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Nonprofit and Social Impact, Operations, Technology

Chief Operating Officer

  • Open Technology Fund
  • Washington, D.C.
About Open Technology Fund

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 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.

Our Mission

We support open technologies and communities that increase free expression, circumvent censorship, and obstruct repressive surveillance as a way to promote human rights and open societies.

Our Values & Principles

We believe …

… in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion, expression, and the press; including the right to seek, receive and impart information without interference through any media, regardless of frontiers.

… the best way to protect these freedoms is to passionately support a free and open Internet.

… in the doctrine of open philanthropy and governance, to share openly with the public and other stakeholders, in a non-competitive fashion, all possible aspects of our work, including what we have learned.

… the greatest ideas are iterative innovations: supported by healthy ecosystems that share, use, and build openly and collaboratively; built by embracing change through experimentation, reflection, and adaptation without fear of failure.

… to sustain long-standing positive change, we must be more than just makers of technology. We must also shift social norms, improve laws, and affect market forces. We strive to identify the root of a challenge, it’s interconnectedness, so that we can be a part of holistic solutions.

… in prioritizing sustainable and holistic strategies over resolving issues efficiently. To do so, we empower existing networks addressing challenges, and focus on strategies that work in situations where scarce resources or intersecting systems of oppression may exist.

… the actual impact of any effort we support should be measured by evaluating the experience of those who are at the receiving end of the engagement.

… cultivating a diverse and collaborative network of communities is at the core of what we do; that our power originates from our depth and relevance in those communities and the individual efforts within our organization.

… our strongest moments are when we listen, are changed by what we hear, and follow those diverse voices while solving the most pressing challenges collectively. We emphasize a community’s power, not its powerlessness.

For more information on Open Technology Fund please visit our website.

The Opportunity

Open Technology Fund is seeking an experienced, proactive, and engaged Chief Operating Officer to support OTF’s Internet freedom work.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is an organizational leader, shaper and shepherd of people and culture, and a strategic partner of Open Technology Fund’s mission and values. The COO ensures that the human resource, financial management, legal, compliance, and office management functions are completely aligned with organizational strategy and delivers what the organization needs to evolve and support open technologies and communities that increase free expression, circumvent censorship, and obstruct repressive surveillance to promote human rights and open societies. 

The COO is responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operational, compliance, financial, and administrative functions of the organization. We are seeking a COO to lead efforts in developing and improving systems, processes, controls, and procedures that improve the overall efficiency of the organization and ensure that the organization fulfills its mission. The COO will work with other members of the Senior Management team to create and represent unified leadership, constantly ensuring effective communication between all departments. The COO reports directly to the President.

Primary Responsibilities

People Management & Operations Leadership 

  • Contribute to, understand, and align departmental and individual objectives and targets with Open Technology Fund’s mission, vision, and strategy. 
  • Lead OTF’s Operations team and actively participate as a key member of the Senior Management Team as a visible leader throughout the organization. 
  • Consistently communicate plans and implementation to the President and Senior Management team and ensure constant feedback – keeping all senior staff accountable for their responsibilities to resolve cross-functional matters.
  • Develop, maintain, adjust, and refine standard operating procedures for all operational departments within the organization.
  • Lead OTF’s equity and inclusion strategy implementation, focusing on systems and behaviors that further evolve OTF’s culture and inclusive practices for staff members as well as external stakeholders from marginalized communities (primarily but not exclusively BIPOC community members). 
  • Provide recommendations and serve as OTF’s expert on building organizational culture, training opportunities, and team learning, in collaboration with, and leading the existing HR team. 
  • Cultivate and guide the professional growth of the HR, IT, Finance, and Legal teams by establishing and maintaining thoughtful opportunities to learn, grow, and receive feedback. 
  • Establish systems and processes that foster effective inclusive collaboration among department staff as well as with other OTF teams and stakeholders. 
  • Represent the OTF externally with partners, elected officials, technology platforms, influencers, and vendors to build meaningful working relationships and identify opportunities for cooperation. 
  • Oversee the acquisition of appropriate vendors, hardware, and software for the smooth and secure operations of OTF information technology and management of data and liaising with external stakeholders on emerging tools. 

