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Director Of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Organization

At Thrive Scholars, our goal is to see talented BIPOC students from economically disadvantaged communities develop economic mobility and financial security, and become the diverse corporate, civic, and academic leaders our country so desperately needs. 

Our comprehensive, data-driven, high-touch program model focuses on the key inflection points that can be the difference between graduating from any college, and graduating from a top college with the grades, degree, career skills, and network needed to thrive in a career that positions students for economic mobility. Over our six-year program, Scholars benefit from admissions and intensive academic preparation before college and a comprehensive set of academic, personal, social-emotional, financial, and career supports throughout college. 

Thrive Scholars DEI Statement

The Thrive Scholars program is uniquely positioned between underrepresented high-achieving students and the systemic barriers that deny them access to opportunities because of their race and socio-economic status, and preclude them from advancing towards economic mobility. 

At Thrive Scholars, our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a holistic one that considers the experiences of our Scholars and staff. It includes our dedication to continued growth, inviting and being receptive to regular feedback from all stakeholders, transparency about our approach and vision, and engaging in ongoing learning about DEI, systemic inequity that is ever present in our world, and our individual and organizational positionality within it. 

  • Scholar Experience: As we support Scholars in positioning themselves for economic mobility, we are committed to ensuring that they understand the systemic context, choice, tools, and their agency to navigate these barriers as they enter and engage in spaces where they are underrepresented. As we step into our work, we are committed to asking ourselves how our decisions impact and support the Scholar journey. 
  • Staff Culture: We work to foster an inclusive space and a sense of belonging for staff, honoring the varied identities present, and holding ourselves accountable through consistent norms related to communication, transparency, and feedback at all levels. 
  • Organization-Wide Representation: We are committed to diverse representation in our organizational leadership and in our board. Across all levels of the organization, we seek to invest in diversity through recruiting of a diverse board and staff, and equitable hiring, evaluation, and promotion practices.

It is the work of everyone at Thrive to realize these commitments. As an organization, we honor these obligations by striving to embed DEI into the fabric of our day-to-day work as a staff and board. This includes clear short and long-term strategic DEI goals, including regular assessments of our Scholars’ experience; evaluation of staff climate and culture; and the continued learning about DEI best practices and application of a DEI lens to all policies, processes, and practices including in relationship with our partners and supporters.

The Position

Thrive Scholars is seeking a Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, who will partner with our Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer (CEIO) to ensure Thrive’s DEI values are effectively integrated across all organizational functions. Specifically, the Director will focus their work on integrating a DEI lens on the Scholar experience and on the staff experience, and ensuring that our DEI work has a strong operational infrastructure.  

Successful candidates will be people-focused DEI professionals who excel at and enjoy turning ideas into actions, are eager to engage in both the people work and the project work, and have prior experience integrating DEI practices across functions.  

This role reports to the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. This is a position that can be based anywhere in the US. The Director of DEI can expect to travel approximately 6 times each year, including up to one week at each of our Summer Academies (typically based in Chicago and in Amherst, MA). 

Key Responsibilities


Goal: Ensure Scholars develop a strong understanding related to socio-economic and racial identity, and experience their engagement with the Thrive Scholars program, staff and supporters as inclusive, beneficial, and relevant to their individual identities. 

  • Collaborate with the CEIO and with program leaders to map an annual DEI program plan that complements and aligns with programmatic priorities
  • Create and lead DEI-focused programming to Scholars, at Summer Academy and virtually
  • Create and lead trainings for seasonal staff at Summer Academy, ensuring they are equipped to apply a strong DEI-lens to their roles
  • Develop and implement structures to ensure Scholar voice effectively informs DEI-related organizational policy, when relevant. This may include focus groups, surveys, etc. 
  • In partnership with the CEIO, provide DEI-focused guidance to program teams as it relates to DEI. This may include advising on: curriculum development, Scholar-facing communications, and Scholar engagement and involvement in organizational decisions. 

People and Culture

Goal: Promote a strong internal DEI culture, with a focus on staff engagement, inclusion, belonging and DEI skills development. 

  • Oversee the Employee Resource Group program, including: designing the arc of the year in collaboration with the CEIO, introducing staff to ERGs during onboarding, managing ERG scheduling and facilitation
  • Manage the annual cultural calendar, including the development and sharing of resources and planning of events
  • With the CEIO, develop and co-lead DEI training and development for staff
  • Manage the staff DEI committee, working with the CEIO to set priorities for the committee, create meeting agendas, and facilitate committee discussions and projects
  • Collaborate with the Talent Recruitment and Talent Operations teams on projects related to candidate and staff experience, including, for example, updating hiring processes to mitigate bias


Goal: Ensure that Thrive Scholars is equipped to meet its DEI goals through the development and management of strong operational systems

  • Develop and implement processes to measure and track DEI progress, including maintaining updated staff demographic data and producing period DEI progress reports
  • Leverage data and staff feedback to inform potential changes to DEI strategies
  • Develop and implement a vendor diversity strategy, ensuring Thrive effectively contracts with women and BIPOC-owned businesses
  • Maintain an up-to-date understanding of topics related to DEI
  • Hire, onboard, manage and coach an undergraduate intern


There are innumerable ways to learn, grow and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. The qualifications and experiences listed below are intended as a guide; we do not expect candidates to check every box. If you believe you can meet the expectations and responsibilities of this position, we want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring to the work. 

  • At least 5 years of experience in a DEI or related role 
  • Must be experienced with both designing and implementing programs and/or strategies
  • Demonstrated ability developing and leading staff engagement programs 
  • Ability to turn ideas into action, developing and cultivating buy-in for new systems or processes where needed
  • Highly developed communication and interpersonal skills, and ability to strategically collaborate across levels, functions and identities
  • Excellent project planning and project management skills
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion and tact
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment with multiple competing priorities
  • Commitment to the Thrive Scholars mission and a deep interest in working on behalf of high-achieving underrepresented students from low-income communities 


Along with the specific qualifications and experiences noted above, qualified candidates for this position will be expected to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Commitment to Results: Takes action to produce high-quality work with measurable results in service of Thrive's mission and Scholars.
  • Strategic Collaboration: Understands how and when to work with others to drive strong results. Able to balance attention to both results and relationships.  
  • Setting Strategy: Creates clear, effective strategies that inform the team's work and build towards the larger vision.
  • Fostering Thrive Community: Contributes to a work environment that embraces organizational values and works effectively across identities.  


Thrive Scholars offers a competitive and robust compensation and benefits package including high-quality health and dental insurance, three weeks of paid vacation, generous professional development funding, and access to an employer-matched retirement plan. This is a full-time, exempt position.

Starting Salary Range: $82,600 - $91,900


COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Thrive has instituted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all employees, including remote staff. Individuals selected for job opportunities must be fully vaccinated and up to date, per CDC guidelines [1], and will be required to provide proof of vaccination status in advance of your hire date. 

If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons or sincerely-held religious beliefs, Thrive will consider requests for reasonable accommodations consistent with our policy. Accommodation requests cannot be guaranteed, Thrive will consider requests where we are able to provide such accommodations without undue hardship to the organization pursuant to applicable law. Any such accommodation must be approved in advance of signing an offer letter.


Thrive Scholars provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status.

Knowing its importance to the success of our work, Thrive Scholars is committed to diversity and inclusion, and we aspire to build a diverse staff team and community. We strongly encourage people of all backgrounds to apply. We appreciate your time and will review and respond to all applications received.

For more information, please visit thrivescholars.org [2] 

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html
  2. https://www.thrivescholars.org/

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