About Arc Institute

The Arc Institute is a new scientific institution that conducts curiosity-driven basic science and technology development to understand and treat complex human diseases. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Arc is an independent research organization founded on the belief that many important research programs will be enabled by new institutional models. Arc operates in partnership with Stanford University, UCSF, and UC Berkeley.

While the prevailing university research model has yielded many tremendous successes, we believe in the importance of institutional experimentation as a way to make progress. These include:

  • Funding: Arc will fully fund Core Investigator’s (PI’s) research groups, liberating scientists from the typical constraints of project-based external grants.
  • Technology: Biomedical research has become increasingly dependent on complex tooling. Arc Technology Centers develop, optimize and deploy rapidly advancing experimental and computational technologies in collaboration with Core Investigators. 
  • Support: Arc aims to provide first-class support—operationally, financially and scientifically—that will enable scientists to pursue long-term high risk, high reward research that can meaningfully advance progress in disease cures, including neurodegeneration, cancer, and immune dysfunction.

Arc scaled to nearly 100 people in its first year. With $650M+ in committed funding and a state of the art new lab facility in Palo Alto, Arc will continue to grow quickly to several hundred in the coming years.

About the position: 

Arc Institute is looking for their Head of People that will report to Alden Woodrow, COO. This person will build upon the foundation that has been laid for the People Team and set the vision, strategy and execution of the organization moving forward. They will partner with the Executive Director and other leaders to positively evolve the institution’s people and culture as they significantly grow the employee population over the next 18 to 24 months. They will help Arc Institute attract, develop and retain the very best talent and ensure a great place to work and grow for all.

A successful candidate will ideally have had exposure to a fast-paced/high-growth start-up environment. They will bring a strong operational background, with an appreciation for balancing the unique needs of the institution's model. This person will be comfortable partnering with founders and the leadership team, coaching where needed and have the ability to push back on topics to ensure the right decisions are made.   They will have deep familiarity with industry people practices and clear opinions on people programs but also be humble and open to new ideas and information. This person is curious and passionate for continuous learning, and is comfortable addressing business and people/talent needs in growth-oriented environments.  This leader will need to enjoy and be an expert in scaling both strategically and tactically.

In this position you will: 

  • Develop People initiatives and programs that touch across the lifecycle of the employee and enable employee success: recruiting, onboarding, manager training, total rewards, leveling, performance management,  and employee experience
  • Build strong relationships with Arc leaders to anticipate People needs across all functions
  • Bring an analytical approach to building our People organization, instilling operational rigor to the workforce strategy
  • Build and create a world-class talent acquisition organization by scaling recruiting across all functional areas
  • Build and develop a world class People team
  • Align the organization’s objectives with our broader People strategies; set KPIs to measure progress
  • Provide valued consultation, build partnerships, mentor our senior leadership team, play the role of a trusted advisor; making the organization a better place to work everyday
  • Deploy meaningful learning programs across all levels of the company with a specific focus on developing our managers and employees


  • 10+ years of experience in a People role
  • 4+ years of experience as the #1 or #2 People leader through the scaling phase of a company
  • Enjoy collaborating and co-creating People programs and initiatives with leaders across the company
  • Possess the energy and scrappiness to build the People function at an early stage in a fast paced organization 
  • Care deeply about the details and quality of work. Willing to get into the weeds on all things People related, moving at a fast pace while being thoughtful and strategic about the decisions being made.
  • A data-driven decision-maker
  • Strong operationally and culturally, understands how behaviors in an organization are productive or destructive, and know how to develop the right ones 
  • Strong collaboration and influencing qualities with the ability to quickly gain the respect of various stakeholders including the leaders, colleagues and team
  • Able to see and communicate the big picture in an inspiring way, while paying close attention to short-term needs  
  • Strong written communicator
  • Excitement and curiosity to learn the complexities and nuances of a scientific organization, working closely with team members from a variety of backgrounds, including academia, biotech, tech and healthcare
  • Effective and inspiring people manager with passion for developing team members
  • Insightful coach and mentor to new leaders and executive partners
  • Have and maintain a good sense of humor

The base salary range for this position is $232,500 to $278,500. These amounts reflect the range of base salary that the Institute reasonably would expect to pay a new hire or internal candidate for this position. The actual base compensation paid to any individual for this position may vary depending on factors such as experience, internal equity, market conditions, education/training, and skill level, and does not include bonuses, commissions, differential pay, other forms of compensation, or benefits. This position is also eligible to receive an annual discretionary bonus, with the amount dependent on individual and institute performance factors.


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