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Technologist

The Open Technology Fund is seeking an experienced, collaborative, curious, and self-motivated Technologist to help shape and drive OTF’s efforts to support the development and implementation of anti-censorship and secure communication technologies.

Deadline to apply: 23 June 2021

About OTF

The Open Technology Fund works to advance Internet freedom in repressive environments by supporting the research, development, implementation, and maintenance of technologies that provide secure and uncensored access to the Internet to counter attempts by authoritarian governments to restrict freedom online. OTF provides direct funding and support services to individuals and organizations around the world to address threats to Internet freedom, journalism, and human rights with technology-backed solutions.

OTF is a private, non-profit organization funded by the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

OTF is a place for people who are mission-driven. We thrive when different perspectives and diverse experiences come together behind a shared commitment to a free and open internet for all. As in all of our positions, we encourage applications from anyone who wants to make this vision a reality - regardless of whether you meet every single qualification listed below.

Position Summary

The Open Technology Fund is seeking an experienced, collaborative, curious, and self-motivated Technologist to help shape and drive OTF’s efforts to support the development and implementation of anti-censorship and secure communication tools. The Technologist should have experience developing and implementing anti-censorship and secure communication technologies for highly repressive environments. They should also have a deep working knowledge of the technical threats and challenges faced by journalists, human rights defenders, and civil society organizations around the world and a proven track record of identifying, developing, and tailoring technologies to meet those unique needs. Ideal candidates will have experience evaluating the design, security, usability, and long-term viability of Internet freedom technologies.

The position requires a passion for working collaboratively with diverse global communities who are actively countering threats to internet freedom, independent journalism, and human rights with technology-backed solutions. The Technologist will work to support a robust field of individuals and organizations protecting the free flow of information, free speech, free expression, a free press, and other human rights in repressive societies around the globe.

The Technologist reports directly to OTF’s Vice President of Technology.

Responsibilities

Portfolio Development

  • Actively shape the planning, development, and implementation of OTF’s efforts to support the development and implementation of anti-censorship and secure communication technologies to advance Internet freedom.
  • Continually identify innovative technologies and explore opportunities to engage those technologies to advance Internet freedom
  • Write technical briefs to inform OTF’s decision-making and investments.
  • Implement strategies and ideas developed in collaboration with the rest of the team, that drive both internal and external technological efforts.

Application Review

  • Support OTF’s application review and funding process by reviewing applications, participating in regular OTF application review calls, and conducting application due diligence.
  • Lead application review rounds, including delegating and facilitating coordination among team members to ensure the successful completion of all tasks necessary to reach a final determination for all applications.
  • Work collaboratively with other team members to develop, define, and implement improved review workflows.

Project Management

  • Support and inform OTF’s funding decisions by evaluating the design, security, effectiveness, usability, and long-term viability of open source Internet freedom technologies.
  • Participate in regular OTF application review calls, lead review rounds, and conduct application due diligence
  • Develop, manage, and coordinate a portfolio of Internet freedom technology-focused projects, internal initiatives, and fund or lab programs, including project development, onboarding, monitoring, payments, and closeout tasks.
  • Assist in developing the technical programmatic offerings of OTF such as the Red Team Lab and Engineering Lab.
  • Promote engagement between supported projects and other communities to encourage collaboration, learning, exchange and strategic partnerships.

Community Engagement

  • Represent OTF at relevant events, code sprints, hackathons, forums, and other relevant convenings worldwide, as appropriate.
  • Follow key developments and debates related to Internet freedom; identify new opportunities and challenges; keep abreast of the academic and popular literature relevant to OTF’s mission; and, share key findings and lessons among colleagues and the field.
  • Continually learn new skills and share knowledge to help improve and advance team practices.
  • Explore opportunities for OTF to provide more holistic support beyond funding by helping to disseminate technical learnings to the internet freedom community both directly and through community connections.
  • There will be many opportunities to travel and some may be required.

The Technologist is expected to fulfill other essential duties as discussed and assigned by OTF leadership.

Qualifications

Alignment to the Mission and Culture of OTF

  • Commitment to OTF’s mission and core values of equity, fairness and diversity.
  • Passion for social change with knowledge of philanthropy, and interest in the field of human rights and Internet freedom, including nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurship, racial and gender equity, civic engagement, etc.
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and/or a sense of humor.
  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and as part of a diverse team.
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues.

Education

  • A level of education that when combined with your professional experience will adequately show you have the capability to contribute meaningfully to OTF as a Technologist. Candidates who have relevant academic degrees or certifications are encouraged to apply, but this is a plus - not a requirement.

Experience

We do NOT expect applicants to have all the experience, skills, and knowledge described below. This section contains an illustrative list of what we will be looking at when evaluating applications for this critical role.

  • Experience developing and implementing anti-censorship and secure communication technologies for highly repressive environments.
  • Deep working knowledge of the technical threats and challenges faced by journalists, human rights defenders, and civil society organizations around the world and a proven track record of identifying, developing, and tailoring technologies to meet those unique needs.
  • Experience evaluating the design, security, usability, and long-term viability of open source Internet freedom technologies.
  • Program management experience, particularly with U.S. government funding.
  • Trusted and recognized expert within the Internet freedom community.
  • Ability to explain complex technical subjects clearly and respectfully to audiences of specialists in non-technical fields and vice-versa.
  • Ability to simultaneously handle multiple efforts effectively and adjust to changing priorities.

Related skills and knowledge

  • A high level of self-motivation with a passion for continuous learning.
  • Strong critical thinking, analytical skills and creativity in approaching challenges and finding solutions.
  • A drive for quality and excellence in your work.
  • Detail-oriented and organized, experience with project management.
  • Exceptional professionalism, follow-through and people skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with others in multicultural teams, across organizational boundaries and multiple time zones, and with team members at all levels. Language skills and field experience a plus.
  • Confidence and enthusiasm when communicating to both external partners and the internal project team in both formal and informal presentations.
  • A flexible, responsive, and enthusiastic approach to work, including the humility and grace to work effectively with others in a collaborative, fast-paced team, a “can do” attitude - even under pressure.

Compensation

$83,000-$125,000 commensurate with qualifications and experience. This is a full-time position for employment. OTF seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and excellent employer-paid benefits.

Location

Flexible. Employment may be contingent upon an individual's ability to secure appropriate work Visas, as necessary, or on OTF’s ability to establish an employer presence in the relevant jurisdiction, as required.

How to Apply

Please email your resume and cover letter to [email protected]

Only applications submitted through [email protected] will be considered. If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email [email protected] Because we receive a large number of applications per job posting, inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

Diverse teams are strong teams. OTF includes a mix of genders, parents and non-parents, the self-taught, and people of multiple races, nationalities, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. We encourage candidates of all races, genders, ages, abilities, orientations, ethnicities, and national origins to apply, and welcome those with alternative backgrounds and experiences. We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we will not offer visa sponsorship for this position.

Open Technology Fund is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and do not discriminate in our hiring practices.

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