We are searching for a program officer to help us launch a new grantmaking program. The program would support projects and organizations in the effective altruism community (EA) with a focus on improving global health and wellbeing (GHW).

Background

We have an existing program in effective altruism community growth. Like our new program, the existing program is focused on community building — increasing the number of people working to do as much good as possible with their time and resources, and helping them to work more effectively. However, the existing program evaluates grants through the lens of longtermism, focusing on projects that aim to raise the chance of a very long-lasting and positive future (including by reducing risks from existential catastrophes).

By contrast, the new program will focus on projects related to areas in our GHW portfolio, which is focused on improving health and wellbeing for humans and animals around the world. This portfolio currently includes our work on global health and development, farm animal welfare, global aid advocacy, South Asian air quality, and scientific research; our cause prioritization team is also actively working to identify additional cause areas.

Why we’re looking for a program officer

We view the EA community as pursuing a similar endeavor to Open Philanthropy; people in the community aim to do as much good as possible, and consider a broad range of approaches. We think there are many projects within this community that don’t fit the longtermist focus of our existing program, but do have an expected impact above the “bar” we use to evaluate GHW grants.

We’ve already made some grants to EA projects that were highly promising from a GHW perspective[1], including Charity Entrepreneurship (supporting the creation of new animal welfare charities) and Founders Pledge (increasing donations from entrepreneurs to outstanding charities).

However, hiring a program officer to focus on this category will give us the capacity to significantly expand our grantmaking, develop our knowledge and strategy in this area, and evaluate the progress of our grantees.

We’re looking to hire someone who is very familiar with the EA community, has ideas about how to grow and develop it, and is passionate about supporting projects in global health and wellbeing. To see more details and apply, visit our job description.

How the program will operate

Our founding program officer will have at least $10 million in available funds to allocate in their first year, and funding could grow significantly from there depending on the volume of good opportunities they find.

The new program will not impact our funding for EA community projects with a longtermist focus, and we don’t expect to reduce our grantmaking in that area.

While both EA programs will operate independently, they may co-fund grants when there is a strong case for impact as assessed through both our GHW and longtermist frameworks.

  1. ^

    Note that these projects don’t have to focus exclusively on global health and wellbeing. For example, Founders Pledge raises money for charities in many areas, including longtermist areas, but its impact on GHW-focused charities alone still made it a strong opportunity.

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It's really exciting to see that EA community building is being intentionally broadened to be more than just longtermist community building. I think this will make for a much healthier EA community overall, even if you do prioritize longtermism very highly.

A reminder that many EA orgs have a problem of people not applying due to impostor syndrome or being afraid to waste the hiring org's time.

OpenPhil wrote: 

if you are excited about this work and on the fence about applying because you are unsure whether you are qualified, we would strongly encourage you to err on the side of applying."

I applied even though I think I have impostor syndrome, and I encourage others who are on the fence to apply too

(And I was explicit in my application about the areas where I don't qualify, so they can reject it quickly if they want to)