Director, EDIA (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility)

Requisition Number: 
Job Status: 
Reports to: 
President and CEO, member of Senior Leadership Team
Drive organizational commitment to build a welcoming and inclusive culture; coordinate equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) efforts across divisions; and ensure alignment with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s mission and vision by developing innovative strategies, building capacity, and implementing change that allows the institution to live out its core values and respond to relevant issues of the day.
Duties and Responsibilities: 
  • Examine and respond to organizational practices and needs of its employees, partners, and the public, recommending changes in policies, procedures, and practice that are specific, actionable, and measurable. Budget responsibility: Manage annual EDIA budget, variable; about $90,000 a year.
  • Lead Employee Resource Group (ERG) 30%
    • Manage formation, selection, and group process of ERG on EDIA, updating timelines as necessary.
    • Support creation of an ERG community by modeling willingness to learn, grow, and develop capacity within organization committed to equity.
    • Shape and guide projects focused on changes of internal policies and procedures.
    • Work with equity consultant(s) to ensure the development, implementation, and evaluation of projects align with institutional goals and timelines.
    • Build internal capacity of ERG members.
  • Garden-wide community building and facilitation 30%
    • Advise president and CEO and executive vice president on additional measures or opportunities that can help create a welcoming and inclusive workplace.
    • Participate as active member of Senior Leadership Team (SLT), representing staff voice, perspective, and needs around EDIA, and building SLT’s capacity to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace.
    • Create and facilitate workshops that create a foundation in institutional culture change and core equity concepts.
    • Participate in subcommittees, task teams, and strategic planning groups to ensure EDIA is a priority across our strategic imperatives.
    • Align staff EDIA work with the Board of Directors' Facing Change diversity project.
    • Manage EDIA budget.
  • Act as internal advisor who facilitates and collaborates across functions, assuring we prioritize EDIA, including communication strategies, fundraising, and employee engagement. - 25%
    • Communications
      • Develop EDIA-related messaging tailored to the Garden’s internal staff needs in accessible, relatable, and authentic ways.
      • Advise the communications team to help shape and inform external communications so they align with EDIA and community engagement best practices, ensuring these strategies are incorporated into content and products across Garden channels.
      • Create tools for all staff on how to be inclusive in our communications and how to communicate our EDIA work with the public.
      • Make recommendations on how the Garden extends this conversation with volunteers, visitors, program participants, and other stakeholders.
    • Employee Engagement
      • Support and guide ERG reviews of policies and procedures to assure alignment with best practice in nonprofit business management and employee relations, including recruitment and retention for employees and volunteers.
      • Advise on implementation of policy and procedural changes as they arise.
      • Advise on best means of meeting supplier diversity goals.
    • Fundraising
      • Advise on EDIA best practice in fundraising, e.g. regarding vocabulary, program positioning, and donor engagement.
    • Stakeholder engagement (external) 15%
      • Assist with the identification and selection of outside experts and potential partners to support and embed this work.
      • Cultivate relationships with and maintain network of key strategic partners and professional networks in the equity movement.
      • Stay informed of the latest EDIA research, news, and best practices.
      • Aid in strengthening relationships with external stakeholders and communities we have not yet engaged, especially with program partners in horticulture, collections, science, and education.

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred.
  • Seven years’ experience in leading and advising on equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility within academic or nonprofit organizations to senior leadership and staff at all organizational levels.
  • Bilingual Spanish-English desirable.
  • Advanced knowledge of EDIA core competencies and principles and change management.
  • Commitment to EDIA principles, and an ability to make those principles accessible to constituent groups.  
  • A track record in designing and delivering organization-wide initiatives and training.
  • Experience facilitating and coaching through change, conflict, and resolution.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills that match audience needs at every level of the organization.
  • High level of attention to detail and the ability to respond calmly to shifting priorities.
Physical Demands: 
Frequent, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, lifting, pushing. Must be able to lift and carry 20 pounds. Licensed driver insurable by the Society.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, or basis of disability, or any other federal, state, or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.