Strategic Policy, Planning and Resources Officer

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA 920371002, USA
  • Apr 07, 2022
Full time Biology/Biotechnology/Life Sciences

Job Description

Job location is at 10240 Science Center Dr, San Diego, CA 92121

This strategic role within the OEI is a policy guru, thought leader, strategic thinker, poised consultant, skilled communicator, educator, people convener, and proactive problem solver.  The incumbent will drive forward policy development through consultation and education with stakeholders and focus the balance of their time supporting the Institute's diversity, inclusion and belonging, engagement and employee experience strategies and initiatives.  This role has strategic involvement in all aspects of DEI pathways and high level of awareness/proactivity related to stakeholder relationships/outreach.


1) Policy Research, Development, Consultation & Education

  • The incumbent is responsible for leading policy initiatives, whether developing new policies or revising existing ones through a comprehensive, consultative and inclusive process. Supports others in analyzing policy needs and their development in support of organizational goals that support the Institute's mission and people. Incumbent liaises and support members of the ELT, HR, the Academic Council, department heads and others to support development and guide implementation of new/revised policies.
  • Responsible for preparing and delivering employee information sessions and/or town halls focused on new policies and significant changes to existing policies; the development and preparation of Institute-wide, reader-centric and accessible communications to all members of the Institute to educate them about the purpose and intent of new or revised policies in an inclusive manner.

2) DEI Planning and Resourcing

  • The incumbent is a critical thought advisor and research officer to members of the OEI to move forward the Institute's DEI plan and with the VP, OEI liaises with external advisory board members and internal steering committee. 
  • Gathers background information on initiatives and programming to ensure that critical connections including demographic and identity considerations, impact analysis of initiatives on the Institute's culture and the identification of trends and best practices that could guide the initiatives and programming, are made before launching new strategies or significant changes.  
  • Recommends learning & development opportunities and may assist with curriculum for the benefit of individuals on campus.
  • Collaborates closely with the Manager, Equity & Inclusion, Diversity Officer, Director, Internal Communications and others at Salk to ensure that actions are integrated to support inclusion and belonging plans for the campus that recognize and celebrate diversity on campus.
  • Incumbent conducts thorough and productive research to identify best practices, model policies, etc. to benchmark and recommend opportunities and solutions for Salk.

3) Communication, Consultation and Education

  • In all aspects of the work, the incumbent is responsible for:  the formal and informal consultation of managers and employees in support of policies, programs and initiatives. 
  • Works closely with the VP, Equity & Inclusion to ensure regular and relevant communications to the internal and external communities about the Institute's DEI strategic plan and progress and works with external advisors and colleagues to hold Salk accountable.
  • Provides extensive input around internal and external communications aimed at external constituents to raise the visibility of Salk's DEI strategies, highlight people and programs at Salk that that demonstrative forward movement in DEI initiatives and which highlight the progress being made around how non-scientists support the forward movement of the Salk research mission.
  • Proactively initiates and consistently drives communications, content development and solutions for Institute constituents.  Continually evaluates communications and adjusts strategies for their efficacy, incorporating inclusive practices within the Institute environment.

 4) Initiative Development/Management

  • Incumbent will be responsible for developing a strategy for unique recognition program that aligns with climate survey report/forum themes and is designed to connect all members of the community to the Institute's research mission.
  • Incumbent will lead future campus climate survey development/dissemination efforts, ensuring that they are designed to capture and measure progress from the previous surveys.  The Officer will be a participant and leader in continually moving forward actions from climate surveys and other metrics that show room for improvement, identifying/involving third parties as appropriate.

4) Intradepartmental collaboration for organizational impact

  • Incumbent collaborates across the Institute including but not limited to with colleagues in the OEI, people departments (e.g., human resources, PDO, CSO), faculty, lab managers, department heads and other stakeholders, to obtain a holistic perspective on the Institute and ensure approaches that consider research/operational goals, diversity and inclusion in strategic planning and approaches.
  • Participates in institutional committees as nominated and/or as related to primary role. May convene and lead groups and/or committees who meet regularly to further campus goals related to engagement, inclusion and career advancement.   Similarly, may lead project or small task/work groups in accordance with defined scope.


  • A minimum of seven years of experience working in a role with a heavy emphasis on strategy and communications, project management, etc.
  • A minimum of 5 years of proven experience aligning and communicating strategic priorities, or functioning as a chief of staff within a strategic department that has broad institutional impact.
  • Significant experience in policy research, development, marketing and education.
  • Experience conducting consultation and outreach to diverse audiences.
  • Demonstrated experience leveraging data to drive DEI strategy, decision making, process improvement and initiatives.
  • Experience in effective employer/initiative branding and marketing
  • Experience in a role that requires strategic development and best practice knowledge sharing/recommendations to broad stakeholders through a DEI lens.
  • Experience that demonstrates creativity, expansive thinking and an understanding of the criticality of narrative and storytelling.
  • Experience providing communications support to executive leadership and directly supporting strategic internal initiatives.
  • Experience developing and distributing impactful digital content for learning and communications.
  • Extensive experience authoring, editing and proofreading communications.


  •  Undergraduate degree in a field that provides a strong foundation for a role that requires excellent writing and communication abilities, group projects, creative and critical thought, equity, inclusion, and diverse populations in the work environment.   
  • MS, MBA or PhD helpful.


  •  A critical thought leader that can convene groups, chair committees, move initiatives forward, identify gaps and recommend/implement strategic solutions and can influence without authority.
  • Thorough and productive research abilities to identify best practices, model policies, etc. to benchmark and recommend opportunities and solutions for Salk.
  • Demonstrated mastery of the English language and strong communication skills, including composition (spelling and grammar), editing and proofreading, public speaking and presentation abilities. Skilled in drafting and edit policies, correspondence, articles, etc. using AP and Chicago Writing Styles.
  • The ability to develop and direct effective and comprehensive communication strategies for a broad array of internal clients and stakeholders.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills with ability to balance strategic priorities and tactical work to meet deadlines and ensure smooth workflow and juggle multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to bring creativity and innovation to and enhance visibility of DEI efforts.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills to communicate and interact in a positive, diplomatic and effective manner with a diverse clientele, using a high degree of tact, diplomacy and discretion, with emphasis on flexibility and professionalism.
  • Ability to ensure confidentiality of information and sensitive documents by following operational procedures and exercising judgment in responding to requests.
  • Ability to independently coordinate and prioritize multiple projects in accordance with strategic objectives and as well as the ability to work with individuals from multiple backgrounds and areas of expertise.
  • Ability and comfort communicating with executives, department heads, scientists and other stakeholders.
  • Goal-oriented, self-motivated, strategic thinker who is detail-oriented, poised with integrity and possesses excellent judgment.
  • Knowledge of project management software programs (e.g., Asana, Basecamp) and internet survey platforms (e.g., SurveyMonkey).
  • Fluency in Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word, PowerPoint and Outlook.


  •  Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Must be willing to sign an employee confidentiality agreement.


This position will be constantly adjusting focus, handling, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, communicating, reading, reasoning, working in confined areas and inside. 

Application Details

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 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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