Position Announcement

ORGANIZATION: NOLS is a nonprofit, global wilderness school that educates students in leadership and wilderness skills. Our students learn to step forward on expedition and classroom-based courses. Graduates have a lifelong drive for leadership, outdoor pursuits, continued skills development, and conservation. Since 1965, NOLS has embraced and explored the unknown through outdoor and classroom-based courses. For more information visit www.nols.edu.

JOB TITLE: Human Resources Director (HRD)

REPORTS TO:  Chief People Officer

NOLS is seeking a skilled and collaborative HR Director (HRD) that builds trust by centering people in their approach. The HRD will be a proactive and strategic partner to the Chief People Officer while delivering excellence and efficiencies in all aspects of the day-to-day and overall HR operations including, but not limited to: talent acquisition, onboarding, leadership development, training, benefits management, compensation planning, policy setting, performance evaluations, employee relations, HRIS and employee engagement. This position requires someone with a demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion, and equity, the ability to think strategically in seizing opportunities, assessing risk, and streamlining processes and procedures across multiple locations

JOB OBJECTIVE: Under the direction of the Chief People Officer, the HRD plans, organizes, and directs the activities of the Human Resources Department, including policy development, compensation, benefits, performance management, regulatory compliance, and organizational and professional development. The HRD advises schoolwide directors, supervisors, and employees in a comprehensive range of related matters while ensuring compliance with local, state, federal and national laws. The HRD provides leadership and vision for fostering an inclusive work environment where employees feel valued, respected and have access to opportunities. 


  • 5+ years of experience in Human Resources; demonstrated success in every stage of the employee lifecycle.
  • Global and cultural awareness and competence.
  • Strategic thinking with a willingness to execute and implement.
  • Experience building and implementing inclusive talent and people operations systems, processes, and policies.
  • Strong emotional intelligence.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Conflict management skills.
  • Sound judgment, including the ability to maintain total confidentiality concerning highly sensitive information and the ability to act with discretion always.


  • This role is a business partner to the organization, and as such you will engage with our senior leadership team, keeping them informed and engaging them as appropriate.
  • They may oversee an HR Generalist and/or Coordinator. 
  • The HRD indirectly oversees NOLS employees by training supervisors in recruiting, orientation, development, and management of staff and faculty. 
  • They are an associate responsible officer for the NOLS J-1 Visa program and support other visa programs. 

FUNDS AND/OR PROPERTY:  Responsible for a department budget.


  • Steward the culture, mission and strategic vision, enhancing allegiance to the organization by building an internal, cohesive community with a culture of accountability.
  • Develop and implement strategies that level-up our approach to talent recruitment, hiring, onboarding and retention.
  • Ensures that our policies, processes and programs are consistent with the NOLS’ mission and core values and fosters a high level of psychological safety, trust and engagement. Provide guidance and coaching related to a broad range of employee relations matters to leaders and employees.
  • Manage the employee relation function to provide oversight and guidance on a full range of employee relations matters including investigations, grievances, disciplinary issues, and corrective action.
  • Plans, leads, develops, coordinates, and implements policies, processes, training, initiatives, and surveys to support the organization’s human resource compliance and strategy needs.
  • Oversee large, often cross-functional, organization-wide HR projects or initiatives; bring together important stakeholders and help drive decisions.
  • Identifies staffing and recruiting needs; develops and executes best practices for hiring and talent management.
  • Conducts research and analysis of organizational trends including review of reports and metrics from the organization’s human resource information system (HRIS) or talent management system.
  • In collaboration with CPO, may identify and facilitate internal all-staff and other meetings to advance HR and organizational priorities.
  • Propose the creation of new systems and processes to streamline all HR operations.
  • Project manage the implementation of a suite of new HR systems. 
  • Monitors and ensures the organization’s compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations, and recommended best practices; reviews and modifies policies and practices to maintain compliance.
  • Represents NOLS to external audiences such as at conferences and with peer directors at other organizations. Manages HR portal on the Intranet.
  • Available to support NOLS’ crisis response team.
  • Participates on committees and special projects as assigned and needed. 

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: NOLS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, genetics information, disability unrelated to job or admission requirements, or status as a protected veteran. The school’s nondiscrimination policy applies to all phases of its employment process, its admission and financial aid programs, and to all other aspects of its educational programs and activities. Retaliation directed to any person who pursues a discrimination complaint or grievance, participates in a discrimination investigation, or otherwise opposes unlawful discrimination is prohibited.

Applicants from protected classes are encouraged to apply.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK: A criminal background check is required from all NOLS employees.

MOTOR VEHICLE RECORD: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the position start date and possess a valid driver’s license. Must have a clean driving history and be able to meet the criteria for NOLS vehicle insurance coverage. 

COVID-19 VACCINE REQUIREMENT: All employees who are not working remotely and who have regular contact with other employees or students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they meet a medical, disability or religion exemption and a reasonable accommodation is approved. Any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) is an acceptable vaccine for the purpose of this policy. Full vaccination or an approved exemption is a condition of employment for all new employees as applicable. 


HOW TO APPLY: Send cover letter and resume to: Jayme Blackburn 
*Applications without accompanying cover letter articulating specific interest in this position may be rejected.

Email: Jayme_Blackburn@nols.edu
Phone: 307-335-2227
Contact: Jayme Blackburn with questions.


STARTING DATE: As soon as possible.

Thank you for your interest in NOLS. Please consider providing some optional, anonymous information by visiting this link.