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Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)

Date: Mar 17, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10148 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks a collaborative, solutions-oriented, accomplished, and visionary leader to serve as its Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. With a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people, ORNL’s decadal vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation. Reporting to the Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology, the CDO will serve as the chief strategist and leader for advancing ORNL’s DEIA vision and plan. In this role, the CDO will utilize best practices to incubate and innovate new paradigms and frameworks; to coordinate implementation of strategies and tactics that promulgate the principles of equity and inclusion across ORNL; and to establish metrics to measure outcomes and progress. Working closely with extended Laboratory Leadership and experts, the CDO will foster the Lab’s shared sense of responsibility and accountability for DEIA, with the aim of delivering collective impact and sustained culture shifts.


Other Responsibilities Include:

  • Serves as the subject matter expert and resource partner for best practices to achieve DEIA goals, engaging with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Partners closely with other Laboratory Leaders on DEIA-relevant topics: training and education; research; partnerships; data analytics; community relations; compliance; and communications;
  • Establishes a collaborative organizational model that promotes connectedness amongst various DEIA working groups – including Employee Resource Groups – across the Lab, leveraging resources, partnerships, and efforts to advance key aspects of the ORNL DEIA plan;
  • Takes a data-driven approach to assess the effectiveness of key ORNL DEIA initiatives, including those designed to narrow the gaps in representation and to enhance an inclusive environment that inspires diverse talent to contribute their unique talents to the ORNL mission.
  • Regularly evaluates and refines the ORNL ‘living’ DEIA plan and associated initiatives;
  • Facilitates communication related to DEIA objectives, ensuring clear dissemination throughout the organization;
  • Partners with Extended Laboratory Leadership to identify and implement metrics for accountability;
  • Leads periodic assessments of ORNL culture;
  • Partners closely with other CDOs across the system of DOE national laboratories and the Battelle network of National Laboratories;
  • Promotes an environment that reflects ORNL values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety and Service.


Qualifications and Characteristics:

  • The successful candidate will hold a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources or related field and 12 years of relevant experience. A Masters degree is preferred.
  • Five or more years of management experience is required.
  • A proven record of innovative organizational change management grounded in the theory and practice of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, combined with a keen awareness about the complexities and nuanced situations is also required.
  • The ideal candidate will have substantial administrative and program-building experience and demonstrated leadership as an innovator, convener, ambassador, collaborator, partner, and catalyst in mobilizing staff and leaders around DEIA goals.
  • Candidates must demonstrate sensitivity to a wide range of disciplines, interests, and a deep commitment to diversity; the ability to design bold, creative, and innovative initiatives; and the vision, charisma, and collaborative acumen to command the respect and involvement of colleagues to improve culture climate and outcomes.



  • Demonstrated prior leadership in developing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility initiatives and programs within a complex organization.
  • Deep knowledge in the field of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, including the historical and social context, the language/terms that have evolved, and the complexities of the intersection of these communities as evidenced by scholarly work, and demonstrated ability to translate that knowledge into practical applications.
  • A record of success in facilitating effective partnerships.
  • Demonstrated experience as a strong leader through visible accomplishments, preferably in research driven setting.
  • Experience leading large-scale change projects.
  • An understanding of affirmative action and equal opportunity regulations.
  • Demonstrated experience and success in strategic planning, resource management, and recruitment and retention.
  • Proven success in, or aptitude for, external relations, communications, and development, and a distinguished record of intellectual leadership.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 30 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville