Executive Search and Management Consulting

Job Posting Conrad N. Hilton Foundation logo

Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel
Westlake Village, CA

Explore Company PosterThe Conrad N. Hilton Foundation seeks to recruit a strategic leader as Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel.


The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation (Foundation) works to improve the lives of individuals living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage throughout the world. Conrad N. Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels, established the Hilton Foundation as a philanthropic trust in 1944. The Foundation continues to be guided by the founder’s mandate to “relieve the suffering, the distressed and destitute.”

The Foundation invests in several program areas, including providing access to safe water, supporting transition age foster youth, ending chronic homelessness, hospitality workforce development, disaster relief and recovery, helping young children affected by HIV and AIDS, and supporting the work of Catholic sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.8 billion in grants, distributing $110 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2019. Foundation assets increased from approximately $2.9 billion to $6.3 billion following the 2019 passing of Barron Hilton who, like his father, pledged virtually his entire estate to the Foundation. The growth in financial resources presents the Foundation with an exciting opportunity to scale the impact of its work globally.

Guiding the grantmaking, workplace culture and values of the Foundation is an overarching philanthropic approach, which employs four key pillars: grantmaking, communication and advocacy, collaboration, and learning. Together, these global and inter-related channels work to achieve impact by:

  • Supporting programmatic solutions to sustain and test recognized and exploratory approaches.

  • Investing in strengthening systems support efforts to scale solutions, improve public policy and infrastructure, and drive funders, providers and public leaders to invest resources and improve efficiencies toward shared goals.

  • Developing knowledge from both direct service and system strengthening programs, integrating this knowledge with what was known before, and disseminating the knowledge to create continuous learning and to support the application of knowledge in each area where they work.

The Foundation seeks to exemplify the values and principles practiced by its founders: Integrity, Thinking Big, Humility, Stewardship and Compassion. The nimble funding afforded by the Foundation allows it to contribute to areas that are traditionally underfunded, take risks, make bold investments, convene partners, and catalyze transformative change.

The Foundation also aspires to create a diverse equitable and inclusive workplace culture. With an understanding that the most vulnerable communities are those disproportionately impacted by systemic barriers and forms of discrimination, the Foundation strives to elevate the voices of those impacted by disparities across race, gender, and class lines to support long-lasting social change.

For more information about the Hilton Foundation, please visit: www.hiltonfoundation.org

ABOUT THE POSITION: Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel

With an evolving global philanthropic enterprise, the Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel (General Counsel) will be a thoughtful and trusted advisor, problem solver, and facilitator to the Board, President, Executive Team and staff on a strategic range of organizational issues. The General Counsel will assist in advising on grantmaking, governance issues, tax (specific to exempt organizations) and other general corporate legal issues. The new General Counsel will help ensure the Foundation creates effective internal systems for legal compliance.

The General Counsel will be responsible for hiring and overseeing the work of outside legal expertise. Additionally, as the Foundation provides grants to address global development, advocacy and program related investments, the General Counsel will thoughtfully act to support program staff in appreciating the levels of risk associated with their grantmaking activities. The General Counsel serves as the Secretary of the Foundation, responsible for maintaining the official records of the Foundation, coordinating meetings and communications with the Board of Directors and providing advice and counsel to the Board of Directors on corporate governance matters.

The broad strategic goals and responsibilities of the General Counsel are the following:

  • Manage all U.S. and international legal affairs for the Foundation; provide legal counsel to the Board of Directors, President and CEO, senior management and other Foundation staff as needs arise.

  • Advise on a broad range of corporate, employee, employee benefit, litigation management, tax and, regulatory and compliance matters.

  • Negotiate and draft corporate, transactional and other legal documents.

  • Ensure compliance with corporate and regulatory filing requirements.

  • Retain and manage outside counsel as required to provide specialized legal expertise and/or to manage timely provision of legal services.

  • Oversee systems for tracking matters, recordkeeping, training of staff, etc.

  • Oversee all activities of the Board of Directors including recordkeeping, meetings and minutes, committees, travel, trustee grant programs, etc.

  • Ensure the Board of Directors has resources and information required to fulfill fiduciary duties and to comply with Foundation bylaws and other governing documents.

  • Oversee compliance with Foundation code of ethics, conflict of interest and other associated policies; develop policies, reporting and investigation systems and trainings as required to ensure compliance.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes:

The ideal General Counsel should ideally embody the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • High level of ethics and commitment to the Foundation’s mission, vision and core values.

  • J.D. from an accredited institution and a minimum of 10 years in a major nonprofit foundation, large law firm, or large corporate in-house legal practice and Admission to the California bar.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of law applicable to tax-exempt organizations preferred, but not required. Broad experience in corporate business law.

  • Experience working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds.

  • Adept analytical skills and an ability to understand complex and nuanced legal concepts and possessing the ability to explain them to non-lawyers in order to create practical processes and guidance.

  • A demonstrated history of success serving as a problem-solver, facilitator and advisor to governing boards and professional staff.

  • Ability to listen effectively and use the information to evaluate and determine appropriate course of action for situations, which are highly sensitive and confidential.

  • Ability to manage and motivate staff through effective leadership, mentoring, communications, coaching, facilitation and development.

  • Knowledge of human resources management, policy and legal compliance matters.

  • Demonstrated knowledge, sensitivity and proactive support of racial equity, diversity, and multiculturalism.

  • Ability to work independently and in a “hands-on” manner in order to advance solutions to complex personnel, compliance, or other organizational matters.


Compensation for the VP, Secretary & General Counsel includes a competitive base salary, and an excellent package of health and employee benefits.

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications required, to:

Daniel Sherman
President, Explore Company

Refer to Hilton Foundation/VP, Secretary & GC in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and invites individuals
who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.

All correspondence will remain confidential.


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