Vice President, Operations and Human Resources

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $100,000



Application Deadline



United States


Position: Vice President, Operations and Human Resources

Status: Full Time, Exempt

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Deadline: Open Until Filled (Resume review will begin October 5th)


With 90,000 alumni and 400 partner organizations in all 50 states, Wellstone is the progressive movement's premier center for public and political leadership development, supporting frontline organizations, movement leaders, activists, candidates, and campaigners across the country. We lead with a race-forward and gender-forward analysis in our work, and we prioritize partnering with communities who have been historically excluded from our current public and political leadership structures.


Headquartered in Minnesota, with staff and trainers anchored across the nation, we bring the hard skills and necessary strategies that help progressives build stronger organizations and run smarter campaigns to win immediate change and build enduring governing power.



As Wellstone’s Vice President, Operations and Human Resources you get the excellent job of supporting the growth and health of our organization by guiding an inclusive, values-based, collaborative, and highly effective work environment where our staff can thrive and so that we can have the impact on the ground that we need to have as we build power with and for our communities. We believe you can’t agitate for change outside the organization without doing that same work internally, and your role will be to ensure that we’re living the values internally that we’re promoting with our partners, alumni, and stakeholders across the movement.

In this role, you will lead the development and implementation of systems, structures, and practices that support our people in doing their best work. You’ll recruit, retain, and develop staff, drive our organizational commitment to supporting a talented and high-performing national team, and ensure compliance with employment and other relevant laws that guide our operations. And you’ll be joining a highly strategic, results-driven, and good-humored organization that cares as much about our people as we do about the work (so: a lot).


This is a senior leadership position and part of the organization’s Executive Team. You will report to the Acting Executive Director and supervise the Executive Assistant/Operations Manager, Senior Operations Coordinator, and Operations Coordinator, and you will have a dotted-line relationship to our Finance Manager.


Primary Responsibilities

1.    Operations and Human Resources Leadership - Manage a high-performing staff and deliver the most compelling and strategic operations and human resources program possible, one which solidifies Wellstone’s role as the premier organization for progressive public, political, and organizational leadership in the country that is as committed internally as it is externally to practicing a politics of inclusion:

§ Set the vision and strategic direction of the operations and human resources work, in collaboration with the Acting Executive Director

§ Apply a strong race and gender equity and inclusion lens throughout all aspects of our organization – so you will set the tone organization wide through the seat you hold, proactively prioritizing equity and inclusion in the functions you manage directly and partnering with staff across the organization to also integrate and prioritize this work

§ Develop goals, budgets, and plans that meet strategic objectives and ensure ongoing evaluation, learning, and improvement towards greater programmatic excellence

§ Manage three direct staff to ensure strong day-to-day execution of the work, guiding implementation, troubleshooting, budgeting, workflow, and other questions

§ Collaborate with the Finance Manager (dotted-line relationship) in executing benefits administration, oversight of expenditures, and other finance-related functions

§ Collaborate with Wellstone’s Executive Team (Executive Directors, VP of Training and Partnerships, VP of Communications and Marketing, VP of Development, and VP of Special Projects) to establish and execute key organizational priorities with an eye toward crafting a comprehensive strategic operations and human resources plan for 2019-2020

§ Attract, hire, develop, and retain great people (whether staff, partners, or consultants), and give clear and actionable feedback that helps people get better at what they do

§ Participate and demonstrate leadership in all relevant organizational spaces, including executive team meetings, leadership team meetings, staff meetings, and retreats.


2.    Operations and Organizational Effectiveness Excellence – Build or change our systems and structures that relate to our people, our processes, and our planning

§ Develop, implement, and lead a high-quality integrated Ops and OE strategy that conveys, promotes, and positions Wellstone to achieve its desired impact in the world

§ Lead the effort to expand our management and leadership practices and ensure even application across the organization

§ Create systems to collect and review staff feedback and conduct internal reviews to ensure organizational learning and development. Determine and recommend employee engagement practices necessary to establish positive relationships and promote a high level of staff engagement across the organization

§ Work with staff and managers to ensure our work environment reflects our values of equity and inclusion, ensuring that staff continue to build our skills and that this work continues to be intentionally resourced and cultivated across the organization

§ Review and improve our internal systems and structures to promote clarity of roles, efficiency of work, and transparency and accountability within and outside of the Operations department

§ Develop and lead professional development opportunities related to organizational effectiveness for our staff.

3.    Human Resources Excellence - Oversee our organizational strategies for recruiting, retaining, and developing really excellent staff

§ Support and advance inclusive hiring practices by providing training, guidance, drafting job descriptions, screening candidates, promoting job openings, hiring staff, and sharing best practices

§ Improve on-boarding and off-boarding process and practice, ensuring consistent implementation and follow through

§ Ensure competitive compensation and benefits for a national nonprofit organization of our size and sector

§ Oversee and negotiate all contracts with our benefits providers and payroll processing company

§ Support managers to address staff performance in accordance with our values, practices, and personnel handbook

§ Support staff who are dealing with personnel challenges, including with supervisors, peers, and direct reports

§ Guide our staff development budget and plan, ensuring our ongoing commitment to developing leaders and leadership across all positions in the organization

§ Manage our annual review process and ensure that all managers and staff provide and receive meaningful and actionable feedback

§ Develop and maintain effective programs for staff retention, promotion, and succession planning.


