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Making Talent Management Part of the Business Strategy

Date July 29, 2015 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Creating opportunities for individuals who are passionate about United Way’s mission, looking to be part of an organization with a worldwide impact and looking to grow into leadership roles is the underlying premise of the United Way Talent Management Strategy. The importance of quality leadership is essential for organizational performance and success at United Way. Every year, our supporters empower the organization to lift up millions of people around the world. But the world is changing rapidly, and leaders must innovate, adapt and always be prepared to address the needs of our communities.

Despite the shoestring talent development budgets where there is one and the growing complexity in addressing the needs of our communities worldwide, United Way is taking a proactive approach to managing talent. Ensuring a strong pipeline of quality talent and leaders is one of the top organizational priorities. United Way has a variety of leadership development programs for staff across all levels within the global organization. Successful leadership development depends on not only identifying high potential talent but also keeping them engaged.

During this Spotlight webinar, Irena Djordjevic-Behery, vice president of talent management for United Way Worldwide, will share her organization’s journey on how they made the case for talent as a business strategy and how they created and implemented the Leaders Engaged in Accelerated Development, or LEAD, program that serves as the platform for engaging alumni and top performing professionals as a tool for managing and growing their leadership pipeline across a decentralized global organization.

During this webinar, participants will learn about:

  • United Way’s Talent Management Strategy 2020 vision and framework: United Way as the Mission of Choice
  • Managing a leadership pipeline in a decentralized organization: challenges, opportunities and successes
  • The LEAD program, featuring the program’s purpose, process and results



     Irena Djordjevic-Behery – Vice President, Talent Management United Way Worldwide

Irena Djordjevic-Behery is the vice president of talent management at United Way Worldwide. She leads talent management and board development/engagement for the United Way network in the United States and internationally. The portfolio includes leadership development and career management, organizational development and capacity building, and increasing performance and engagement of United Way Board Leaders through board development initiatives.

Djordjevic-Behery’s leadership was instrumental in the creation of the United Way Worldwide Talent Management Strategy and, most recently, the design of the High-Performing Boards Initiative as a strategy for engaging more than 30,000 board leaders. With her leadership, alignment between organizational and talent management strategy was strengthened, including prioritizing talent as a key business strategy.

Under Djordjevic-Behery’s leadership, the talent management portfolio has significantly improved and expanded to include quality leadership development programs, competency models, succession planning, onboarding, mentoring and a number of other talent/board-related resources and programs. Djordjevic-Behery consults and supports executive searches for CEO and senior roles, and is frequently invited to speak and present on talent/board topics.

She has diverse work experience, international perspective and solid foundation in business management, strategy, international development, project management and leadership development. Djordjevic-Behery worked for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, where she supported and lead major post-war municipal transformation that helped rebuild institutions and infrastructure to include minority population. Djordjevic-Behery managed the family business while in Cairo, Egypt and worked at Futures Elementary School as a teacher and librarian. She moved to U.S. in 2004 and worked as a director of admissions and marketing at a private university and joined United Way in 2008.

She holds an MBA from Girne American University, is a graduate of the American Express Leadership Academy, and is a certified medical professional in physical therapy in Serbia. Djordjevic-Behery is currently pursuing executive master’s degree in leadership at Georgetown University.

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