If you are a Techstars portfolio companyclaim your profile.

Director of People & Culture

Zeno Power Systems

Zeno Power Systems

People & HR
Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Company Overview

Zeno Power’s (Zeno) mission is to provide clean, plug-and-play power anywhere in the universe. To do that, Zeno is developing a next-generation radioisotope power system (RPS) that generates carbon-free, resilient power for decades, utilizing material found in nuclear waste. Zeno’s technology is both light-weight and cost-effective compared to historic RPS, opening up broad market opportunities in space and terrestrially. To bring this breakthrough technology to market, Zeno is seeking out purpose-driven and innovative professionals who are comfortable working in a startup environment. Team members will have a direct impact in enabling commercial and national security missions from the depths of our oceans, to the surface of the moon, and in austere environments here on Earth.

Zeno is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to attracting, retaining, and developing a highly qualified, diverse, and dedicated work force. We do not discriminate in hiring on the basis of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religious creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

Director of People & Culture

Zeno is seeking an energetic, passionate, and process-driven Director of People and Culture with exceptional judgment, interpersonal skills, and a desire to develop and grow a talented and diverse team. Success in this role requires a strong understanding of the recruitment, onboarding, and culture building functions of a high-growth team, and familiarity with employment law and compliance.

In this role you will:

  • Manage Zeno’s onboarding process, ensuring that new team members feel welcomed, informed about company benefits and policies, and prepared to excel in their roles
  • Manage and grow the team leading Zeno’s recruitment and hiring processes, ensuring Zeno attracts quality team members at every level, in technical and non-technical roles
  • Develop and implement comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, initiatives, and action plans that align with Zeno’s core values.
  • Ensure equitable, inclusive, and cohesive cultures in and across Zeno's Seattle & DC's offices, and implement a system for tracking culture development
  • Lead Zeno’s performance management process, including goal-setting, mid-year reviews, and the EOY performance review process.
  • Manage and serve as a primary point of contact for all compensation and benefits at Zeno, and stay abreast of benefit and policy trends and best-practices, and Ensure
  • Ensure compliance with all local, state, and federal labor and employment Zeno's laws
  • Monitor adherence to internal policies and legal standards; develop, issue, and implement new policies as needed, manage disciplinary action when required

Key Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred, in a related field such as Human Resources or Organizational Psychology
  • A minimum of 7 years of HR experience, and at least 3 years of managing HR (or related function) at a 50-100 person organization
  • Experience managing company-wide DEI efforts, including external engagement
  • Experience implementing strategies and systems for talent management, compensation and benefits, and HR technology
  • Strong business acumen and leadership abilities
  • Working knowledge of employment laws and other compliance issues
  • HRCI and/or SHRM Certification is preferred.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, Confluence and Jira experience preferred

Job Functions

  • Position requires in-office presence in Seattle (South Lake Union) or in Washington, D.C. (Mt. Vernon/Chinatown) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, remote work is optional on Mondays and Fridays.
  • Travel: Travel is required, approximately 25%
  • Motor Abilities: Sitting and/or standing for extended periods, bending/stooping, grasping/gripping, fine motor control (hands)
  • Physical exertion and/or requirements: Minimal, with ability to safely lift up to 15 pounds
  • Repetitive work: Prolonged
  • Special Senses: Visual and audio focused work
  • Work Conditions: Stairs, typing/keyboard, standard and/or sitting working environment of >8 hrs./day

Compensation and Benefits

The anticipated salary band for this position is $140,000-190,000. The final job level and compensation will be determined by various factors such as a candidate's relevant work experience, years of relevant experience, skills, qualifications, certifications, and other business considerations.

In addition to competitive compensation, we also offer a generous benefits package, which includes:

  • Stock options
  • Flexible paid time off
  • 401k plan with employer match
  • 16 weeks of paid family leave
  • Annual employee wellness reimbursement and office supply stipend
  • Medical, Dental and Vision Coverage
  • Relocation assistance

Physical Demands and Work Environment

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee(s) incumbent in this position. Employees will be required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by any person authorized to give instructions or assignments. All duties and responsibilities are essential functions and requirements and are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. To perform this job successfully, the incumbents will possess the skills, aptitudes, and abilities to perform each duty proficiently. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health or safety of themselves or others. The requirements listed in this document are the minimum levels of knowledge, skills, or abilities. This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” relationship.

Export Control

Applicants for employment at Zeno Power must be a U.S. person. The term “U.S. Person” means (i) a U.S citizen or U.S. national; or (ii) any natural person who is a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (i.e., holds a Green Card), as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or as a “protected individual” defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3) (i.e., admitted as a refugee or is granted asylum).