Senior Human Resources Specialist

The Wallace Foundation is seeking a skilled human resources professional with a deep commitment to the work and values of the foundation for the position of Senior Human Resources Specialist. The position reports to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

Background of the Organization

The Wallace Foundation, an independent national philanthropy with assets of $1.5 billion, traces its origins back more than half a century to DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of The Reader’s Digest Association. Ranked by assets, Wallace is among the 50 largest private foundations in the United States.  Its mission is to foster improvements in learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and the vitality of the arts for everyone. The foundation has an unusual approach: funding projects to test innovative ideas for solving important social problems, conducting research to find out what works and what doesn’t and to fill key knowledge gaps – and then communicating the results to help others.

The Wallace Foundation staff works in teams that assemble the mix of expertise and perspectives it needs to design and carry out initiatives according to its approach. This means that staff members from units throughout the foundation – research, program, and communications, to name a few – regularly work together in a cross-foundation effort rather than individually in their own department. Therefore, Wallace seeks employees who are both highly skilled in their professions and able to work collaboratively with others. Wallace employees need to be able to think analytically and communicate clearly. It values the flexibility to adapt to change, a desire to learn, and the ability to work productively both on one’s own and with colleagues inside and outside the foundation.

For more information about Wallace, please visit

Position Responsibilities

The Senior Human Resources Specialist has two primary responsibilities: 1) effectively administer employee benefits plans and policies, compensation, recruitment and employee relations; and 2) support the Chief Administrative Officer in the development of HR strategies, plans, policies and programs.

Employee benefit plans and policies

  • Ongoing administration and annual renewal of health, dental, vision, life/AD&D, and disability insurances including:
    • enrollment/changes/terminations for staff;
    • coordination with Finance for payroll;
    • liaison with the benefits broker; 
    • conduct annual competitive review; and
    • follow and share with the CAO trends and developments in the field.
  • Ensure qualified and non-qualified plans are maintained in compliance with applicable legislation and regulations.  Specifically:
    • all required testing and reporting is completed on a timely basis;
    • all required filings are completed and filed;
    • education for participants is ongoing;
    • support the Administrative Committee;
    • maintain relationships with plan record-keeper, consultants, and all service providers for the plans; and
    • stay current on and update CAO on legislation, trends and developments in the field.
  • Prepare and distribute benefit and policy communications for staff including renewal communications, policy changes, and the annual Employee Benefits Statement.
  • Administer policies and programs, e.g., transit and parking program, tuition reimbursement, professional certification and continuing education, and leaves of absence. 
  • Carry out the day-to-day operations for Human Resources, e.g., leave administration, sign-ins/sign-outs. 
  • Assist staff in understanding and using their employee benefits.


 In consultation with the CAO:

  • Contribute to the analysis of competitive compensation reviews.
  • Coordinate the process for annual performance and salary reviews.


Work with the CAO to develop recruiting strategies and the approach for filling open positions, and coordinate recruiting, onboarding and orientation programs and processes.

  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Learning and Professional Development

Reflecting Wallace’s commitment to learning and professional development, the Senior HR Specialist will:

  • Build knowledge base and capability to contribute to design of health and welfare, and qualified and non-qualified employee benefit plans, and performance enhancement and compensation systems.
  • Participate on working groups, as assigned, focused on Human Resources and organizational development.


  • Three – five years’ specialist experience in human resources with a concentration in benefits and compensation
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree or certifications in HR or benefits a plus
  • Sound judgment, outstanding discretion, and unwavering commitment to ensuring confidentiality in all aspects of the role
  • Strong data management and analytical thinking skills
  • Excellent communication skills, with an emphasis on writing to convey key messages to staff, simplify complex employee benefits and HR topics, and avoid jargon
  • Ability to balance the Foundation and employee interests in developing options for review and resolution of issues

Salary will be commensurate with experience. Benefits include health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance, a 403(b) Retirement Plan and Paid Time Off (PTO).


The Wallace Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer,

committed to maintaining a diverse workplace

where differing perspectives are a source of strength.

To Apply:

The Wallace Foundation has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Anne McCarthy, Senior Director/COO

Harris Rand Lusk

122 E. 42nd Street, Suite 3605

New York, NY 10168 

Please put “Wallace Senior HR Specialist” in the subject line