4.    Budget and Resource Development and Partnership with the Finance Department - Ensure appropriate resources and that the Operations department meets its financial objectives.

§ Drive overall operations and human resources program budget development and support staff to oversee project budgets in alignment with strategic goals

§ Partner with the Finance Manager on specific, discrete projects (payroll processing, benefits administration, and check signing, for example)

§ Negotiate contracts with external vendors and partners as needed to execute operations and human resources initiatives and ensure sound financial management of dedicated operations resources

§ Partner with the Finance Manager regarding benefits administration and other cross-team functions.


Required Qualifications

Who You Are:

§ Approach

o  Organizational leadership: Lead by example by modeling a high bar for performance and living our values; operate with the best interests of the organization in mind, and not simply the best interests of your team

o  Ownership: You care deeply about getting results in your realm, and you do what it takes to get them, including paying attention to even small details, anticipating problems, offering creative solutions, driving work forward, and course-correcting when needed

o  Committed to progressive, inclusive leadership, including valuing and prioritizing work with diverse coalitions and communities

o  Highly relational, with a strong belief in the importance of relationship-building for success, both internally and externally

o  Tenacious and flexible, with a “getting to yes” attitude and a propensity for working through roadblocks and achieving your goals

o  High standards and peak performance – a drive toward ambition and delivering excellent work, including the ability to manage and successfully execute multiple projects simultaneously, both directly and through your team

o  Strong self-initiative and the ability to work independently; able to own significant projects and follow through to completion without heavy day-to-day supervision

o  Thoughtful, strategic leadership combined with energy to do the day-to-day work of program delivery

o  Openness to giving and receiving feedback for continuous learning, evolution, and improvement – you’re committed to building your own skills as well as building the skills and capacity of your colleagues

o  Deep and demonstrated commitment to racial, social, economic, and gender justice

o  A great sense of humor – we’re serious about not taking ourselves too seriously

§ Experience and Skills

o  7+ years of combined experience in human resources, operations, and organizational effectiveness work, with certification in human resources strongly preferred

o  Demonstrated ability to work and lead in a multiracial organization, including work that actively addresses habits of white supremacy and other ways that dominant cultures interfere with the dignity and humanity of workers in the workplace and experience developing and leading strategies that promote race and gender equity and inclusion at the organizational level

o  Adeptness in human resources and organizational effectiveness best practices, including legal compliance

o  Direct experience supervising and developing staff, both direct reports and across the organization as a broader staff development strategy, including planning, budgeting, goals setting, financial management, and evaluation

o  Experience managing confidential and sensitive information with a high degree of discretion and accountability

o  Exceptional verbal, written, digital, and interpersonal communications skills, as well as deep listening and intuitive skills – you hear what staff aren’t saying as much as you hear what they are telling you outright

o  Experience negotiating contracts with everyone from payroll vendors to insurance carriers

o  Demonstrated innovation and creativity: having imagined and built something new in the world

o  Experience with change management that includes strong project management skills and ability to take ownership and build broad support for new and emerging initiatives

o  Experience in multi-state or remote staff cultures preferred, but not required

o  Willingness to work non-standard hours, including weekends, and travel when required


Compensation and Benefits


Compensation for this position is highly competitive, with a starting salary of $100,000. Wellstone offers a comprehensive benefits package with excellent health/dental/life/disability insurance; exceptionally generous and flexible paid time off; 401k retirement benefits; FSA enrollment; and more. Check out our full benefits summary, and more about our organizational culture, at

Wellstone offers a lively and rewarding environment, one grounded in community and continuous learning. We are headquartered in Minneapolis, MN and half of our staff are based here with the other half based out of their homes in states across the country. This position must be located at our headquarters in Minnesota, although even our Minneapolis-based staff enjoy a flexible, work-from-home culture and this role can be designed to be in-office part time and from home part-time depending on the candidate’s preferences. If the ideal candidate is located outside of Minnesota, or the Minneapolis area specifically, relocation assistance is available.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Application Deadline and Instructions


This position is open until filled. We’ll begin reviewing resumes on Friday, October 5th.


Please email your letter of interest and resume to Please be sure to specify “VP, Operations and Human Resources” in the subject line.


Wellstone is an equal opportunity employer. And we’re also an organization that’s guided mostly by people of color, women and gender nonconforming folks, immigrants, queer people, and working-class people. We eagerly invite people of color, Native American and Indigenous people, immigrants, women, genderqueer and gender nonconforming people, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized communities to apply for all open positions at Wellstone. For more about our work, check us out at