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Vice President of Technology

The Open Technology Fund is seeking an experienced, forward-thinking, collaborative, and engaged Vice President of Technology to lead OTF’s efforts to support Internet freedom technologies and drive innovation.

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, 501(c)(3) 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, forward-thinking, collaborative, and engaged Vice President of Technology to lead OTF’s efforts to support internet freedom technologies and drive innovation. The VP of Technology must have deep working knowledge of the global Internet freedom ecosystem; extensive experience and demonstrable success leading cutting-edge Internet freedom technology programs; broad networks within the Internet freedom community; and deep expertise in circumvention and security technology development, program management, and U.S. government funding. Ideally, the VP of Technology will not only be a visionary for internet freedom - but someone who has proven that vision can become reality.

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 VP of Technology 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 VP of Technology reports directly to the Senior Vice President of Programs.

Responsibilities

Drive Innovation

  • Lead OTF’s efforts to identify and track emerging technical threats relevant to OTF's mandate and instigate innovative and impactful Internet freedom solutions.
  • Continually identify novel and innovative technologies and explore opportunities to engage those technologies to advance Internet freedom.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive technology pipeline to support the full lifecycle of internet freedom technology development at OTF.
  • Develop innovative strategies and approaches to support the prototyping, development, deployment, and maintenance of Internet freedom technologies, in close coordination with the OTF program team.
  • Develop innovative approaches to increase the availability of state-of-the art technology resources to the internet freedom community and bolster their ability to counter sophisticated forms of censorship and surveillance.

Portfolio Management

  • Oversee a portfolio of OTF funds and labs, including but not limited to OTF’s Technology at Scale Fund, Engineering Lab, Usability Lab, and Localization Lab.
  • Work with the OTF program team to create new internal initiatives, funds, or labs, as appropriate, to enable OTF to support innovative and emerging Internet freedom technologies.
  • Support OTF’s funding process by reviewing applications, participating in regular OTF application review calls, and conducting application due diligence.
  • Manage a portfolio of advanced technology projects, including project development, onboarding, monitoring, payments, and closeout tasks.
  • Maintain a deep field-based understanding of current global internet freedom and human rights technology trends.

Team Management

  • Oversee a diverse team of technologists, program managers, and program specialist
  • Contribute to the professional growth and development of colleagues in VP’s program team
  • Foster an environment of engagement and accountability among program team members
  • Coordinate with other VPs to ensure consistency and complementarity in OTF’s programmatic efforts

Partnership Development

  • Lead efforts to foster partnerships with other like-minded technology organizations, including foundations, private sector, and government agencies, to support the implementation, integration, and long-term sustainability of OTF’s technology projects, in collaboration with OTF leadership.

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.
  • Promote engagement between supported projects and other communities to encourage collaboration, learning, exchange and strategic partnerships.
  • There will be many opportunities to travel and some may be required.

The VP of Technology 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 while also 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. 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.

  • 10+ years experience leading, conducting, and supporting the prototyping, development, deployment, and maintenance of Internet freedom technologies, including circumvention and security technologies.
  • Leading expert on Internet freedom technology, including a deep understanding of emerging technical threats and extensive experience developing and instigating solutions to respond to such challenges.
  • Proven track record of developing and implementing innovative strategies to advance Internet freedom in coordination with other experts.
  • Experience managing diverse teams under challenging circumstances.
  • Experience managing, and committing to the growth and development of, diverse teams.
  • Extensive program management experience, particularly with U.S. government funding.
  • Trusted and recognized expert within the Internet freedom community.
  • Extensive expertise regarding the digital threats faced by journalists and human rights defenders.
  • Ability to explain complex technical subjects clearly and respectfully to audiences of specialists in non-technical fields.
  • Ability to simultaneously handle multiple projects 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 are 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.
  • Ability to travel, as needed.

Compensation

$112,000 - 168,000 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

Washington, DC, USA (required), with flexibility for remote work on occasion.

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 hell[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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