Director of Talent


Connecting innovation and education to dramatically transform the way students learn, LEAP Innovations® leads the nation in developing and scaling personalized learning practices, technology and innovations in classrooms throughout the U.S. Located at 1871, Chicago’s premier incubator for technology and entrepreneurship, LEAP is quickly positioning Chicago as the national hub for education innovation. LEAP has also launched the country's most comprehensive personalized learning framework, as well as the first survey tools to measure practice in the classroom.

Sponsored by major foundations and donors, LEAP currently works with over 90 schools across the Chicagoland area, improving the lives of thousands of students. Winner of the 2016 Chicago Innovation Award for social innovation, LEAP Innovations is poised to increase reach and impact by deploying thought leadership, services and tools across the country.

The mission of LEAP Innovations is to create access to equitable, high-quality personalized learning experiences for all learners, ultimately helping each one to reach their full potential. LEAP operates at the intersection of educators and edtech innovators—researching and implementing personalized practices and tools.

LEAP is defining and articulating the teacher practices that best meet individual student needs; determining the school- and classroom-level models that best personalize learning; and constructing the research methods and tools to best evaluate the impact of personalized learning and edtech programs on student achievement. Similarly, from the edtech side, LEAP aims to help edtech companies utilize LEAP’s research and educator feedback to create tools that are more aligned with teacher and student needs.

LEAP has built a scaffolded trajectory of programming to accomplish these goals, including the LEAP Pilot Network, in which school teams select, pilot and evaluate personalized learning technologies and practices within individual classrooms, as well as whole-school redesign programs, in which school teams design transformative, school-wide personalized learning models.


  • Every person deserves the chance to reach his or her potential.
  • Quality education should be available to everyone: anytime, anywhere.
  • Innovation can transform teaching and learning.
  • The private and public sectors must collaborate to advance education and keep our country competitive.
  • The time is now.

VISION FOR THE FUTURE The team at LEAP envisions a future in which there are no boundaries to learning – a future in which each and every student’s learning experiences in and out of school create a seamless, accredited, unique pathway that is tailored to that student’s needs, strengths, interests and limitless ambitions.

Over the next five years, LEAP will work toward this vision in two key ways:

Regional Expansion: LEAP will strengthen its impact by expanding its local work, serving an additional 165,000 students at 325 schools and developing additional focus areas such as early childhood, after school and juvenile justice.

National Impact: Through its work in Chicago, home to the third largest school district in the country, LEAP will build the foundation of tools, resources and knowledge to scale its personalized learning work across the country. These tools and resources include the LEAP Learning Framework, which defines and provides strategies for the implementation of personalized learning, and the LEAP Personalized Learning Surveys, which measure the degree of personalization in a learning environment and are now being used across 11 states. Additionally, LEAP will conduct rigorous research to aggregate and analyze data on teacher practice, student outcomes and product efficacy.

In support of our mission and ambitious growth strategy, the Director of Talent is a newly created position that will oversee Human Resources for all of LEAP Innovations and be based in our Chicago headquarters reporting to our COO. The Director will collaborate with the leadership team to develop HR strategies that attract, develop, and retain best in class talent. As a hands on, forward-looking business partner, the Director will proactively assess business performance to develop HR solutions that enable critical outcomes, foster leadership success and drive the employee experience. He/She will also serve as an advisor to business leaders regarding HR policies and processes in order to optimize employee engagement and productivity.


  • Actively own and manage the employee experience lifecycle, including recruiting, onboarding and rewarding talent
  • Diagnose, translate, and define current and future business needs into an overall integrated strategic HR plan
  • Deliver high quality, proactive HR consultation that enables the attainment of strategic business goals and critical initiatives in light of growth objectives
  • As an HR Business Partner, change agent, and member of the leadership team, the Director will help drive strategic growth plans and objectives across the organization
  • Provide organizational development and support including organization design and enhanced communication processes and reward/recognition programs
  • Monitor and develop progressive and proactive reward and recognition strategies to provide motivation, incentives and rewards for effective performance
  • Assess organization capabilities and identify personalized learning opportunities to promote staff professional development
  • Support talent assessment and succession planning
  • Develop staffing strategies and implementation plans and programs to identify talent within and outside the organization
  • Initiate and maintain effective communications with management staff and employees; provide coaching and guidance on matters related to employee relations/performance management, offer feedback on style and behaviors to improve employee productivity and engagement
  • Design, implement and own a holistic performance management system
  • Ensure and maintain the alignment of all corporate HR initiatives and programs, implement and deliver HR programs within the organization
  • Develop policies and programs to attract, retain and promote a diverse and inclusive workforce for the organization.
  • Develop and drive people engagement strategies that foster an environment where all employees are respected and valued

Education and Experience:
The ideal candidate should enjoy working in a dynamic, results-oriented environment in which expectations are high for both the quality and speed of work. In addition, he or she should have the following background and skillset:

  • 7+ years’ experience in a generalist HR/People/Talent leadership role
  • Experience in building process/infrastructure from scratch
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred
  • Previous experience in a startup, preferably during a period of change and ambitious growth, highly preferred
  • 10 + years’ progressive experience in Human Resources Management and true Business Partner experience - working with executives and business leaders to facilitate strong business performance and build company culture
  • Demonstrated ability to attract talent through advocacy for the company
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Commensurate with experience. Excellent health benefits, 403(b) plan with company match and group life insurance.

Start Date:
Position currently available.

Phone inquiries are not accepted. To apply, please email your cover letter and resume (including salary requirements) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please include the position name in the subject line of your email.