Effective Altruism Program Associate

The Open Philanthropy Project seeks to hire a Program Associate to help increase our grantmaking related to effective altruism (EA), global catastrophic risks (GCRs), and longtermism.

Our staff of ~35 currently gives away $150+ million per year with the aim of doing as much good as we can per dollar. In the coming years, we plan to increase our giving severalfold.

The Program Associate will work with Program Officer Claire Zabel to evaluate and renew past grants, assist the Open Philanthropy Committee for Effective Altruism Support, build relationships with others in the field, investigate and help execute new grants and programs, and more. We intend to invest heavily in training and mentoring this hire, in the hopes that over the long run they will become a core contributor to the organization. Over time, a successful Program Associate might become a Program Officer, a researcher, or a manager.

Applications for this role have closed as of November 1st at noon Pacific Time. If you are still interested in applying, please contact jobs@openphilanthropy.org and we may be able to accommodate you.

About the role

Potential early projects include:

  • Thinking about what aspects of an existing grantee’s work it’s most important to get updates about for the purposes of assessing a grantee’s impact, running check-in meetings with those grantees, and writing updates on how the grant is going
  • Assisting the Committee for Effective Altruism Support by requesting and reviewing documents from grantees, writing summaries of the Committee’s decision-making process, and tracking allocation decisions and budgets for the Committee members
  • Compiling and analyzing pieces of information and arguments relevant to potential grant renewal
  • Helping to assess the impact of past grants, and of potential future grants we’re considering
  • Building relationships with key actors and stakeholders in the EA and longtermist communities; getting an updated sense of what the key bottlenecks and available funding opportunities are
  • Generating and collecting project ideas, and (later on) helping to launch some of them
  • Writing up explanations of our thinking on and future plans related to this space

    Generally, we expect the autonomy and responsibility of a successful hire to grow over time; later projects might be substantially more ambitious and open-ended than early ones, and the specifics of the role may be somewhat shaped by the personal fit of the hire. For example, the role might evolve to be relatively more focused on building relationships, executing pilot projects, or other things if the new hire has a comparative advantage in those things.

    About you

    You might be a good fit if:

  • You’re deeply familiar with, and interested in, effective altruism and longtermism. Familiarity with adjacent communities and fields, such as the rationalist community and work on AI safety and biorisk reduction, is a plus but not required.
  • You have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • You’re detail-oriented, organized, and reliable.
  • You’re skilled at distinguishing between more- and less-important information.
  • You’re comfortable thinking in terms of expected value and reasoning quantitatively about tradeoffs and evidence.
  • You enjoy getting to know people and teams, thinking about their strengths and weaknesses, and trying to evaluate whether their project ideas are a good fit for their skills and have high expected value.
  • You prefer to take ownership of a project and think through how to accomplish its goals rather than merely executing the project as originally planned; you’re comfortable with open-ended questions, where no clear precedents or guidelines exist.

    Other information:

    • This is a full-time position based in San Francisco, with an expected start date in early 2020, but we’re open to remote work for the right candidate.
    • We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and strongly encourage people with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply.
    • We pay competitively, and offer a comprehensive benefits package including full health, dental, vision and life insurance, an unconditional 401(k) grant of up to 15% of your salary, flexible work hours and location, ergonomic equipment and more.
    • We are happy to sponsor applicants who lack U.S. work authorization, but we can’t guarantee visa approval.
    • If you have applied to work at Open Philanthropy before, depending on what position(s) you have applied for, we may be able to use some of your previous application information (including your scores on work tests), which will decrease the time costs of applying again.
    • Our website has more about who we are, what we’re about, and what we fund. See also this article and this podcast episode (both were produced for an earlier hiring round for a different role).