Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Chicago, IL
Full Time



Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder. Since reopening in 1995, more than 200 million guests have visited the Pier’s fifty-five acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. In that time, Navy Pier has become a top cultural attraction and destination in the Midwest, and since 2011, has operated as an independent, nonprofit organization. Navy Pier values diversity and racial equity and expects every role to uphold a high standard of inclusion, justice, and fairness.


This is a full-time position. The Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is an inaugural position at Navy Pier and will report to the Chief Administrative and Equity Officer and serve as a thought leader to develop, guide, and manage strategies and practices in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and integrate these into the Pier’s overall mission and DEI vision across, internal and external stakeholders such as staff, tenants, and guests of Navy Pier.  This position would develop and coordinate efforts to sustain an equitable workplace and manifest DEI values in all internal and external strategies, systems, policies, practices, operations, branding, and organizational culture. The Director of DEI would work closely with the Executive Leadership Team, the Board of Directors, and respective committees in creating and implementing key DEI initiatives organization-wide to strategically create and foster tangible change and cultivate an open and inclusive environment that reflects and respects all staff, partners, and community constituents.

The successful candidate must be an outstanding strategic manager, people- and program-oriented and passionate and knowledgeable about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work to ensure DEI is operationalized purposefully into the Pier’s vision, culture, outreach, brand, and operations.


The Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion must possess strong interpersonal skills and have an open communication style which allows them to productively engage with all stakeholders. The Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion must be a thoughtful consensus builder and team member open to new ideas: one who inspires trust and builds authentic relationships across lines of difference, while understanding the broad range of needs within the organization and the community. The job requires a broad understanding of the issues and trends impacting DEI activities regionally, nationally, and—ideally—globally.

Key duties and responsibilities listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills and/or abilities required to successfully perform this job. Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Serve as a thought leader and DEI subject matter expert on internal and external best practices and strategies that inform programs, operations, and community outreach.
  • Develop, implement, and monitor the Pier’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy and initiatives in partnership with existing committees and departments and any other important constituents.
  • Build strategic frameworks and manage deliverables, timelines, and budgets related to DEI initiatives.
  • Guide the analysis of outcomes and performance measures and impact against the Pier’s vision from an equity lens to foster improvements in outreach, service delivery, and engagement across the organization.
  • Provide leadership in creating innovative strategies to cultivate, attract, develop, and retain a diverse workforce.
  • Form authentic relationships and serve as a strategic thought partner with members of the Executive Leadership Team so that awareness, dedication, and accountability for DEI action plans are implemented throughout the organization with fidelity.
  • Set a shared commitment to ensure that the organization remains compliant with regulations regarding DEI, identifying areas of risk and opportunity.
  • Offer guidance to all staff, partners, and the Board of Directors on any culturally sensitive topics.
  • Provide frequent updates on DEI activities, metrics, and impact across the entire organization.
  • Demonstrate confidence and strength in working with and supporting the personal growth and professional development of all Pier stakeholders: staff, partners, trades/union and contracted staff, Associate Board and Board of Directors.
  • Develop and deliver a broad range of training and resource materials for all staff, members, and the Board of Directors that support the Pier’s vision and goals.
  • Analyze and present trends and remain up to date on best practices related to DEI and integrate accordingly.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


The minimum level of knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required for this role include:


  • Bachelor’s Degree in social sciences, human resources, business, or related disciplines, or equivalent experience.


  • A minimum of five to seven years of work experience, preferably with a nonprofit organization, educational institution, or service-oriented enterprise, is encouraged. Applicants must demonstrate a current and active involvement in the DEI field and understand organizational development and change management. 


  • Demonstrate strong written and oral communications skills.
  • Ensure that all DEI strategies are supportive of and consistent with Navy Pier’s vision, mission, and values.
  • Prepare presentations, trainings, speaking points, key messaging, or other DEI materials as requested.
  • Self-starter spirit with the ability to execute assigned tasks and projects with minimal supervision.
  • Genuine desire, willingness, and ability to work collaboratively, see assets and existing work, and empower leaders to work together for a collective vision.
  • Able to manage confidential information.
  • Partner and support the Marketing & Communications team to drive the design and delivery of inclusive messaging to media and key stakeholders.
  • Able to engage and build rapport with external community constituents.


  • May be required to work long hours in inclement weather conditions, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Candidates under consideration for this role may be required to submit work and/or writing samples.


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