Director of Culture and DEI

$119,645 - $160,336 yearly
  • City of Elgin
  • Elgin, Illinois, USA
  • Mar 22, 2024
Full time Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Job Description

Elgin is a diverse city that embraces its history and aspires to be an inclusive, innovative, and vibrant community. DEI is an inherent component of the city’s mission, vision and values, recognizing DEI as being vital to continuing organizational success. Elgin supports a culture in which there is collaboration across differences, respect for all viewpoints and innovative solutions are created in service of our community.

With the commitment and support of the city council and organizational leadership team, the city has partnered with a consulting firm to form a DEI committee, conduct a current state assessment, and create a DEI strategic plan. As part of that work, the need for a Director of Culture and DEI has been identified to lead this work going forward.

This position is assigned to the city manager's office and will be part of the city’s leadership team. Priorities have already been established in the city’s DEI strategic plan and the Director of Culture and DEI will take charge to further define actions and tactics to address these priorities and manage the implementation. There is room to be creative and make a difference with ideas. The initial focus for the Director of Culture and DEI is to guide the organization and leaders in developing a culture in which DEI is instilled into what employees do and how they treat each other, including how they lead, interact, and serve the community by focusing on building cultural competencies. In future years there is opportunity to take DEI further into the community and to impact equity in city services for the community. The ideal candidate will be a strategic, innovative, and insightful leader with proven experience in leading diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.



Leads DEI Initiatives:

Leads and provides subject matter expertise to support the city's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts internally, including monitoring progress on strategic plan and setting annual priorities for the organization.Leads initiatives to further develop cultural competencies in employees throughout the organization. Collaborates across departments to bring DEI perspective to communication, programs, culture, and issues/challenges. This will require close collaboration with the communications manager to ensure internal and external communication is inclusive and welcoming to a diverse community. Oversees DEI infrastructure including chairing the DEI committee and establishing affinity groups.Collaborates with staff to review current policies and programs to ensure the city’s culture and values are integrated into any changes to policies, structures, programs and practices. Work during the first year will include review of existing and developing new human resources policies in partnership with the human resources director.Works with external DEI consultants to oversee diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the organization and help create and implement frameworks, plans and initiatives. Defines and clearly communicates the city’s DEI strategic plan and fosters organization-wide investment in resources dedicated to DEI needs and initiatives. Updates the city manager, senior staff and other key constituents on organizational progress and best practices related to DEI.

Advances Workplace Culture:

Fosters a positive and inclusive work environment that promotes employee engagement, satisfaction and retention. Supports leaders to build and maintain a culture within their teams that aligns with the organizational culture and recognizes the unique roles and requirements within the city. Advises leadership on cultural issues, keeps a pulse on employee sentiment and provides feedback and recommendations to leadership to improve the culture of the organization. Skillfully facilitates discussions on complex, challenging and intricate subject matter, driving organizational cultural change. Works collaboratively with the city’s human resources department and the city manager’s office team to develop and implement programs and initiatives to listen to, engage and retain employees. This can include employee surveys, focus groups, and employee engagement programs, as well as designing a mechanism to solicit employee feedback on equity-related issues. Clearly communicates the organization’s culture and values to employees and other stakeholders. This can include creating and contributing to internal and external communications, in conjunction with the communications manager, employee newsletters and external communications including press releases and social media posts. Conducts educational outreach and engages with internal and external stakeholders.

Connects to our Community:

Collaborates with other leaders to identify community initiatives or programs to incorporate DEI lens. Supports those responsible for these initiatives by advising on DEI implications and providing best practices and suggestions. Supports community facing roles to bolster DEI efforts by building alignment amongst city’s initiatives and partnerships.Identifies opportunities to expand and connect DEI strategy and city support and sponsorship to the community.


Strong leadership skills, including experience on a leadership team or other decision-making body in an organization. Strong cultural competency and be able to create an inclusive and equitable culture for all employees. Demonstrate a high level of emotional intelligence, ability to build and maintain trust, credibility and engagement across a broad and diverse group of people. Demonstrate success in working collaboratively across an organization to develop and implement programs, initiatives and/or training focused on impacting organizational culture. Skilled in collaborative problem-solving and influencing with the ability to work with cross-functional internal and external partners. Possesses excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, to be able to communicate effectively with employees, management and stakeholders. Strong interpersonal skills to be able to build trusting relationships, understand others’ needs, facilitate difficult conversations and resolve conflicts effectively.Well-developed leadership capacity including the ability to inspire and guide employees, give feedback and lean into challenging situations. Experience working in dynamic, complex, and diverse organizations, with a proven ability to align culture strategies with the organization’s mission, values, goals and objectives. Track record of developing and following through with initiatives that meet organizational needs. Strong project management and change management skills. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills to identify and evaluate problems related to organizational culture and develop effective solutions. Creative and thoughtful problem solver with an openness to understanding and attempting multiple approaches amidst changing priorities. Uses data and metrics related to culture, such as employee engagement surveys, to inform decisions. Knowledge of concepts, national and local trends, best practices, employment laws and regulations, and current issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ability to meaningfully engage stakeholders in challenging dialogue around racial, gender, and cultural inequities. Experience developing and implementing organizational DEI concepts and implementation of DEI strategic plans, training, education programs and accountability metrics on topics of (but not limited to) anti-racism, cultural competency, implicit bias, generational differences, gender differences, inclusive leadership and fostering an environment of equity and inclusion is a plus. Bilingual (Spanish) proficiency is a plus.


The city of Elgin welcomes candidates who have a successful record of implementing and maintaining strategies that demonstrate commitment to promoting a welcoming and inclusive environment.

Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in a relevant field of study, such as organizational development, human resources, organizational psychology or business administration.Four years or more of progressive relevant experience in a leadership position in DEI, human resources, organizational development, or a related field with a track record of successfully shaping and managing organizational culture.

This is sedentary work requiring the exertion of up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to move objects; work requires standing, walking, good manual dexterity, and repetitive motions; vocal communication is required for expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word; hearing is required to perceive information at normal spoken word levels; visual acuity is required for preparing and analyzing written or computer data, operation of machines; determining the accuracy and thoroughness of work, and observing general surroundings and activities; the worker is not subject to adverse environmental conditions.