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 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’ve 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
As DataKind’s new Director, Operations reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), you’ll join the Operations team to ensure that our day-to-day activities run smoothly in pursuit of our mission. The Operations team is responsible for technology, human resources, administration, legal, and org-wide planning, supporting and interacting with every other team within DataKind. A successful Director, Operations will work closely with the Chief Operating Officer to develop and implement systems that promote organizational growth over the next several years.
The Director, Operations will help to drive interconnectedness across the company by connecting our Global Volunteers team with legal support, designing and ensuring progress against the company dashboard, co-leading annual planning processes which tie DataKind’s mission to our resourcing, and much more. The Manager, Finance and Manager, Human Resources will report to the Director, Operations, so a successful candidate will have a proven record of coaching others to excellence.
What You’ll Do
The Director, Operations will be responsible for the following in addition to any other project as assigned by their manager:
Administration & Operations
- Serve as an advisor to the Chief Operating Officer as well as support her in the execution of cross-departmental activities.
- Develop organization-wide communications and assist the Chief Operating Officer with management of the team calendar, responsibilities, and capacity planning.
- Assist the Executive Team (Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Program Officer) with the annual organizational planning process, developing materials that will aid in linking org-wide priorities, headcount, and budget setting for the attainment of annual goals.
- Assess and address NYC facility needs, including liaising with landlord, brokers, and staff to ensure space is available and appropriate for our particular use.
- Implement systems that ensure NGO/governmental partners across the globe are supported in the contract execution phase for projects originating from headquarters (Product team) or international chapters (Global Volunteers team).
- Create internal processes that improve DataKind’s time and monetary efficiency (e.g. internal communications, financial reporting systems).
- Hire and effectively manage/coach the Manager, Human Resources to:
- Consistently develop a diverse and compelling talent pool for a variety of positions and candidates.
- Assist in interviewing and vetting job candidates.
- Help design organizational-wide training, development opportunities, and career pathways for staff, supporting all employee development programs.
- Lead initiatives on employee benefits, compensation, and other staff improvements.
- Ensure that HR initiatives are closely integrated into business annual plans.
- Help DataKind become a great place to work through a comprehensive and competitive rewards system.
- Prepare for anticipated business and talent threats and opportunities.
Risk & Financial Management
- Manage the Manager, Finance who will:
- Oversee all accounting responsibilities such as financial projections and expense tracking, ensuring that DataKind maintains fiscal responsibility.
- Ensure that DataKind is in compliance with laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate.
- Coordinate with legal counsel to ensure that legal requirements are being fulfilled.
- Build partnerships that enable improved administration.
- Ensure that DataKind has a proper risk management plan in place (e.g. commercial insurance and operating reserves).
Who You Are
- You excel at driving yourself and others toward operational efficiency. You love distilling activities into processes, you are thrilled overseeing efficiency gains in your systems, and you would much rather tinker with the engine than worry about the paint job of the car.
- You have a results orientation. You have a figure-it-out mentality and have demonstrated experience “running the engine” of many successful companies.
- You have exceedingly high attention to detail. You check things in triplicate, there is nary a decimal out of place in your spreadsheets, and typos, unassigned tasks, or that one bottle out of place in the storefront display are intolerable to you.
- You are a self-starter. You are able to coordinate and execute on successful projects with little guidance. You’re also a pro at managing up, bringing in the Executive Director and other members of the Executive Team when and where you need them.
- You have a high degree of focus. Because DataKind has a “curse of abundance,” meaning, many cool things to do, we will lean on you to focus in on the mission, act decisively to ward off distraction, and assertively set clear boundaries to keep the car moving in the right direction.
- You are an experienced manager. You should be comfortable managing small teams and gaining buy-in from diverse groups. You’ll also need to be a master of delegation to keep fast-paced work moving to the right parts of the company.
How You’ll be Measured
At the end of year one, the Director, Operations will have:
- Developed and maintained company dashboards on at least a quarterly basis.
- Hired a Manager, Human Resources with whom to evaluate and improve DataKind’s rewards and performance management systems.
- Supported the Executive Team, particularly the Chief Operating Officer, around operational efforts needed to fulfill DataKind’s annual goals, including organization of quarterly OKR meetings.
- Improved the materials and systems for the annual planning processes with which all teams interact.
- At least eight years of work experience, with at least three years having led cross-functional teams, preferably in an operations setting.
- Special preference for experience in start-ups, management consulting, operations, or shared services.
- Experience in organizational design, managing up, and leading HR/people processes in a start-up setting a plus.
- Proficiency with Salesforce (or other CRM systems), Google Suite, and Asana (or other project management tools).
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/.