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Summary

We are hiring for an Executive Director and an EU Tech Policy Lead to launch Talos Institute[1], a new organisation focused on EU AI policy careers. 

Talos is spinning out of Training for Good and will launch in 2024 with the EU Tech Policy Fellowship as its flagship programme. We envision Talos expanding its activities and quickly growing into a key organisation in the AI governance landscape.

Apply here by December 27th.

Key Details

  • Closing: 27 December, 11:59PM GMT
  • Start date: We would ideally like a candidate to begin as soon as possible after receiving an offer, but we are willing to wait if the best candidate can only start later. Ability to attend our upcoming Brussels Summit (February 26th - March 1st) would also be beneficial, though not required.
  • Hours: 40/week (flexible)
  • Location: Brussels (preferred) / Remote
  • Compensation:
    • Executive Director: €70,000 - €90,000. We are committed to attracting top talent and are willing to offer a higher salary for the right candidate.
    • EU Tech Policy Lead: €55,000 - €75,000. We are committed to attracting top talent and are willing to offer a higher salary for the right candidate.
  • How to apply: Please fill in this short application form
  • Contact: cillian@trainingforgood.com

About Talos Institute

EU Tech Policy Fellowship

The EU Tech Policy Fellowship is Talos Institute’s flagship programme. It is a 7-month programme enabling ambitious graduates to launch European policy careers reducing risks from artificial intelligence. From 2024, it will run twice per year. It includes:

  • 8-week training that explores the intricacies of AI governance in Europe
  • A week-long policymaking summit in Brussels to connect with others working in the space
  • 6-month placement at a prominent think tank working on AI policy (e.g. The Centre for European Policy Studies, The Future Society)

Success to date

The EU Tech Policy Fellowship appears to have had a significant impact to date. Since 2021, we’ve supported ~30 EU Tech Policy Fellows and successfully transitioned a significant number to work on AI governance in Europe. For example:

We’re conducting an external evaluation and expect to publish the results in early 2024. Initial indicators suggest that the programme has been highly effective to date. As a result, we have decided to double the programme’s size by running two cohorts per year. We now expect to support 30+ fellows in 2024 alone.

Future directions

We can imagine Talos Institute growing in a number of ways. Future activities could include things like:

  • Creating career advice resources tailored to careers in European policy (especially for those interested in AI & biosecurity careers). Similar to what Horizon has done in the US.
  • Community-building activities for those working in AI Governance in Europe (eg. retreats to facilitate connections, help create shared priorities, identify needs in the space, and incubate new projects).
  • Hosting events in Brussels educating established policy makers on risks from advanced AI
  • Activities that help grow the number of people interested in considering policy careers focused on risks from advanced AI, e.g. workshops like this 
  • Expanding beyond AI governance to run similar placement programmes for other problems in Europe (e.g. biosecurity).
  • Establishing the organisation as a credible think tank in Europe. |This would involve hiring researchers in-house and producing useful object-level output.
  • Producing media and content related to AI governance in EU

It’s unclear how promising any of the above activities would be. Their inclusion here is not necessarily an endorsement. Instead, we suspect that an incoming Executive Director might explore some of these options, perhaps alongside other activities that are not listed above.

Funding

We are primarily funded by Open Philanthropy at present and have runway for this project until ~Dec 2024. We also have connections to European philanthropists who may provide funding in the future. We expect these funders would be excited to support a high-calibre team to launch this organisation.

Executive Director

Responsibilities

As Executive Director, you will lead the Talos Institute and have full responsibility for its success. You will found the organisation, developing a wider vision for Talos beyond the existing EU Tech Policy Fellowship.
 

This role offers an opportunity for a skilled individual to have an outsized impact on the trajectory of AI governance in Europe. We expect that, for the right candidate, this role provides an exceptionally high impact opportunity to make progress on AI risk by increasing the number of talented individuals working directly in the space.


As Executive Director, your responsibilities will include:

  • Strategy: Set the strategy of Talos Institute, including what programmes to launch, which impact metrics to target, and how to grow the impact of the EU Tech Policy Fellowship.
  • Leadership: You’ll build a team to execute on your vision and inspire them to be ambitious in striving for impact. Hiring, retaining, and firing staff will be your responsibility.
  • Execution: Ensuring the team remains highly organised and functional while ensuring the basic financial and operational needs of the organisation are met.
  • Stakeholder management: Managing relationships with key donors, placement organisations, experts and other stakeholders.
  • Everything: Addressing the most important & thorny issues that come up anywhere in the organisation.

