September 16, 2022

Human Resources Director

Cato Institute
September 16, 2022
1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, District Of Columbia
Job Type


Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank conveniently located in downtown Washington, DC, is seeking an experienced Director of Human Resources to help develop and manage our growing staff of scholars and administrative support personnel (now about 160 staff). This management level position will oversee recruitment, benefits administration and compliance, HR policy and procedures, performance review process, salary administration, and ensure compliance with labor law and regulations. In addition, the Director of Human Resources will work closely with the CFO to develop strategies, policies, and initiatives associated with human resources activities for the entire organization.

This position will report to the CFO and will have one direct report. A qualified candidate will have at least seven years work experience as a Human Resource professional, expertise in labor law (particularly with FLSA, FMLA, some immigration policies and procedures), a strong work ethic, a proactive and collaborative nature, and experience in organization and cultural change management.

About Cato

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization—a think tank—dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.

Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th-century England that presented a vision of society free from excessive government power. Those essays inspired the architects of the American Revolution. And the simple, timeless principles of that revolution — individual liberty, limited government, and free markets – turn out to be even more powerful in today’s world of global markets and unprecedented access to information than Jefferson or Madison could have imagined. Social and economic freedom is not just the best policy for a free people, it is the indispensable framework for the future.

Cato Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

  • Define, document, and provide oversight and management of the recruitment, new employee onboarding, and separation processes;
  • Drive adoption, compliance, and continuous improvement of the individual performance management process;
  • Administer and continuously improve the salary, title, and raise process;
  • Become an expert super-user of the HCM system (Paylocity);
  • Drive adoption and use of HR online self-service tools;
  • Ensure compliance and on time reporting in accordance with IRS, DOL, and other government regulators;
  • Set, communicate, and drive adherence and alignment to the organization’s policies, processes, and procedures. Review and make recommendations annually;
  • Handle employee relations and personnel issues, consult with legal counsel as appropriate, and/or as directed by CFO;
  • Oversee benefits administration and compliance managed by the Human Resources Manager;
  • Recommend, evaluate, and coordinate staff development opportunities for staff; and
  • Support general operations of the organization, help maintain a strong organizational culture.


  • BA/BS in Human Resources Administration, Business Administration, or a related field strongly preferred;
  • At least seven years of HR management experience, preferably in not-for-profit organization;
  • Deep understanding of core HR processes and labor law;
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills;
  • High degree of proficiency in MS Office – Word, PowerPoint, Excel;
  • Experience and proficiency in use of HRIS;
  • Proactive, collaborative, team-oriented;
  • Thorough knowledge of the general principles and practices of human resources administration;
  • Knowledge of and experience with sound techniques in all aspects of human resources management, including a proven track record in hiring judgment;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop long-term plans and programs and to evaluate work accomplishments;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with management staff, employees, and the general public;
  • Ability to communicate effectively with employees and outside contacts at all levels; both in oral and written form; and handle multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills, as well as attention to detail;
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, team-oriented work environment; and
  • SPHR, SHRM-SCP, or other HR specific certification a plus.

Click here to apply

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