Open Philanthropy is looking for a Chief of Staff to Co-CEO Alexander Berger. With our other co-CEO’s leave of absence to focus on direct work on AI safety, Alexander’s responsibilities are increasing significantly. The Chief of Staff would report directly to Alexander and work closely with him to meet those demands. The right Chief of Staff would increase our executive capacity, accelerate our progress on strategic priorities, and improve communication within the team; whoever fills this role will inform operational and strategic decisions that affect hundreds of millions of dollars of grants in 2023 and beyond.
About Open Philanthropy
Open Philanthropy is a grantmaker; our mission is to help others as much as we can with the resources available to us. We stress openness to many possibilities and have chosen our focus areas based on importance, neglectedness and tractability. We’re particularly interested in high-risk, high-reward giving that may be too unconventional for other funders. Our current giving areas include global health and development, scientific research, South Asian air quality, farm animal welfare, biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, and potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence.
About the Role
This role includes two major categories of responsibility: object-level tasks you would take over from Alexander, and meta-level optimization of his use of time.
Examples of projects you might take on from Alexander, which we would expect to take the majority (~70%) of your time:
- Drafting a wide variety of other documents for internal and external use (internal Q&As, speeches, or website posts such as this one)
- Coordinating and drafting annual plans and revised strategy documents for the organization
- Leading the process of developing org-wide OKRs and then tracking progress on them
- Periodically conducting grant investigations Alexander is particularly interested in
- Participating in cross-functional internal meetings and strategic discussions
- Reviewing and summarizing external research pertaining to cause areas
- Occasionally representing Open Phil with external stakeholders and partners
Examples of ways you might help Alexander use his time most effectively, which we would expect to take a minority (~30%) of your time:
- Developing meeting agendas and briefing documents
- Owning follow-up tasks from the meetings you join
- Identifying process improvements and shortcuts to save time
- Overseeing an executive assistant to coordinate events (e.g. a dinner with grantees)
We would not expect you to be responsible for routine calendar scheduling (this is covered by Alexander’s shared assistant), but we want to be up front that Open Phil remains a small organization, and the Chief of Staff will be responsible for completing some relatively administrative tasks as a minority of the role.
The Chief of Staff role is open-ended in scope and will likely evolve over time. An exceptional hire might grow in a variety of directions within Open Phil, e.g., by becoming a grantmaker in a new area or remaining COS while taking on management of one or more new functions or teams.
Who we’re looking for
You might be a great fit for this work if you:
- Are passionate about Open Philanthropy’s mission and excited to work closely with Alexander. On the former, we’re looking for someone who is already knowledgeable about some of the frameworks we use to think about our work, such as worldview diversification and cause prioritization.
- Take an analytical and evidence-based approach to problem-solving.
- You don’t need to have a specific background in statistics, but a level of comfort in making quick assumption-driven calculations is important. We’re looking for someone who can engage thoughtfully at a high level across our research and program teams.
- You have sound judgment and demonstrate reasoning transparency when making decisions.
- Can serve as an effective proxy for Alexander in written communications and meetings.
- You can learn to write effectively and quickly in Alexander’s voice, eventually with little input from him (you can get a sense of this from his Twitter feed or this blog post).
- You have strong interpersonal and communications skills; you can effectively represent Open Phil with external stakeholders and Alexander with internal stakeholders.
- Can skillfully manage both operational and strategic elements of the job.
- You’re a strong planner and often anticipate needs before they happen. You keep on top of projects in a highly organized way, and are reliable in high-stakes situations.
- You notice opportunities for improvement, find strategic solutions, and can untangle complex tasks.
- You’re independent, with a bias for action and the ability to move quickly in response to changing priorities.
While we do not require a particular level of experience, we expect this role to be particularly exciting for those interested in exploring eventual senior management/leadership roles. While not required, a background of 3-5 years in strategy consulting might be especially relevant.
We expect all our staff to:
- Put our mission first, and act with urgency to help us realize our ambitious goals for impact.
- Work to model our operating values of ownership, openness, calibration, and inclusiveness.
The ideal candidate for this position will possess many of the skills and experiences described above. However, there is no such thing as a “perfect” candidate. If you are on the fence about applying because you are unsure whether you are qualified, we would strongly encourage you to apply.
Role details & benefits
- Compensation: The baseline compensation for this role is $143,967.30, which would be distributed as a base salary of $125,188.96 and an unconditional 401(k) grant of $18,778.34 for U.S. hires. For candidates whose experience exceeds our expectations in terms of relevance and seniority, baseline leveling and associated compensation would be materially higher.
- These compensation figures assume you’d be working from the San Francisco Bay Area; there would be cost-of-living adjustments downward for other locations.
- Time zones and location:
- We strongly prefer hires to be based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- We’ll support candidates with the costs of relocation to the Bay.
- We’ll also consider sponsoring U.S. work authorization for international candidates (though we don’t control who is and isn’t eligible for a visa and can’t guarantee visa approval).
- We’ll consider exceptional candidates based elsewhere who are willing to travel to the Bay Area (quarterly at minimum, and preferably more) and whose work hours overlap with the GMT-8 timezone for at least 5 hours each day.
- We strongly prefer hires to be based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Benefits: Our benefits package includes:
- Excellent health insurance (we cover 100% of premiums within the US for you and any dependents)
- Dental, vision and life insurance for you and your family
- Four weeks of PTO recommended per year
- Four months of fully paid family leave
- A generous and flexible expense policy — we encourage staff to expense the ergonomic equipment, software and other services that they need to stay healthy and productive
- Support for remote work — we’ll cover a remote workspace outside your home if you need one, or connect you with an Open Phil coworking hub in your city
- We can’t always provide every benefit we offer US staff to international hires, but we’re working on it (and will usually provide cash equivalents of any benefits we can’t offer in your country)
- Start date: We’d like a candidate to start as soon as possible after receiving an offer — and definitely no later than late summer, though ideally significantly sooner.
We aim to employ people with many different experiences, perspectives and backgrounds who share our passion for accomplishing as much good as we can. We are committed to creating an environment where all employees have the opportunity to succeed, and we do not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.
If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, or have any other questions about applying, please contact [email protected]
We’re considering applicants on a rolling basis and will keep this role open until it’s filled. Please apply as soon as you’re able — we may give priority to candidates who are able to move through the process sooner.