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Work for Achieving the Dream

We support over 300 community colleges across the country to create opportunities and remove barriers for the students they serve. Our team is growing all the time — explore our open positions.

Why ATD?

Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, Achieving the Dream (ATD) now leads the most comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education history. Together with our network of over 300 institutions of higher education, 75 coaches and advisors, and numerous investors and partners working throughout 45 states and the District of Columbia, we are helping more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

ATD stands in solidarity with marginalized students and is committed to making equity a reality. We believe that for colleges to advance student success, ensuring equity is paramount. Since our founding in 2004, we have taken seriously our responsibility to support ATD Network colleges in their work to dismantle the structural barriers that students face in our institutions.

Through our equity statement, we are setting the direction we expect our colleges to navigate: a direction that reinforces an institution-wide commitment to transformational change that eliminates systemic barriers, addresses student needs, and increases social justice and equity.

About Us: 

Achieving the Dream — Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, Achieving the Dream now leads the most comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education history. Together with our Network of over 300 institutions of higher education, 75 coaches and advisors, and numerous investors and partners working throughout 45 states and the District of Columbia we are helping more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) believes that equity — our core founding principle — is the driving force to achieve the educational, economic, and social benefits of higher education for the students we serve. We believe that when colleges intentionally design and implement antiracist and just structures, policies, and practices that combat oppression, students and their communities thrive. Higher education must interrogate the disconnect between institutionalized practices that impact student success and the systemic structures and processes that continue to oppress and exclude students based on the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender identity, language, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, economic status, and/or religion.

Achieving the Dream remains steadfast in our commitment to delivering student-centered strategies to guide and support colleges to disrupt and dismantle historical systemic discriminatory legacies, structures, and barriers that prevent community members from prospering. We expect ATD Network colleges to honor their institutional responsibilities to create and invest in thriving local communities by leveraging their leadership positions to actualize social, economic, and racial justice. Through bold actions, colleges must transform their practices to target and eliminate specific barriers to student success and address their students’ needs by centering equity within their local context.

To learn more about ATD’s commitment to equity, review our Equity Statement: ATD’s Equity Statement

To learn more about our organization and mission, visit our homepage:

About This Role: 

Job Overview

The Talent and Organizational Development HR Specialist reports to the HR Director and works in partnership with HR staff to enhance the team’s work around organizational development, communication, and employee engagement. The position requires experience in organizational development assessment, planning, and execution, as well as experience working with diverse populations. This position is also the lead recruiter supporting talent acquisition across the organization.   This position requires an extremely perceptive person who is capable of diplomatically relating to individuals at all levels within the organization. The Talent and Organizational Development Specialist must be detail-oriented and sensitive to organizational needs as well as employee goodwill in support of the organization’s mission and vision.

As an integral part of the HR team, this position will collaborate with staff and supervisors across teams to develop and strengthen talent development efforts and effective communication. The specialist will work to coordinate and build the capacity of ATD by supporting team supervisors and staff to ensure proper structure and organizational support for performance and compliance.

Duties and Responsibilities

Talent Development and Engagement (60%)

  • In partnership with the HR Director, design and implement a variety of developmental initiatives, action plans, programs, and training recommendations.
  • In partnership with the HR Director, develop, coordinate, and facilitate individual or group training that furthers organizational strategic goals.
  • Help support bridging equity and competencies into all positions across the organization.
  • Integrate leadership competencies into HR systems – including recruitment, performance management, leadership development, and performance conversations.
  • Ensure smooth running of performance and talent management across the organization.
  • Continuously develop new content and improvement to HR related initiatives, such as onboarding, 1:1 conversations, and employee engagement based on business needs.

Talent Acquisition (30%)

  • Work closely with management to ensure that outreach and recruitment are aligned with the organization’s racial, equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) goals.
  • Use various methods to recruit and network with potential candidates including social media platforms and networking events.
  • Using appropriate screening techniques, assess the skills, qualifications, and experience of potential candidates. Conduct preliminary interviews with recruits to gauge interest, personality, and salary requirements; provide feedback to hiring manager.
  • Actively work toward building a diverse and qualified team to support the organization.
  • Ensure smooth running of performance and talent management processes across the organization.

Human Resource Support (10%)

  • Partner with the HR Director to develop and maintain HR procedures, processes, and practices, including talent and employee development standard operating procedures.
  • Partner with team members to provide appropriate support to staff and supervisors on different HR functional areas.
  • Attend HR and organizational team meetings regularly.
  • Provide professional support to internal and external stakeholders.


