Chief People Officer At Innovations for Poverty Action

The Chief People Officer (CPO), a new role on IPA’s Senior Management Team (SMT), will lead and reimagine IPA’s people functions. Reporting to the Executive Director, the CPO will develop all people development and human resource initiatives and strategies in support of the organization’s Strategic Ambition and will partner with the SMT and the Global Leadership Team to execute on the vision globally.

The CPO will serve as a thought partner to the CEO, SMT, and global leaders, especially Regional and Country Directors, and provide advice on leadership, employee relations, talent acquisition and retention, culture, compensation, learning and development, and more. The CPO will oversee the Global HR team and provide dotted line oversight and support to HR Managers in Country Offices.

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced people-focused leader with an entrepreneurial spirit to shape a new leadership role within a collegial, passionate team and high-impact organization.


Leadership and Strategy

  • Develop a people strategy that supports the overall mission and strategy of the organization, resulting in best-in-class, innovative practices, systems and policies in areas such as talent acquisition, compensation, organizational design and change, performance management, learning and development.
  • Based on a strong understanding of the organization, its work and its staff, act as a strategic partner to all members of the Senior Management Team (SMT) and Global leadership team, and provide insightful, innovative thinking and problem solving on critical HR issues.
  • Identify and track people-related metrics across the organization; recommend policy changes to global leadership based on internal data as well as a strong understanding of relevant industry trends.
  • In partnership with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Senior Specialist, align IPA’s commitment to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion outcomes throughout the organization with tangible plans, goals, and metrics, and hold staff and leadership accountable to those outcomes.
  • As an SMT member, model IPA’s core values, support organizational strategy development and decision-making, and engage with the Board of Directors as needed.

HR Operations

  • Lead the Global HR team to develops comprehensive approaches to employee recruitment and retention, by reviewing and refining IPA’s compensation and benefits plans, career paths and employee development, succession planning, performance review approaches, and learning opportunities as appropriate to the needs of IPA.
  • Partner with Legal to ensure compliance & mitigate organizational risks.
  • In partnership with the Management, Information, Systems and Technology team (MIST), drive new systems implementation, including HRIS, goal setting, and performance management mechanisms, creating buy-in and fostering learning across the organization
  • In partnership with the Knowledge Management working group, other global teams and Country Offices, play a leadership role in staff on-boarding and organization-wide technical, management and compliance related trainings.
  • Support the rollout and execution of organizational priorities outlined in IPA’s Roadmap to create a culture and practices that support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
  • Ensure that the development of all policies and practices is consultative and inclusive.

Thought Partnership and Coaching

  • Develop relationships with the employees of IPA and become someone who is sought for advice on HR, cultural, and organizational issues. Facilitate integration of diverse teams, workgroups, and cultures.
  • Coach and mentor SMT and global leaders in developing themselves and their teams to achieve improved performance and engagement and in supporting the organization through change.
  • Counsel managers on and mediate employee relations and performance issues and provide counsel to fellow managers on appropriate methods of performance management
  • With an understanding of human resources best practices, continue building an inclusive and engaged workplaces, help to instill cultural awareness and sensitivity across IPA, applying a DEI lens to every aspect of the work and ensuring that IPA attracts and retains diverse talent.

Management and Support of HR Teams

  • Manage and continue to strengthen the Global HR department, guiding team members in supporting Performance Management, Recruitment, Learning & Development, Engagement, Compensation and Benefits, Policy and Compliance.
  • Coach the Global HR team to ensure that they know how to respond to the HR demands of a global, matrixed organization with 22 Country offices.
  • Provide dotted-line oversight to, and support and build the capacity of HR Managers in Country Offices and assist in articulating global HR policy at the country and regional level.
  • Advise on how to strengthen and streamline the HR function across the organization, for e.g. by leveraging IPA’s stronger Country Offices through a regional or country-based shared services model.


  • 15+ years of relevant experience, with demonstrated progressive leadership and recognition of entrepreneurial capabilities Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree or MBA preferred. Certifications in HR helpful (SPHR, GPHR).
  • At least 5 years’ experience managing people and teams of various sizes in dispersed locations, preferably in global regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America, demonstrating a strong cultural awareness.
  • Public sector, not-for-profit/non-governmental (NGO) experience beneficial, especially global organizations.
  • Experience working with HRIS systems such as NetSuite, Suite People and ADP as well as online training platforms, preferred.
  • Experience driving a change agenda, and supporting change management throughout an organization

Characteristics and Skills:

  • Passionate about the mission of IPA, enthused by the challenges confronting the organization, and dedicated to achieving its goa
  • Experienced leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to use data and technology to drive productivity and forecast workforce trends.
  • Excellent communications skills – written, verbal and interpersonal – and an ability to tailor communication style to diverse audiences globally.
  • Must have an innovative mindset and the demonstrated ability to develop new ways of working across a diverse talent pool to optimize work and performance.
  • Drive initiatives with limited resources and roll-up your sleeves attitude to achieve desired results.
  • Demonstrated success at cultivating strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders, creating partnerships and coaching staff at all levels within the organization to achieve results
  • Empathetic and engaging individual, who listens well, is responsive, solutions focused and results oriented.
  • Strong focus on talent: Demonstrated ability to attract and hire top talent, with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

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