Legal, Compliance, and Finance Management 

  • Demonstrate a strong command of technology laws and remain up to date on legal and financial developments that impact the organization’s ability to execute its strategy and work together to ensure OTF always has compliant, fiscally responsible options to achieve its strategic objectives and targets. 
  • Partner with General Counsel and President to support the development, implementation, and successful management of compliance and legal functions.
  • Ensure alignment of OTF’s organizational strategy with the ever-evolving state and federal compliance, legal environment, and ensuring rapid effective response to changing requirements, while still maintaining our equity lens. 
  • Work with General Counsel to implement overall organization legal strategy and clearly articulate an organizationally aligned recommendation when evaluating and making recommendations around legal risks and strategic outcomes.  
  • Negotiate and/or facilitate contract review and sign all OTF contracts. 
  • Direct OTF’s organizational budget and spending forecast, including tracking, and presenting actual spending against budget by department and agreed strategic objectives, and ensure that budgets and resource allocations match the strategic priorities of the organization. 
  • Monitor and evaluate industry best practices, policies, and procedures together with the Director of Finance, advising OTF’s President regarding opportunities for continuous improvement of the organization’s fiscal function and performance.
  • Partner with the Director of Finance and President to support the development, implementation, and successful management of finance and budgeting functions and guide the Senior Management Team to adopt, approve, establish, and review budget principles and guidelines and align the budget with the organization’s strategy. 
  • Create and oversee the implementation of guidelines and systems for Senior Management Team members to manage budgets, people, and vendor decisions in their departments, with an equity and inclusion lens. 
  • Regularly assess cash flow and debt of the organization, and distill, explain, and collaborate on reports and presentations about the organization’s financials efficiently and effectively when preparing regular reports to OTF’s Board of Directors and funders. 
  • Direct team and work cross-departmentally to ensure staff members have relevant (and compliant) information about the organization’s spending, cash flow, grants, or other financial data points to inform their work. 

Human Resources & Technology Expertise

  • Lead efforts, in partnership with the President and Senior Management Team to recruit, develop and retain a diverse, talented, high performing staff. 
  • Manage the overall strategy, purpose, and vision of the entire HR function: benefits, payroll, 401k, recruitment, learning and development, culture, performance management, employee relations and succession planning.
  • Manage and execute the performance management process and performance reviews, including design and evaluation of tools and learning opportunities to ensure a functioning performance management system that incorporates regular feedback and an equity lens. 
  • Design and execute OTF’s staff professional development and learning opportunities plan. 
  • Manage Director of IT and ensure they possess complete fluency in all aspects of OTF’s operations, use of technology, and infrastructure. 
  • Collaborate with the IT Director on, and oversee, the IT strategy across the organization ensuring that the necessary systems, security protocols, and policies are in place to provide the best-in-class IT infrastructure necessary to support the organization’s mission and goals.
  • Lead and manage IT Director in their development and implementation of new strategies that improve the use of technology at OTF.
Qualifications

The COO must share OTF’s commitment 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.  

Additionally, for this position we’re looking for candidates that possess a combination of the following skills: 

  • Minimum of 10 years of leadership experience working across multiple functional areas such as Finance, HR, IT, Legal, and Operations
  • 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.
  • Strong financial knowledge and acumen, with proven experience overseeing finances for a complex organization 
  • Ability to serve as an effective member of a Senior Management Team, collaborating with colleagues on visioning, strategy development, and execution geared toward helping the entire organization improve performance 
  • Proven people manager with strong track record coaching, empowering, and developing staff and supporting a culture that is respectful, fast-paced, and mission-driven 
  • Ability to work efficiently and intensely within an entrepreneurial environment 
  • Excellent business skills with the ability to comprehend programmatic activities and convey complex financial and technical information to people with varying levels of financial expertise 
  • Strong written and oral communicator with excellent presentation and organizational skills 
  • High standards of performance, eager to pursue ambitious goals, and works hard and smart to achieve them 
  • Highly collaborative with excellent relationship-building skills   
  • Exceptional customer service orientation and able to foster a resourceful, proactive, and results-oriented culture within and across teams 
  • Highly flexible and adaptable with the ability to drive organizational change and build consensus internally and externally 
  • Bachelor’s Degree in accounting, finance, or a related discipline; MBA or CPA preferred 
  • Experience in a non-profit organization preferred
  • Experience working in a technology-oriented organization is a bonus
Compensation & Benefits

The salary range for this position is between $160,000 and $170,000, 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. The position is based in Washington, DC, USA, with flexibility for remote work as approved.

OTF is a non-profit corporation and is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

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.

Contact

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Liz Lombard and Angie Sessoms are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role, please visit here or email asessoms@koyapartners.com. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.

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