trustees and support year-end salary planning and performance management process for key staff and officers.
  • Develop and maintain a compensation structure that reflects the organization’s values, enables successful recruiting in a competitive market, and motivates fantastic performance.
  • Set and maintain the annual employee performance, goal-setting, salary and incentive-based pay administration processes.
  • Ensure equity across the organization in the wage, pay, incentive, and merit review structures and programs.

Employee Relations

  • Demonstrate the capacity to navigate complex employee relations issues with best practices and the organization’s values in mind.
  • Resolve issues in a manner that aligns with ITHAKA’s organizational culture and values.
  • Provide strategic guidance to other leaders and managers in their efforts to address employee-related

Compliance & Reporting

  • Work with ITHAKA’s Legal team to develop appropriate policies and programs and to ensure they are consistently applied and meet relevant labor law and regulatory requirements.
  • Develop organizational compliance programs and training covering employee relations, affirmative action, sexual harassment, employee grievances and staff development.
  • Build a strategy to manage HR information systems and reports for critical analyses of HR services and outcomes. 
  • Establish key metrics to monitor, evaluate, and report progress. 

Internal Communications

  • Work in partnership with the Communications team to:
    • Define internal communications programs that clarify and reinforce the organization’s mission, vision, and values and motivate people to achieve organizational goals.
    • Get the word out across the organization about the great work we are doing, including the successes, failures, opportunities and challenges.
  • Partner effectively with leaders and staff throughout the organization to ensure that our interactions are consistent with our mission, culture, and values.


  • Oversee office management, reception, organizational events, and facilities functions.
  • Work toward continuous improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of the administrative team while also offering individuals opportunities for professional and personal growth.
  • Manage departmental budgets and other duties, projects, and roles as assigned.



Skills, Experiences and Characteristics

Personal Qualities

Lots of energy and enthusiasm.  Flexibility and an eagerness to fully engage in a dynamic, hard-working environment that is motivated by integrity and pursuit of the right answer for the organization. We welcome candidates who are:

  • Committed to the highest standards of personal and professional integrity;
  • Superb and mindful listeners;
  • Smart, strategic problem solvers who enjoy working with an ambitious, goal-oriented group of people;
  • Innovative in the ways they approach problems;
  • Adaptable and great at building strong professional relationships;
  • Proactive, resourceful, and self-motivated;
  • Dedicated to getting things done, and done well, with a total willingness to join in and complete tasks themselves when it’s helpful or necessary.
  • Committed to our organizational values of belonging, evidence, speed, teamwork, and trust.

Experience and Expertise

  • 15+ years of experience and expertise in leading all aspects of Human Resources.
  • MBA or other advanced degree preferred. GPHR/SPHR a plus.
  • Excellent communication, organizational, and project management skills.
  • Prior leadership experience in a rapid growth, high tech environment.
  • Strong experience navigating and supporting matrix-management organizations.
  • Experience in conducting due diligence and integration of mergers and acquisitions.
  • Strong knowledge and experience in building compensation programs including executive compensation and incentive programs.
  • Advanced computer skills, including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. HRIS skills a must.
  • Ability to travel between our offices in New York, NY, Princeton, NJ, and Ann Arbor, MI (15-20%).


Work for us

Come join our team of talented and dedicated people with great ideas who want to make the world a smarter place.  Individuals will be rewarded with excellent career development and a fantastic benefits package that includes:

  • Choice of two medical plans, one at no cost to the employee
  • Employer paid dental, vision, life insurance, and employee assistance programs
  • Employer contributed retirement and much, much more


How to apply:

Interested candidates can submit their resume, a detailed cover letter, and salary requirements.

ITHAKA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


Our Organization

As a not-for-profit organization, we care deeply about our mission. We work with leaders in the global higher education community to advance and preserve knowledge, to improve teaching and learning through the use of digital technologies, and to help broaden access to higher education by reducing the cost while also improving student outcomes. We are passionate about the value of education and are driven to help our universities, colleges, and high schools become better, more affordable, and more effective, and to reach beyond these traditional walls to support learners everywhere.

In two decades, we have launched some of the most transformative and widely used services in higher education:  JSTOR, Portico, and Ithaka S+R.  In addition, ITHAKA recently entered into a strategic alliance with Artstor and furthers a number of Artstor’s initiatives. Our 300+ employees work closely with our user communities, day in and day out, to build and continuously improve upon these services, and to identify new opportunities to expand access to knowledge and learning.. As a successful, growing organization in a demanding and dynamic environment, we challenge ourselves to retain an entrepreneurial spirit that pursues and embraces change.

ITHAKA is headquartered in New York, New York with additional offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Princeton, New Jersey and provides legal oversight and services for, Artstor, also located in New York, New York. We also manage a subsidiary, Ithaka International, LLC. to expand our impact globally.


Mission and Funding

We are proud to be a not-for-profit organization, but our status is a reflection of our mission, not our funding model. Our work across these services is highly valued in the global higher education community, and we cover our costs by collecting fees in exchange for the access, preservation, and research and consulting services we provide. That exerts a real discipline on our operations in that we must continually adapt to the needs of our audiences to be worthy of their support. Thousands of higher education and related institutions around the world are ITHAKA’s primary financial supporters; their JSTOR participation fees provide 88% of ITHAKA’s revenue. Our 99% renewal rate for JSTOR generates stable recurring income, alleviating the dependency on fundraising that many not-for-profits experience. Because the organizations share our commitment to our mission, we have the financial resources necessary to maintain a great work environment that encourages innovation and excellence.

Our Values

We are a learning organization, inside and out. We aim to serve as an invaluable partner for learners and providers of education everywhere. Every day presents an opportunity to improve ourselves as an organization, as professionals, and as people.

We value:


Everyone belongs. We value diversity and actively seek different perspectives.
We work to help every employee participate and succeed.


We are systematic and use evidence in our pursuit of continuous improvement.


Speed matters. The world is moving faster and so must we.


Teamwork wins. Our favorite pronouns are we, our and us.


Trust enables. We do what we say and we say what we do.


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New York, New York 10006

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