Hi! My name is Max Roser and I'm the founder and editor of Our World in Data. When I mentioned that I am looking for an executive assistant several people in the EA community suggested that I share this job here on the EA Forum.

You can find the full job description here

When I started Our World in Data I worked on this project by myself for many years. With time the project has grown, many outstanding people have joined, and today our team is much larger than I ever imagined.

I am extremely grateful and happy about the excellent team that is working with me – it is the best thing that has happened to this project. Together we are able to do much more than I could have ever hoped for when I was working alone.

Tens of thousands of publications rely on OWID every year. Our team’s work is referenced in about 50,000 media articles annually, and now during the pandemic we are producing the datasets and infrastructure that inform billions of people around the world. Millions of people visit OWID every month and our data has an even wider reach because it is used by institutions like Google, the WHO, and the New York Times. In the end it reaches billions of people. Our reach is much larger than I ever imagined.

This amazing growth and visibility of our work has led to a challenging situation for myself. As the director of OWID I am responsible for setting the direction, as well as managing public communications and overseeing the team’s work across research, design, and engineering.

My background is in research, and as a researcher I want to write and do research; but in addition to research I need to spend much of my time on communications, operations and administration. Many researchers, journalists, and policymakers get in touch, but I have hardly any time to consider their requests and offers. And internally it is also challenging for me to be as present and helpful to the team as I would like to be. 

I am very optimistic about the future of our work. There is so much important work that we can do. Our funding situation is solid and the team could not be better.

However, after the rapid growth in recent years my time and energy are a major constraint going forward. This is why I am looking for support. 

That’s what this job is about: I am looking for an Executive Assistant who can support me in terms of internal and external communications, in my writing, in administration and operations, and general prioritization so that the team’s and my work are as useful as possible for those who rely on us.

As my Executive Assistant you will be involved in a wide range of topics and interact with a very diverse group of people. I work with academics, journalists, policymakers, and leaders in nonprofit organizations, tech startups and much more.

In terms of topics, my research interests include the range of topics that OWID covers, with a particular focus on global poverty, data visualization, and the production of open access scientific publications. 

To get an idea for how I think about our work you could read my text about OWID’s mission or listen to my interview on the ‘80,000 Hours’ podcast in which I discussed the history of OWID, the work that the team did during the pandemic, and my vision for what is ahead of us. I hope this gives you some idea of how much I like my work, and why I think this role is important and hopefully also fulfilling and interesting for you.

This is the first time that I am able to look for an assistant and I am excited about it. It would be fantastic to work with a great colleague by my side. Since I have never worked with an assistant before I think that previous experience in an assistant role is desirable; but I am open to hiring someone without this experience.

On our Jobs page we share our thoughts on why applicants might be excited to join our team, and below we explain in more detail the responsibilities, opportunities, and skills that we are looking for with this role. 

— The full job description is here.

If you would like to join our team and work closely with me in this role, I'd love to hear from you. 

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This isn't quite the same as an executive assistant, but if other people are looking for a personal assistant or interested in working as a personal assistant, Pineapple is trying to do matchmaking there for EAs!

Hi Max,

This may be a silly question but I have been thinking quite a bit about exactly some of the points you brought up in your piece above due to a recent expansion of my EA Communication Organization requiring me to take on my own assistant. 

I am curious, would you recommend finding a part-time assistant for other people involved in EA who recognize that their work could become significantly more effective with even a part-time assistant? I am thinking of how often I see responses like "So sorry for the long response, I want to prioritize this and dropped the ball on responding because I have been so busy with {x responsbility}..." 

 

Given how opportunity distribution works, there is a connection between the importance of work and the effectiveness of the specific individual at said work and the number of opportunities they are presented with.  Do you think this creates a condition where many EA's who are doing well at what they are aiming to do ought to have more readily available access to for example part time assistants? 

Hi!  

I am sorry, but I don't know enough about working with an assistant to know in which cases a part-time arrangement might make sense. It is the first time that I will be working with an assistant.