Job Description

Payroll Title:
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Hiring Pay Scale
$120,00/year to $131,000/year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Mon-Fri

#128665 Senior Director of People and Culture

Filing Deadline: Thu 4/25/2024

UC San Diego values equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are interested in being part of our team, possess the needed licensure and certifications, and feel that you have most of the qualifications and/or transferable skills for a job opening, we strongly encourage you to apply.


The Senior Director of People and Culture at Birch Aquarium is an accomplished professional with extensive experience in Human Resources (HR) operations. Oversee the Birch Aquarium department HR services and ensure that Birch Aquarium complies with all applicable policies and regulations. In addition, they are tasked with implementing the best practices in the industry and developing innovative strategic plans to facilitate future growth.

As an expert in HR, guides senior managers on HR issues, conducts complex analyses, and counsels employees on work-related matters. They provide leadership support by shaping organizational values, developing change management communication plans, and participating in department committees to shape strategies and policies.

In order to advance Birch Aquarium's ongoing plans, initiatives, and transformative projects, the Senior Director of People and Culture will work closely with the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. As a strategic partner to the executive and leadership teams, the Senior Director of People and Culture will have a key role in fostering a positive, innovative, and high-performing work culture for all staff that aligns with our mission.

Responsible for partnering with UC San Diego HR Department centers of expertise to ensure department compliance with HR policies and implementing procedures. Set strategic HR objectives with overall operational needs and manage day-to-day HR operations for Birch Aquarium.

Identifies leadership development needs and design programs that enhance managerial skills and competencies. Responsible for creating succession plans and talent management strategies to ensure a strong leadership pipeline. Identifies appropriate campus resources and outsourced services to provide coaching and guidance to students, frontline staff, supervisors, and managers to improve their performance and effectiveness. Facilitates workshops and training sessions on management topics like communication, conflict resolution, and performance management. Collaborate with the Executive team and senior leaders to align management practices with organizational goals and values.

The Senior Director of People and Culture’s responsibilities include promoting employee engagement and establishing a positive work culture. This will include creating and executing strategies to enhance the organization's effectiveness and efficiency, identifying areas that need improvement, and developing action plans to address them. This will also include change management initiatives that support organizational transformation; competency training; and performance management.

The University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Birch Aquarium use the Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence, which centers Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) as crucial aspects that should be reflected in the policies, programs, and initiatives at the University. Birch Aquarium will continue to uphold the UC San Diego Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence as a part of our Strategic Initiative #2, which strives to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace on campus and center the Aquarium as a community resource. To achieve this, the Senior Director of People and Culture will identify a variety of resources for conducting EDI training and awareness programs for employees at all levels. We will work collaboratively with Campus HR and the Vice Chancellor EDI, when appropriate, to ensure that recruitment, selection, and promotion practices are fair and inclusive. Provides guidance on EDI-related matters, such as addressing bias, discrimination, and harassment in behaviors as well as in our policies, procedures, and practices. By analyzing workforce data, we will identify gaps and opportunities for enhancing diversity and inclusion. This will create an equitable and inclusive work environment by establishing employee resource groups and promoting cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Responsible for analyzing, interpreting, and forecasting compensation and job scope data to identify trends, patterns, and insights that can help Birch Aquarium attract, retain, and develop skilled professionals. Develops HR metrics and dashboards to monitor and report on key performance indicators, conduct workforce planning and forecasting to align HR strategies with business needs, use data analysis to identify areas for process improvement and enhance HR practices, prepare reports and presentations to communicate findings and recommendations while staying updated on industry trends and best practices in HR analytics to make better decisions and develop strategies.


  • Possess a robust background in Human Resources with a minimum of 8-10 years of experience in progressively responsible roles.

  • Demonstrated active listening and critical thinking skills. Professionalism and Approachability: Proven ability to maintain a professional demeanor while being approachable and accessible to employees. Demonstrated experience create an environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking HR assistance, knowing they will be treated with fairness, respect, and confidentiality. Emotional Intelligence: Proven ability to demonstrate emotional intelligence by recognizing and managing their own emotions and empathizing with the emotions of others. Demonstrated experience understanding the impact emotions can have on individuals and situations, and respond appropriately with sensitivity and tact.

  • Empathy and Compassion: Demonstrate empathy by acknowledging and understanding the emotions, challenges, and experiences of employees. Ability to show compassion and sensitivity when addressing employee concerns, ensuring individuals feel heard, validated, and supported

  • Demonstrated ability to handle extremely difficult or volatile situations/individuals effectively. Proven abilities to collaborate, persuade, and manage conflicts. Demonstrated discretion and tact under pressure.

  • Deep commitment to EDI initiatives, demonstrated by enhancing recruitment policies, analyzing diversity data, and promoting employee engagement through inclusive practices.

  • Strong leadership skills, guiding senior managers on HR issues, conducting complex analyses, and offering counsel on work-related matters.

  • Verifiable expertise in shaping organizational values, developing change management communication plans, and actively participating in department committees to influence strategies and policies

  • Demonstrated organizational development experience, including reviewing data to understand employee departures, empowering change agents to foster innovation, and creating a purpose-driven workplace guided by shared norms.

  • Possesses advanced analytical skills to conduct analysis and develop recommendations, demonstrating organization and problem-solving skills.

  • Advanced knowledge of human resources concepts, policies and procedures including employment practices, labor relations, salary administration, training and other areas of human resources as well as organizational initiatives relating to and / or affecting human resources.

  • Demonstrated advanced knowledge of organizational policies and procedures; advanced knowledge of functional area and understands how work affects other areas in Human Resources and the organization.

  • In-depth knowledge of a human resources management system (HRMS), and / or other related business software programs and systems.

  • Advanced interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills to present complex information.

  • Demonstrated ability to handle extremely difficult or volatile situations / individuals effectively. Demonstrated active listening and critical thinking skills.

  • Strong analytical, active listening, and critical thinking skills.


  • Job offer is contingent upon satisfactory clearance based on Background Check results.

  • Duties may require direct contact with children (defined as individuals under the age of 18); completion of the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) training will be required. Must meet CANRA compliance requirement per California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act ("CANRA," Penal Code sections 11164-11174.4).

Our employees enjoy competitive compensation packages and educational opportunities in a diverse, stimulating workforce. Click here for Details

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $91,300 - $170,700 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $43.73 - $81.75

Factors in determining the appropriate compensation for a role include experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. The Hiring Pay Scale referenced in the job posting is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position. The Annual Full Pay Range may be broader than what the University anticipates to pay for this position, based on internal equity, budget, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

If employed by the University of California, you will be required to comply with our Policy on Vaccination Programs, which may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, UC San Diego strives to cultivate a rich and diverse environment, inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. For more information, please visit UC San Diego Principles of Community.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

Application Instructions

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