Website innocence Innocence Project

Assistant Director, Employee Relations & Engagement


The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist the wrongly convicted who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment. To learn more, please visit


The Assistant Director of Employee Relations and Engagement is a seasoned employee relations and engagement specialist who shares responsibility with the HR Director for triaging and responding to a wide range of employee needs. This position will partner with the HR Director on much of the employee-facing work including one-on-one discussions with employees and managers.  This position also works closely with the entire HR team which currently consists of 2 HR Managers (HR Manager of Recruitment and Systems, HR Manager of Payroll and Benefits), an Assistant Director of Learning & Development, a cross-departmental Coordinator, and a part time Volunteer and Intern Coordinator.  The Human Resources team delivers programs necessary to develop and maintain a high-performance and equity-focused workforce and a work culture which inspires and supports employees in meeting their mission-critical work. The Human Resources staff are stewards and champions of the Innocence Project’s values, particularly our commitments to dignity and respect of all staff, and inclusion, equity and belonging, and must hold these principals as foundational to the work.  The Assistant Director of Employee Relations and Engagement is a visible and accessible resource to all members of the Innocence Project staff, and handles day-to-day personnel issues with a high level of discretion, empathy and problem-solving, and therefore needs to be an expert employee relations and coaching specialist and “people person” as well as a polished project manager.  The Assistant Director also needs to see and value the differences in identity and positionality that each person brings into discussions and interactions, and know how to balance those dynamics.

All Innocence Project employees must embrace, respect and value the rich diversity of perspectives and experience of a diverse and heterogeneous staff.  We recognize and appreciate that our work is better for having varied participants and thought partners.

We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas.

While the Innocence Project has supported remote work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently committed to a hybrid workplace with mandatory two days per week in-office. All staff are currently provided a private workspace with a closed-door for the time being.


The ideal candidate is an expert in coaching and mediation, collaborative problem solving, employee engagement, and exhibits a high degree of emotional intelligence. They must also have a solid understanding of employment law. They bring an analytical mind and appreciate the value of data collection and analysis as part of maintaining a responsive approach to employee needs. They are an enthusiastic and highly personable team player who understands how to adapt to different personalities and work styles, and hold multiple perspectives. The ideal candidate is also extremely organized and knows how to prioritize assignments in a high-volume work environment. A background in the nonprofit sector, specifically in a social justice organization, is strongly preferred.  


  • Under the supervision of the HR Director, serve as a primary, available and approachable resource and coach for all members of the IP staff on a wide range of personnel issues. Provides consultation, guidance, coaching and occasionally mediation to employees and managers.
  • Conduct New-Hire meetings to introduce new employees to the policies, practices and culture of the Innocence Project and troubleshoot any early concerns.
  • Conduct exit interviews, analyze results, identify trends, report findings to the HR Director, and revise and implement programs to address identified needs


  • Project-manage the employee engagement survey process from start to finish, including listening and feedback sessions with various IP committees, arranging appropriate status meetings with the Director of Human Resources, supporting robust organizational communication on the process, scheduling meeting with all staff for results report, and managing formation of any ad-hoc working groups which come out of the results.
  • With the Director of Human Resources, conduct initial analysis of survey responses, prepare draft reporting for stakeholder groups, and participate in presentation of data to various audiences.
  • Provide analytics on engagement metrics and partner with the Director of Human Resources to develop organizational responses to identified trends needing attention.
  • Collaborate with the HR Manager who oversees benefits on annual wellness goals and offerings.


  • Partner with the Director of Human Resources and other members of the leadership team and staff to harness opportunities to embed our organizational values into our culture, day-to-day operations, practices and policies.
  • With the Director of Human Resources and the HR Manager who oversees policies and compliance, annually review policies and practices for alignment with IP values and engagement goals. Proactively suggest revisions to language as appropriate.
  • Champion the organizational values and culture code in all interactions with employees, partner with the Director of Human Resources to identify areas where staff increase their alignment with IP values and commitment to healthy culture, and to develop strategies for facilitating this.


  • Support the IP’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, including potentially serving on the internal DEI committee, partnering with DEI subcommittees and the AD for Learning and Development on training initiatives
  • Be a representative of the HR department on various committees and working groups as necessary.
  • Partner with the HR Director and HR team on the development of a range of written guides and visual tools for HR programs that can be shared with staff and managers.


  • Undergraduate degree in Human Resources Management, Business, or related field preferred, or equivalent additional training and education.
  • SPRH Certification preferred.
  • Minimum 7 years of progressive responsibilities in generalist human resource functions, including at least 3 years of employee-relations responsibilities; experience in non-profit environments preferred.
  • Proficiency in Google suite preferred.
  • Experience in mediation or mediation course-work is a plus.
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S.


  • Strong interpersonal, diplomacy, and communication skills: the ability to interact effectively and sensitively with a wide variety of people of diverse professional and cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality; ethical, represents the organization and the department in a way which is consistent with organizational values.
  • Positive attitude and sense of humor.
  • Solutions-driven orientation.
  • Superior skills in organization, planning and attention to detail.
  • Self-motivated with ability to work under minimal supervision.
  • Must be able to work with groups of diverse individuals in respectful, equitable, and inclusive ways.
  • Enthusiasm for the work of the Innocence Project and for social justice, including a demonstrated commitment to public interest
  • Shares values of equity, excellence, collaboration, humanity, integrity, respect, and accountability


The salary for this position is highly competitive and the Innocence Project offers an excellent benefits package, including fully-paid individual health, dental and vision insurance, Flexible Spending Account, 401k plan with 6% company-match, paid disability and family care leave, adoption and fertility expense reimbursements, and company-paid transportation benefits.


The Innocence Project considers the diversity of its workforce to be vital to our organization’s success in meeting its mission.  We strongly encourage applicants from all cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, age, gender, and physical abilities to apply. Individuals with personal connections to the criminal legal system are strongly encouraged to apply. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is our policy not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, familial status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, actual or perceived domestic violence victim status, unemployment status, caregiver status, or any other category protected by law.


To apply, please upload a cover letter expressing your interest in the role and the organization’s work, and a resume titled with your name (last name. first name. cover letter/resume). Only applications with cover letters will be considered complete applications. Information submitted through this secure site is kept confidential. Due to the large volume of applications, we are unable to give applicant updates by phone or direct email.

**Applications for this position will be considered on a rolling basis until the post is filled.** 


$95,625 – $112,500

To apply for this job please visit