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EDIT: he deadline for expressions of interest to be considered in our initial round has now passed. You're still welcome to submit expressions of interset, but we will only invite late submissions to join the immediate hiring round in exceptional cases. If we decide to proceed to a full hiring round in April 2024, we'll take another look at all new expressions of interest at that stage.

Intro / summary

  • The Center on Long-term Risk will soon be recruiting for a Director of Operations. The role is to lead our 2-person operations team, handling challenges across areas such as HR, finance, compliance and recruitment. 
  • Due to uncertainty over whether the role will be located in London (UK) or Berkeley (California), we are running a low-volume invite-only round now; to be followed by an open round in ~April after we gain certainty on the location, if we don’t hire now.
    • We’d also be open to mainly-remote candidates in some circumstances (see below).
  • We’re excited for expressions of interest from anyone with experience of challenging operations work, and at least a little experience of people management.
  • If you’re interested in the role, we’d be excited for you to submit our expression of interest form by the end of Sunday 11th February. We’ll then invite the most promising candidates to apply for the role now.

Location

As mentioned in our annual review, CLR is evaluating whether to relocate from London to Berkeley, CA. We are currently in a trial period, and expect to make a decision about our long-term location in early April. For this reason, we unfortunately don’t yet know whether this role will be located in London or Berkeley. We’d also be open to remote candidates in some circumstances (see below).

We recognise that this uncertainty will make the role less appealing to candidates. Given this, we will be running a low-volume invite-only hiring round now, for candidates who are willing to spend the time on our hiring process even with our location uncertainty. If we don’t successfully hire now, we will launch a full open round in April, after the location decision is made. 

Further details on location:

  • We estimate a 70% chance that we will settle on moving to Berkeley, and a 30% chance of staying in London. 
  • If we settle on London (30% chance): we’d have a strong preference for candidates who can spend at least ~60% of their time at our London office
  • If we settle on Berkeley (70% chance), we’d be open to remote candidates, with a substantial preference for candidates who can visit Berkeley regularly.
  • To be clear, we’re not looking for a commitment from candidates that you’re happy to work in both locations. Just one is fine –  it’s just that we’ll just need to take this into account when making the offer after the location decision is finalised.
  • We expect to be able to sponsor visas for this role in most cases.. 

The role

The Director of Operations role is to lead our 2-person operations team, with responsibility across areas such as HR, finance, compliance, office management, grantmaking ops, and recruitment. You’d report to our Executive Director, and would take on the management of our existing Operations Associate. 

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Working with our Executive Director and board of trustees to facilitate major organisational decisions, providing an operations perspective.
  • Managing and mentoring our Operations Associate, as well as a number of support staff and contractors.
  • Managing compliance and finances for our ecosystem of charitable entities (in collaboration with the Operations Associate, legal advisors and accountants).
  • Overseeing and refining CLR’s internal systems in areas such as HR, grantmaking ops, IT, recruitment and immigration.
  • Leading on major operations projects as they arise, such as running events or hiring staff in new countries.

About operations at CLR:

  • CLR overall is currently a team of 13, and we plan to recruit 3-4 new staff in 2024. As well as supporting our research teams, the operations team facilitates CLR’s grantmaking, annual summer research fellowship, and runs regular events, such as external research retreats.
  • If we go ahead with moving to Berkeley, setting up infrastructure in the US will be a major priority for 2024.
  • New operations projects come up regularly at CLR, for example setting up infrastructure in new countries, running events, or seeding new organisations. 

We estimate that around 70% of your time in the role would be spent directly working on operations projects, and 30% on people management, co-ordination, and strategy. 

