Operations Lead

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Position Title: Operations Lead
Salary range: $120k-130k USD annually with benefits
Location: Remote, in a time zone with at least 5 hours of overlap with PST and EST.
Reports to: Timnit Gebru, Executive Director, the DAIR institute

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About The DAIR Institute

The Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR) aims to work on interdisciplinary AI research with ethics and foresight baked in from the start. Our center is distributed to ensure that researchers from many different backgrounds can participate while embedded in their communities. We aim to communicate our work in forms that are accessible and useful to members of impacted communities, rather than purely based on research papers accessible only to a select few.

You can learn more about DAIR at https://dair-institute.org.

Position Summary

As an operations lead, you'll work closely with senior staff to develop and implement organizational policies and procedures and ensure operational excellence. This role is both highly strategic and operationally focused. It requires a combination of focus, flexibility and capacity to build trust with a highly diverse group of people, and comfort weighing and executing against competing priorities.

You’ll evaluate and build upon DAIR’s existing processes and procedures, creating new scalable internal systems that support our expansion into a thriving, sustainable organization, and helping us develop a healthy and sustainable organizational culture rooted in DAIR’s values. You’ll also oversee budgeting, contracts administration, help with fundraising and development, and assist in creating a framework for evaluating and prioritizing incoming opportunities for DAIR.

The operations lead will take on additional duties to enhance the work of the team, including, but not limited to, developing documentation, providing recommendations and targeted training related to the functional area of the team, and/or enhancing the systems and tools used by the team. They may coordinate logistics for organizational wide meetings and/or special events. They will coordinate with stakeholders for program success and may serve as the lead liaison with partners or vendors. The operations lead will communicate with staff, as well as with donors, volunteers, vendors, and business relations.

Areas of Impact

  • Ensure operational excellence - Develop policies and procedures aimed at identifying and targeting opportunity areas for improved operations, growth, and sustainability across the organization.

  • Contracts oversight - Standardize contracts across the organization, templatizing processes for onboarding, payment, and review/approval of deliverables from contractors and vendors.

  • Budget oversight - Manage budget projections, allocations, and reconciliations to ensure responsible funding procedures are developed and implemented.

  • Support development Lead efforts to identify and secure opportunities across the grant making lifecycle and help prepare grant reports for funders.

  • Process documentation - Evaluate key organizational processes including Google Drive organization, documentation of processes around hiring, onboarding, and communications, and provide recommendations on standardization and best practices.

  • Organizational culture - Develop and support a healthy, productive, and caring employment environment and a cohesive organizational culture that embraces a diverse mix of collaborators including volunteers, contractors, and full time employees.

Required Qualifications

  • 5+ years managing operations in the non-profit or startup space; experience working with grassroots organizations highly valued.

  • Creative problem solving capabilities with a broad understanding of finance, technology, operations, and internal systems development.

  • Demonstrated success building systems and frameworks that drive the planning and management of organizational growth.

  • Experience overseeing budgeting processes and managing budgets in excess of $2m; foundation grant lifecycle experience strongly preferred.

  • Adeptness at managing multiple tasks effectively.

  • Experience leading or managing non-profit organizations through transitional growth stages (i.e. moving from fiscally sponsored to standalone non-profit), or similar growth stage startup experience.

  • Familiarity with the tech industry/AI ecosystem and understanding the social implications of artificial intelligence is a plus although specific domain expertise is not required.

  • Strong degree of judgment and discretion, instinct, character, and interpersonal skills.

  • Experienced in handling a wide range of administrative and executive support related tasks

  • Well organized, adaptable and attentive to detail.


$120,000-130,000 USD, commensurate with experience, plus benefits through TriNet for US employees and Remote for employees outside of the US. US employees receive medical, dental, vision and life insurance, 401k with 4% employer match, and unlimited paid time off. Benefits outside of the US vary depending on offerings through Remote.

Work Location & Environment

The DAIR Institute is fully remote and geographically distributed, but we require this position to be at a location with a timezone that has at least 5 hours of overlap with the Pacific and Eastern time zones in order to work closely with senior staff. The distributed nature of our institute helps us create a diverse and inclusive work environment where people can still be embedded in their own communities. Thus, our work culture aims to be inclusive of many different work styles and cultures.

Application Information

  • Please submit your CV/resume and a short (one-page) cover letter which expresses why you are interested in this position by June 16, 2023.
  • The first round of interviews for this position is estimated to begin the week of July 17, 2023.