Reports to: Chief Operating Officer
Location: Washington, DC

Why Sabin:

Our mission is to make vaccines more accessible, enable innovation and expand immunization across the globe. We seek a future free from vaccine-preventable diseases. We are an innovative, collaborative and engaged team that values accountability, teamwork, partnership and driving impact. We are vaccine champions improving lives through immunization. Sabin staff, management and Board of Trustees are committed to developing a diverse, equitable and inclusive team.

Position Summary:

The Vice President of Employee Engagement is an integral member of the senior leadership team responsible for leading the development and execution of our human resources (HR) functions and employee engagement strategies. Among the position’s goals, two primary aims are to improve career development pathways and Sabin’s diversity, equity and inclusion. The incumbent will drive key HR initiatives in the areas of employee engagement, leadership and staff development, staffing and retention, employee recognition, employee relations, legal compliance, compensation and training; manage benefits administration; and, oversee HR-related systems, processes, policies, procedures and operations. The incumbent will serve as expert advisor on all HR matters, driving our organizational culture and values. The role is both strategic and tactical in order to respond to the dynamic needs of a growing organization aiming to attract and retain high-quality employees.


Human Resources Strategies

  • Develop long-term strategies and sponsor key initiatives to promote, achieve and sustain a culture of exceptional employee engagement and overall excellence
  • Develop strategies to attract and retain high-quality staff
  • Propose innovative approaches and solutions to engage employees and bring excitement and new experiences aligned with the mission, culture and values
  • Track effectiveness of programs and initiatives, leveraging data to continuously evolve the strategy and improve outcomes
  • Drive employee recognition strategies and program enhancements that align with both operational and workforce demands
  • Review, analyze and report on market, industry best practices, trends and internal feedback
  • Act as a strategic advisor, coach and mentor for Sabin’s People Managers, championing their professional development, building management effectiveness and competencies across the organization

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

  • Develop a framework for assessing, implementing, training and evaluating DEI across the organization
  • Review hiring practices and HR policies to strengthen DEI
  • Work with staff, managers, senior leadership and the Board of Trustees to enhance DEI
  • Work with program teams to find ways to incorporate more DEI into our projects

Career/Professional Development 

  • Work closely with Sabin’s People Managers to support efforts in creating career/professional development pathways for staff
  • Nurture the process through training and equipping Sabin’s People Managers with tools necessary and clarity of expectations
  • Develop the policies and procedures in support of career/professional development, including the design and implementation of training, mentoring and professional development programs

Human Resources Operations

  • Oversee the development, updating and implementation of human resources policies, procedures and programs to ensure effective management of the organization’s people resources; including, but not limited to, staffing, compensation, benefits, performance management, employee relations, compliance, safety, training and organizational development
  • Lead the development and execution of employee recruitment, engagement and retention strategies, plans and initiatives, including succession planning
  • Develop and continue to enhance the sophistication and impact of our HR infrastructure, systems, tools and processes; identify opportunities for process improvements, new systems, cost reductions, effectiveness and perceived value


  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field; Master’s degree preferred
  • HR Professional Certification required; SPHR and/or SHRM-SCP preferred
  • 19+ years’ experience managing HR; experience working in non-profits preferred; experience in scientific and/or research-oriented organizations, a bonus
  • Experience developing and implementing successful DEI initiatives
  • Experience creating and implementing professional development and succession programs, as well as managing an organization through periods of change
  • Proven expertise in all HR functional areas, including staffing, compensation, benefits, performance management, employee relations, compliance, training, professional and organizational development, with a strong understanding of labor laws and conditions of employment
  • Proven expertise leading HR efforts to align structure with organizational strategy and in securing, retaining and building the talent needed for organizational success
  • Active listener and able to connect with a diverse range of people
  • Tech savvy and experienced with HR information management systems
  • Creative, a visionary who can manage innovation; an effective strategist full of ideas and possibilities; sees multiple futures; has broad interests and knowledge
  • Demonstrated ability to work, manage and meet competing deadlines in a fast-paced, high volume environment and on deadline; aptitude for problem solving and decision making needed
  • Superb written and verbal communication and presentation skills
  • Exceptional diplomacy skills, capable of managing conflict and conflicting views
  • A proactive, creative problem solver who balances the important compliance and legal dimensions of human resources management with the need to develop new solutions to operating an increasingly complex global organization
  • Experience administering benefits plans and following HR compliance regulations
  • Proven ability to manage, mentor and coach people; able to build relationships and understand what motivates others
  • Skilled at strategic and operational planning, critical thinking and analysis, and cross-functional leadership
  • Experience working in a grant-funded organization
  • Availability to deal with pressing business, emergencies, and unanticipated crises or opportunities that may arise, including outside of normal office hours

How to Apply:

To be considered, please submit your cover letter and resume via e-mail to [email protected]. Please be sure to reference “Vice President, Employee Engagement” in the subject line. Your cover letter should: (1) address the reasons for your interest in this position; and, (2) describe the knowledge, skills and abilities you would bring the Sabin Vaccine Institute. No phone calls, please. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. Sabin Vaccine Institute has a generous benefits package (see

Sabin is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to their race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability or genetic information, sex (including gender identity, pregnancy or sexual orientation), marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.