About you

We’re interested in candidates who bring most of the following skills and experience to the role:

  • Experience of operations work in a challenging, varied and/or high-growth context 
    • You’ve worked across more than one operations area (e.g. HR, accounting, compliance, events, …), in a small or quickly-growing organisation, and regularly faced new situations and had to independently work out solutions. 
    • You likely have at least 2 years’ experience of this kind of work, perhaps substantially more.
      • We expect the successful candidate will likely be substantially further into their career than this, however we are open to candidates whose experience is mostly in other domains, or to exceptional early-career candidates. 
      • If you have a track record of successfully dealing with challenges and managing projects in a few different domains, and at least some operations experience, we’re excited to hear from you!
    • You have the skills that make people excellent at work of this kind, such as strong attention to detail, problem-solving, and being organised and reliable. You’re excited about solving problems and supporting your team. 
  • At least some experience of people management
  • Good judgement: You can make sensible decisions about complex issues across a wide variety of domains, including areas in which you don’t have much expertise. You can anticipate problems, manage risks, and prioritise well.
  • Great communication and people skills. You can collaborate with people in a wide variety of contexts, transparently explain the reasoning for your decisions, get to the bottom of disagreements, and act compassionately in difficult situations. 
  • Drive to further CLR’s mission of reducing worst-case risks from advanced AI systems; and either familiarity with the effective altruism community and its priorities and culture, or drive to learn more about this area.

Role impact

The Director of Operations is central to CLR’s activities and impact. As well as continuing the existing high level of support provided to our team and projects, we’re excited for a candidate with great judgement to bring new ideas and drive organisational change, and so multiply our impact further. 

CLR’s mission is to reduce worst-case risks from the development of advanced AI systems. We are the largest organisation focussed on s-risk reduction, with our researchers being among only a few working on s-risk reduction and cooperative AI

You can read about CLR’s achievements in 2023 and plans for 2024 here

CLR’s activities include:

  • Technical interventions: CLR aims to develop and communicate insights about the safe development of artificial intelligence to the relevant stakeholders (e.g., AI developers, key organisations in the longtermist effective altruism community). We are in regular contact with leading AI labs and AI safety research nonprofits.
  • Research collaborations: CLR researchers have recently been involved in collaborations with researchers from CMU, Oxford, Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, and Google DeepMind.
  • Research community: CLR runs an annual Summer Research Fellowship, during which the size of our team temporarily doubles as we focus on training and evaluating promising new researchers. We also run research retreats, bringing together members of the research community to co-ordinate and make progress on problems.
  • Grantmaking: In addition to the CLR Fund, some of our staff advise Polaris Ventures, a foundation committed to using all of its funds to improve the quality of life of future generations.
  • New projects: In collaboration with people in our network, we are always looking for novel impactful projects to set up. For instance, CLR staff were founding members of the Cooperative AI Foundation.

CLR has received grants from Open Philanthropy, the Survival and Flourishing Fund and Polaris Ventures

Testimonials about CLR’s work from prominent community members can be found here

Compensation & benefits

For full-time work in this role, we offer a salary of 110-150,000 USD if the role is based in the Bay Area, or 60-90,000 GBP for London.

  • For applicants based outside London or the Bay Area, the salary will be adjusted based on local living costs, in accordance with our compensation policy.
  • If you’re interested in this role but would require a higher salary, we encourage you to go ahead and apply. We’re open to discussing higher compensation for exceptional candidates.

Benefits for this role will include:

  • 25 days’ paid vacation per year, plus public holidays.
  • If you’re based in the US, 100% coverage of our platinum health insurance plan. For UK staff, private health insurance. 
  • Pension scheme with default employer contribution of 10% of your qualifying earnings, increasing to 15% to match additional contributions made by you.
  • Catered plant-based lunch available at the office every day.
  • A budget of £3000 per year to spend on your professional development and productivity.
  • Flexible working hours.
  • 20 weeks’ paid leave for new parents.
  • We will pay reasonable relocation costs for candidates who move to London or the Bay Area to take up the role. 

How to apply

If you’re interested in the role, please submit this expression of interest form by the end of Sunday 11th February. The form will still be monitored after this, but we’ll only invite late applicants to join the invite-only round in exceptional cases.

Note that with this being an invite-only round, we expect to get back to only the most promising candidates to invite them to apply to the role now. 

If we don’t invite you to the current round, we will still make sure to let you know if we proceed to a full open hiring round in April.


 

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