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DEI Director


Founded at the University of Michigan Medical School, TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) is among the most innovative and rapidly-growing school-based mental health solutions in the country. After a decade in the academic setting, TRAILS spun out from the University in 2022 and launched as an independent organization with approximately 35 staff. Within a year, our staff size had more than doubled. Today, our growing team is working toward the TRAILS mission of transforming the landscape of youth mental health care delivery by equipping school staff with the training and resources they need to provide evidence-based and culturally responsible programming to their students. 

To date, TRAILS has brought essential skills and resources to more than 14,000 teachers, administrators, and school mental health professionals. Our best-in-class program materials are built specifically for the school setting, and our unique training model is driven by research from the field of implementation science. Our website and library of materials are utilized by educators and clinicians across the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world. While our impact today is greatest in our home state of Michigan, TRAILS is expanding nationally with strong support from education and health sector leaders, public offices, and state policymakers. 

As we work to respond to massive demand for TRAILS programming from schools and districts throughout the United States, our team is guided by a core commitment to equity: The TRAILS growth strategy identifies Title I designated schools as our broadest target population, and we aim specifically to impact students who experience high risk for poor mental health outcomes and disproportionate barriers to quality care. As we grow our team, we seek candidates who share our commitment to equity in health and healthcare access, who practice cultural humility, and who thrive in and contribute to an inclusive working environment.


The DEI Director helps to lead DEI strategy and initiatives and organizational learning at TRAILS. In collaboration with the People and Executive Team, the DEI Director helps drive the organizational commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and plays a critical and strategic role in strengthening, building, and further defining a holistic strategy across all facets of the employee lifecycle at TRAILS.

This innovative change maker will serve as the principal DEI contact and expert for the organization, the DEI Director will help build an organizational and staff culture that supports this effort.


DEI Strategy & Management (40%):

  • In collaboration with the VP of People, the DEI Director helps to steer the design and ongoing strategy for DEI organizational vision, priorities and expectations and ensure regular review of progress

  • Leads in promoting a culture that is aligned with TRAILS DEI values

  • Collaborates with and influences managers to prioritize DEI organizational strategic initiatives that accelerate the achievement of organizational goals 

  • Ensures DEI work is aligned to strategic direction and organizational goals and works with each team on annual priorities and work plans connected to these goals

  • Meets regularly with executive team and staff and serves as connective tissue between DEI initiatives and functions to support collaboration and communication

  • Measures and monitors progress on organizational DEI commitments and through processes, policies and systems holds organization accountable to them

  • Develops, leads, and manages the DEI committee to ensure commitment and accountability to DEI goals, initiatives and strategies and staff voice and needs

  • Leverages professional networks to deliver better results through expertise, resources, relationships, and connections

Development and Training (40%):

  • Works with the Executive Team and staff to define the DEI learning needs and design and facilitate solutions

  • Contributes to fostering a culture of continuous learning, sharing, and cross-departmental collaboration within DEI initiatives and needs 

  • Builds credibility with leaders by demonstrating an understanding of TRAILS operations, strategy, and challenges, aligning short and long-term people goals with the strategic direction, and leading/driving professional development initiatives to assist the organization in achieving the mission

  • Coaches leaders and staff along a DEI learning path that aligns to organizational initiatives

  • Remains up-to-date in the field through continuing education opportunities

Team Responsibilities (20%):

  • Optimizes the contribution of staff to allow for organizational development

  • Attends all staff meetings and retreats, workgroups and other relevant TRAILS meetings as necessary

  • Supports TRAILS team with all hands on deck events as needed and other team initiatives 


Our experience suggests that the following types of professional experiences lend themselves to this work:

  • 8+ years of progressive experience in people and culture or organizational learning with a strategic focus or equivalent experience

  • 5+ years providing accountability for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in organizations or equivalent experience

  • 3-5 years of experience working with, coaching, and influencing leaders in a growing, evolving organization

  • Culturally competent and self-reflective leader who understands the effects of race, class, ethnicity, income, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and other identities/experiences of difference in society and has significant experience having direct conversations about them

  • Ability to balance equity as a priority with HR compliance responsibilities

  • Ability to understand business functions and metrics within our organization

  • Ability to direct initiatives and gain buy-in from stakeholders

Our experience suggests that the following types of skills lend themselves well to this work:

  • Knowledge of people-related best practices and strong group facilitation skills 

  • Ability to proactively identify and diagnose organizational needs and deliver relevant solutions, coaching, or training as needed 

  • Ability to prioritize and deliver results against a work plan in a fast-paced environment, giving attention to detail and processes, even under high-pressure situations

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, to create a free flow of information at all levels of the organization


Our experience suggests the following certifications and degree(s) lend themselves well to this work:

  • Bachelor's degree in a human resources-related field

  • Professional certification in DEI and experience working in a non-profit setting is preferred

  • Applicable experience and competencies may be considered in lieu of formal education 


The salary range for this role is $117,000-$130,000. 

TRAILS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, and vision as well as a 403B with a safe harbor match and short and long term disability. We offer a generous holiday and paid time off package. 



Addressing inequities in access to evidence-based mental health care is intrinsic to the TRAILS mission. The intentionality behind this approach is woven into everything we do at TRAILS, resulting in a staff-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion for all facets of our program. If this commitment is something to which you could positively contribute, we encourage you to apply, particularly if your voice represents a historically excluded perspective. 

TRAILS, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.


  • Our job descriptions reflect TRAILS’ assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing herein restricts management's right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time. 

  • We can only consider applicants who are legally authorized to work in the United States.

  • Please note that all TRAILS employees are required to undergo a background check as performed by our fiscal sponsor, Tides Center. Findings do not automatically exclude candidates from the hiring process, but will be taken into consideration.

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