DataKind is a global nonprofit dedicated to harnessing the power of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) in the service of humanity. Named one of Fast Company's 2017 top 10 innovative nonprofits, we team talented pro bono experts from academia and industry with visionary changemakers to collaboratively design innovative solutions to tough social challenges. We help social organizations apply their data to predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms, and AI needs in a way that both increases impact and is sensitive to the ethical considerations they have.
- We are 20,000+ strong: DataKind volunteers hail from almost every country across the world, representing a community of technologists and social changemakers who believe in using data science and AI for a stronger planet and a more just and prosperous world.
- We have served 300+ projects around the world: From using satellite imagery to measure crop yields to automating the fight against hate speech online, our volunteer community has shown up to support a range of humanitarian needs.
- People are at the center of our process: The most advanced machine learning algorithms are useless if they’re not designed for real peoples’ problems. We celebrate human centered design principles that focus on the “why,” the “for whom,” and the “should we” long before we ever get going on the “what”.
- “AI for Good” will only succeed if it’s “AI for All”: We will continue our work until all people and all communities can use digital technology for the outcomes they want to see. We support not just the technology communities of today, but anyone in any community who wants to lead in how data technologies serve their needs fairly.
Our Next Phase
We have been honored to work with social change organizations around the world to do over 300 projects these past eight years. Those projects have resulted in more effective NGOs, more funding for social change organizations, and more awareness of the power (and pitfalls) of data science and AI in the social sector. However, we have always known we will not be able to combat all of the world’s looming challenges on the backs of individual, uncoordinated, short-term projects alone. Thanks to the generous long-term support from The Rockefeller Foundation and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, we are now focusing the DataKind network on issue areas, such as improving health outcomes through community health workers or increasing financial inclusion. Over a period of five years, we have been granted $20M to make this vision a reality, and are looking for people to join us in this journey. You can read more about the new strategy here.
About the Opportunity
The Chief of Staff is charged with supporting the Executive Director and the executive team (Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Program Officer), ensuring they are prioritizing the highest impact opportunities in advancing DataKind’s mission and growth. S/he/they will serve as the Board liaison and provide strategic thought partnership on special projects. The ideal candidate is high capacity and strategic and thrives when supporting senior executives in a high growth context.
What You’ll Do
The Chief of Staff will be responsible for the following in addition to any other project as assigned by their manager:
- Organize and facilitate key Executive Director priorities: Strategically respond to and prioritize the high-volume demand for the Executive Director’s time, ensuring that the Executive Director focuses on the most impactful areas to drive organizational growth and impact. Manage an Executive Assistant who will also support this work.
- Serve as the Board liaison: Play a leading role in board governance, recruitment, and development, in addition to supporting regular communications on behalf of the Executive Director.
- Maximize the Executive Team’s collaboration and efficiency: Work with the executive team on weekly meeting design and implementation, agenda creation, etc.
- Manage stakeholder engagement: In collaboration with the programs and business development teams, track and oversee a broad spectrum of external outreach with a focus on prospective funders and other key supporters aligned to our mission. Leverage stakeholder relationships to generate new leads and deepen relationships.
- Coordinate and execute special projects: Lead the execution of various projects required to support DataKind’s continued growth and brand equity. Translate the Executive Director’s goals into actionable business priorities and work streams for the organization to execute.
- Apply proactive problem-solving: Efficiently and effectively escalate and resolve mission-critical challenges and developments in a fast-moving environment.
Who You Are
- You love being an executive’s right hand. Having worked in nonprofit organizations in the past (or supported growing organizations), you understand what any executive leader needs to do to ensure the organization thrives and evolves. With at least eight years of experience, you have time-tested strategies in your toolkit to support effective decision-making processes and have developed proven internal management systems that drive consistent results as well as maximize an executive's time and impact.
- You fastidiously track and manage details. You are able to take the Executive Director’s detailed problem statement and break it down meticulously to ensure timely and accurate implementation. Your attention to detail and ability to thoughtfully prioritize allows you to share just the right level of relevant information with both internal and external colleagues to keep the Executive Director’s key priorities on track.
- You are an effective communicator. You are able to articulate the power and potential of data science in the service of humanity to a variety of stakeholders with sincerity and gravitas. You have a facilitative and collaborative approach to leadership with a proven track record of working in dynamic, multi-national teams. You communicate clearly to help audiences move from ideas to action when necessary.
- Special projects are your thing. You love taking on new, uncharted territory (e.g. projects, events) for an organization, helping senior leaders to see where there are linkages across the work and creating operational efficiencies and new processes along the way.
- You are a relationship manager and connector. Your interpersonal skills are your greatest strength. Your high degree of emotional intelligence and maturity allow you to work effectively across all levels of the organization and with organizational partners, moving hearts and minds to the desired goal. Your strong pattern recognition allows you to connect people, initiatives, and related topics to ensure the Executive Director is set up for success in every conversation.
- You are values-aligned. You share DataKind’s values of humility, transparency, diversity, equity, inclusion, thoughtfulness, expertise, and approachability.
How You’ll be Measured
At the end of year one, the Chief of Staff will have:
- Optimized the Executive Director’s time to ensure he is focused on opportunities to build the DataKind brand.
- Created systems and structures to ease preparation, and facilitate follow up, for Board meetings.
- Led special projects that move various aspects of the organization forward.
- Determined ongoing processes for project identification, assessment, prioritization, and implementation.
- Streamlined the process for driving the agenda for the weekly Executive Team meeting.
- Previous Chief of Staff or similar experience in a start-up or a multinational nonprofit organization a must.
- Experience working with and through senior level executives with expertise in maximizing meeting-time utilization.
- Ability to quickly and efficiently translate ideas into trackable, actionable plans.
- Experience serving as a key ambassador of an organization with both internal and external audiences. Board experience in any capacity a plus.
- Experience in cross-functional executive team leadership.
Why Work with DataKind
At DataKind, we believe that people are the most important asset to delivering on our mission to collaboratively design data-driven, innovative solutions to tough social challenges. Working with us means that you will have:
- Flexibility in your working schedule. This includes things like working from home, leaving early to care for kids, coming in late to walk your dog, etc. This also means that you have unlimited PTO.
- Access to a generous health plan. We pay 100% of medical, vision, and dental benefits for employees and contribute partially for spouse/kids/family members.
- Support to plan for your future. We offer a 401(k) match up to 5%.
- Opportunities to learn and grow. Each year, we budget for each staff person to have ongoing professional development support.
This search is being managed by Axis Talent Partners, a boutique executive search and talent strategy firm which partners with social justice-focused organizations. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter detailing their interest in our mission and qualifications for the position to: https://axistalentpartners.applytojob.com/apply/.