Head of People & Culture at SDSN Youth

SDSN Youth

Head of People & Culture

Other in Worldwide - Remote OK - Operations Team

Deputy Project Lead (People & Culture)

May 2020
SDSN Youth (SDSN Association)
Worldwide, Remote

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The SDSN Youth is an initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). It was launched in 2015 with a mission to empower youth globally to create sustainable development solutions.

At SDSN Youth, we empower young people to take meaningful action on the Sustainable Development Goals. By joining our global team, you will be working with a diverse and exceptional group of individuals with a variety of cultural, religious and political backgrounds, committed to sustainable development.

SDSN Youth is a network of 650+ member organizations based in more than 85 different countries. SDSN Youth has more than 140 team members (staff, volunteers and interns) working in more than 30 different countries across 20 Regional/ National networks.

The Global Operations Team

The Operations team provides the support, structures and run processes, that allow SDSN Youth teams to better work together, and in order to achieve their team goals. Including Recruitment, Volunteer Experience, Training, Impact Assessment, and Strategy.

This role would manage and coordinate all our People & Culture functions at SDSN Youth.


SDSN Youth would not be able to exist without its vast network of volunteers, a truly global team brought together to achieve one mission - empowering youth to achieve the SDGs.

We are looking for a Head of People & Culture, who will oversee 5 pillars:

  1. Recruitment → Finding candidates with the skills and passion to help SDSN Youth teams achieve their objectives

  2. Experience → Ensuring new volunteers are equipped from the beginning of their time with us, and ensuring that current volunteers are always learning and engaged.

  3. Culture → Advocating SDSN Youth’s culture and values, leveraging structures and processes to enable SDSN Youth, and our volunteers to do their best, and enjoy their work.

  4. Education → Training and upskilling our volunteers so that they are able to mobilize youth globally as effectively as possible.

  5. Impact → Initiative & Ownership are one of our team values at SDSN Youth, and to uphold a culture that thrives on open feedback and continuous improvement.


  • Managing and coordinating P&C team members
    • Managing and coordinating P&C Project Officers, and aligning their work to the broader vision of the team and goals of SDSN Youth

  • Drive People & Culture strategy
    • Drive the Employee Experience (EX) strategy, problem-solving on how SDSN Youth can continue to be a people-focused organization, including but not limited to
      1. The strategy around streamlining internal communication
      2. Testing activities to enable cross-team learning and team building activities
      3. Strategy around how to better work effectively together as a predominately remote and volunteer-based team
    • Work with the Recruitment team to drive the Recruitment strategy in order to find and retain the right talent for SDSN Youth

  • People and Admin
    • Grievance/Conflict resolution
    • Managing HR Systems
    • Policies and Procedures

Please note: As a virtual network, it is IMPORTANT for Deputy Project Leads to communicate effectively with their Project Leader and report back consistently. In a network, which operates across several time zones, reporting and communicating proactively is crucial.

    Job Qualifications

    The Deputy Project Lead (People & Culture) will be someone who has extensive experience working in teams, with a passion for fostering and enabling an inclusive team culture, who is driven and can work autonomously.

    Being the representative of the people, the PO must be able to balance personability (approachable, trust, empathy, and personal connections with Assembly members), with facticity (ability to be fair, diplomatic, and professionalism).

    Minimum qualifications:

    • Candidate MUST have experience managing stakeholders/partners
    • Candidate MUST have some professional or volunteer work experience in a team.
    • Candidate MUST have excellent organizational and leadership skills.
    • Candidate MUST be a proven team player with excellent interpersonal skills and ability to coordinate and manage workload across several projects/teams.
    • Candidate MUST demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively and report consistently. In a network, which operates across several time zones, reporting and communicating proactively is crucial.
    • Candidate MUST be responsive and able to manage regular communication with the team - including after-hours conference calls, as the network spans 10 different time zones.
    • Candidate MUST be aged between 18-30 in order to be eligible for this role (exceptions may apply).

        Preferred qualifications:

        • Candidate has volunteer or work experience in a global organization.
        • Candidate has an interest in sustainable development, be passionate about the mission of the SDSN, including the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
        • Candidate possesses an excellent command of the English language, including writing, speaking and listening.
        • Candidate is able to demonstrate that they have the time and resources to commit to this role – candidates with too many overlapping commitments will be exempt from running for this position.


        Total Weekly Hours:

        • 8+ hours per week (minimum)


        • Duration of Position: The first term is 12 months in total, with a 2 months trial period in the beginning. However, subject to review of work performance, this position may be extended on a 12-month basis.
        • Reporting: This position reports to the Project Lead of the Operations Team.
        • Compensation: Voluntary
        • Training: All Project Officers are required to complete all SDSN Youth online induction courses, including team training.