Director Global Employee Relations

International Rescue Committee
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Oct 19

Position description

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives.  Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, IRC offers life-saving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.  At work today in more than 40 countries and in 25 U.S. cities, IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted by conflict or disaster.  IRC leads the way from harm to home.

IRC Global Human Resources supports a global workforce of approximately 24,000 including employees and contract staff through a direct and matrix management structure balanced globally regionally and locally.

Job Overview

The Director Global Employee Relations will oversee all related global employee relations policies, practices and process, the Employee Relations caseload, related assignments, and oversight of investigations.  The Director Global Employee Relations will also provide consultation and collaboration across the full spectrum of Human Resources issues, providing feedback to and linkage with all functional components of Human Resources.  By serving as a primary point of contact for significant Employee Relations issues, the Director Global Employee Relations will coordinate with other HR functions to ensure cohesion with our practices, procedures, polices and processes.

Major Responsibilities:

Employee Relations Leadership

  • Owner of US HR Employee Handbook and responsible for ensuring country HR handbooks model US standards or greater (where appropriate) and are current, accurate and compliant with local law
  • Owner of US employment policies and responsible for ensuring country employment policies model US standards or greater (where appropriate) and are current, accurate and compliant with state and federal law.
  • Responsible for assuring that the IRC Way: Our Standards of Professional Conduct and all other IRC employee related policies reflect Human Resources’ perspective, point of view and approvals
  • Acts as the primary Human Resources technical lead on matters related to Workplace Harassment, Equal Opportunity Employment and Affirmative Action
  • Serves as a member of the Human Resources leadership team contributing to Human Resources and organizational direction and focus

Employee Relations Management

  • Conducts Human Resources needs assessments and makes recommendations for interventions based on industry and humanitarian sector best practices
  • Acts as the primary Human Resources partner to the Ethics and Compliance Unit to triage employee relations cases
  • Responsible for partnering with HR Partners who are assigned breaches of IRC Way cases and for ensuring cases are investigated, properly documented and brought to resolution
  • Responsible for owning unique, complex and/or highly confidential Human Resources breaches of IRC Way Employee Relations cases, including deep in-country investigation missions
  • Will partner with Ethics and Compliance Unit on non-HR cases that require Human Resources technical support and partnership with a special attention to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
  • Acts as a disciplinary action consultant to Human Resources and line management
  • Acts as the primary strategic employment policy partner with the General Counsel’s office
  • Partners with the Duty of Care Director on the IRC Crisis Functional Support Team
  • Partners with the Gender Equality Unit and related Employee Resource Groups to assure that all Employee Relations policies, practices and procedures are appropriatel sensitive and supportive
  • Evolves the use of EthicsPoint system to further meet the needs of the Human Resources function

Employee Relations Communications, Training & Education

  • Acts as a policy education and interpretation consultant to Human Resources and line management
  • Responsible for proactive, preventative and multi-lingual US and global policy communications and education
  • Develop and contribute to Talent Management’s on-boarding and management development curriculum
  • Responsible for assuring that US and country level intranet content is current, accurate and informative
  • Further develop new and innovative means to communicate with global employees on Employee Relations matters
  • In partnership with General Counsel’s office and US HR Partners, responsible for understanding, interpreting and communicating to Human Resources and line management around all US federal, individual states and local community applicable employment laws 
  • Responsible for assessing and building Country HR Lead Employee Relations case management capacity

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Chief Human Resources Officer

Direct Reports: To be determined

Key Internal Relationships:

  • IRC Global and Regional HR Partners
  • IRC Duty of Care
  • IRC Ethics and Compliance Unit
  • IRC Office of the General Counsel
  • IRC HR/Talent Management
  • IRC Safety & Security

Key External Relationships:  

  • Outside Counsel globally
  • Local, state and federal employment and labor agencies
  • Global NGOs for benchmarking and best practice
  • Global NGO regulatory agencies


  • Minimum of 15 years of progressive global human resources or strongly related experience with at least 5 years of specific employee relations experience required
  • Knowledge and demonstrated application of relevant domestic and international employment laws, regulations, and trends
  • A commitment to the humanitarian mission and demonstrated professional work experience that upholds the highest values of the organization. Prior work experience in the humanitarian sector preferred.
  • Ability to establish and nurture collaborative relationships across functions, disciplines and countries, in a multi-cultural and diverse work environment; adept at incorporating cultural perspectives
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience in human resource management and employee relations is required; JD or Master’s degree in labor relations, conflict resolution, international relations or other applicable field a plus
  • Ability to operate at advanced levels of authority and manage significant activities and resources to produce and take responsibility for results
  • Acumen in successful conflict resolution
  • Proven risk management mindset in resolving complex employee relations issues; ability to drive creative, holistic outcomes that balance employee and organizational interests
  • Demonstrated success in influencing policy and disciplinary action decisions
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing and developing policies and procedures is required
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and concisely both verbally and in writing, and lead presentations, training courses, and effective meetings
  • Experience in and a commitment to incorporating employee engagement, diversity and inclusion and gender equality in all facets of work
  • Demonstrated capability to continuously multitask in high-pressure and insecure environments, while simultaneously exhibiting resilience in resisting stress, valuing and pursuing personal work life balance and leading with a staff care lens.
  • Able to operate independently where appropriate, with a keen professional sense of when to escalate issues
  • Willingness to work and travel approximately 25% both planned and unplanned business travel to all global IRC locations
  • Accessible during non-traditional work hours
  • English proficiency required; French or Arabic proficiency is a strong plus

Application instructions

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