  • Participate in internal workgroups and committees.
  • Work effectively and collaboratively with others, both internally and externally.
  • Consistently work to apply a lens of equity and inclusion to decision making and practices.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree and at least two (2) years experience or five (5) years of direct HR experience in various functional areas at a generalist or business partner level.
  • PHR certification and/or SHRM-CP preferred.
  • Proven experience in developing, implementing, and measuring strategic programs around employee development.
  • Proven experience in successfully developing and implementing a full-scale talent acquisition strategy.
  • Understanding of relevant legal requirements in relation to employment law and its application to the department’s day-to-day work, company policy documentation, and staff welfare.
  • Experience in developing training and coaching for staff.
  • Knowledge and experience with racial equity and inclusion principles: Recognizes ways that race, and other identities intersect in the work. Understands the historical context for racial inequity and its present-day implications.
  • Highly organized and motivated: Experience creating and maintaining organizational systems. Able to juggle competing demands and prioritize without sacrificing quality. Plans backwards to meet deadlines. Asks for help when needed.
  • Models and inspires accountability: Inspires and motivates others to take action and meet goals.
  • Has a coach and learning mentality: Helps others grow. Uses coaching, training, and feedback to develop others and support problem-solving.
  • Proficient using Microsoft Office Suite Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint; experience with project management tools such as Wrike is a plus.
  • Detail-oriented and with demonstrated ability to analyze, produce, and present relevant information.
  • Able to work in a collaborative, hybrid work environment.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to diplomatically interact with employees on all levels in a professional manner.
  • Ability to resolve complex issues and prioritize tasks.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent customer service skills

Supervisory Requirements: This position has no supervisory responsibilities.


Collaboration: Demonstrates respect, humility, and willingness to collaborate when seeking to understand others and making decisions.

Equity Mindset: Models appreciative inquiry to gain understanding and awareness of others’ cultural identity and practices. Creates safe and constructive forums for sharing diverse perspectives and opinions.

Systems Thinking: Defines the system and one’s role in the system. Sees relationships and the dynamic elements of the holistic system and executes work accordingly. Influences the system and maps connections to ATD’s external landscape.

Learning Orientation: Embraces challenges, new ideas and different perspectives as an opportunity to learn; continually seeks out and applies new learning to activate change or improvements.


Position Details:

Position Type:                   Full Time, Exempt

Salary Grade:                     6

Salary Range:                     $80,000 – $90,000

Reports To:                         Director of Human Resources

Work Location:                  Silver Spring, MD/Hybrid

Travel Required:               Minimal


What We Offer:

We continually strive to be a committed, diverse, values-based organization. We also offer a robust portfolio of benefits, including:

  • Health, dental and vision insurance coverage
  • 401K Retirement plan
  • Optional pre-tax spending account for qualified medical FSA, dependent care FSA and commuter expenses
  • Premiums paid by ATD for short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, life and AD&D insurance with options to elect and pay for additional coverage for spouse and children.
  • Paid sick leave, vacation time, and personal days (Additionally, ATD observes all 10 federal holidays and is closed the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and for Winter Break between December 25 and January 1.
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Professional Development allowance (for full-time employees on successful completion of 90-day intro period)
  • Mobile First Work Policy: Remote work allows employees to work at home for all or part of their workweek as a viable, flexible work option to support the changing needs of employees. Upon hire, employees are notified of their work location (Silver Spring, Portland, or Remote). Remote may not be appropriate for all positions at ATD. ATD wants to ensure that both employees and ATD will benefit from these arrangements.

ATD strongly encourages applicants from diverse and historically underrepresented backgrounds to apply. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the role.

Please include a cover letter along with your resume. In the cover letter please discuss the following:

  • How does ATD’s mission resonate with you?
  • What qualities, experiences, or other considerations do you believe make you an ideal candidate for this position?

Physical Demands: 

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, and ability to adjust focus.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion 

Achieving the Dream believes that diversity, equity and inclusion is critical to its work and its mission.  ATD takes meaningful steps to promote inclusion in its hiring, retention, promotion, and board recruitment, and supports equity work at the community colleges it serves.

Equal Opportunity Employer 

Achieving the Dream is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse work environment. Employment policies and decisions are based upon merit, qualifications, performance, and business needs.  All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth), gender identity or expression, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, legally- protected genetic information, marital status, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

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