What we are looking for

You might be a particularly good fit for this role if you have

  • The skills to develop a clear strategy for the organisation. We believe that organisations excel when the leader has a strong vision and is empowered to execute on it. We’ll provide lots of opportunities to gain context and meet stakeholders as you develop a strategy in the first weeks and months.
  • Excellent people management skills. We are looking for someone who is good at hiring, delegating, and empowering staff, so that you can grow the organisation successfully. We want you to be able to manage any key stakeholders, and to be resilient to stress.
  • Strong project management skills. We are looking for someone with experience managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders. You should feel confident with goal-tracking, system-building, and keeping teams on track to meet ambitious deadlines.
  • Leadership ability & good judgement. We are looking for someone who will pursue the mission they create for the organisation energetically and with high integrity. You can give and receive feedback constructively and non-confrontationally. You remain open to pushback while developing your own views.
  • A strong understanding of AI governance. You are familiar with the content in the AI Safety Fundamentals Governance Course and likely prioritise reducing risks from advanced AI within your career.

It’s a bonus but not required to have:

  • A strong understanding of European AI governance
  • Past experience in management or non-profit entrepreneurship.
  • Past experience in US/UK/EU policymaking or government work, and/or past experience working on AI governance at a company contributing to the cutting edge of AI R&D.
  • A strong network of contacts within the AI governance and policy field. 
  • A graduate degree.
  • Ability to attend our upcoming Brussels Summit (February 26th - March 1st). A full-time start date could be later than this.

We encourage speculative applications; we expect many strong candidates will not meet all of the criteria listed here.

EU Tech Policy Lead

Responsibilities

As EU Tech Policy Lead, you'll take responsibility for running our flagship EU Tech Policy Fellowship. You’ll work closely with our Executive Director to launch the Talos Institute and reduce risks from advanced AI by transitioning talented individuals into policy careers in Europe.

This role offers exceptional learning and professional development with the ability to rapidly gain skills, assume responsibility, and have an outsized impact developing the next generation of AI policy leaders. We expect that, for the right candidate, this role provides an exceptionally high impact opportunity to make progress on AI risk by increasing the number of talented individuals working directly in the space.

You might do things like:

  • Programme manage the EU Tech Policy Fellowship. This would include setting ambitious goals, maintaining systems to track progress, and ensuring work is executed on schedule to a high level.
  • Contribute to the strategic direction of the programme, e.g. by conducting research and gathering data to inform improvements and changes to the programme.
  • Candidate vetting. Run a large recruitment round 1-2 times per year that reliably identifies exceptional individuals interested in a career in AI policy in Europe.
  • Stakeholder management. Maintain strong relationships with existing placement organisations and forge partnerships with new organisations that could host fellows.
  • Content creation & curation. Update our existing curriculum each year with state of the art research and by adapting its focus to the evolving needs of our fellows and the wider AI governance landscape. Alternatively, the EU Tech Policy Lead could contract subject matter expert(s) for this.
  • Content delivery. Deliver sessions online & in-person during the Brussels Summit about AI policy fundamentals. Alternatively, the EU Tech Policy Lead could contract subject matter expert(s) for this.

What we are looking for

You might be a particularly good fit for this role if you have

  • Strong project management skills. We are looking for someone with experience managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders. You should feel confident with goal-tracking, system-building, and keeping teams on track to meet ambitious deadlines.
  • An ability to work autonomously and excel with relatively little supervision almost immediately. We’re excited to find a proactive self-starter to join our team.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. You convey complex ideas clearly and transparently.
  • A strong understanding of AI governance. For example, you are familiar with the content in the AI Safety Fundamentals Governance Course and likely prioritise reducing risks from advanced AI within your career.

It’s a bonus but not required to have:

  • Past experience in US/UK/EU policymaking or government work, and/or past experience working on AI governance at a company contributing to the cutting edge of AI R&D.
  • A strong network of contacts within the AI governance and policy field. 
  • A graduate degree.
  • Ability to attend our upcoming Brussels Summit (February 26th - March 1st). A full-time start date could be later than this.

We encourage speculative applications; we expect many strong candidates will not meet all of the criteria listed here.

Impact

  • AI risk is a pressing problem: There are ~400 people around the world working directly on reducing AI catastrophic risks. Given the scale of the problem and the neglectedness of the field, we believe that working on risks from advanced AI is of crucial importance right now. Within that, growing the number of talented people working on AI risks within governments and other institutions should be a key priority.
  • Multiplier effect: As a talent development organisation, Talos is a high-leverage method for tackling the problem. By working to significantly increase the quantity and quality of talent entering this space, it’s possible to make much more progress on reducing AI risk than you could through just your own efforts. 
  • Success to date: The EU Tech Policy Fellowship appears to have had a significant impact. We’ve supported ~30 EU Tech Policy Fellows to date:

Benefits

Our benefits include:

  • 28 days of paid holiday (including national holidays)
  • Standard UK pension, with 3% contribution from employer
  • Flexible work schedule & location (when and where you work is mostly up to you)
  • A supportive work environment to grow and do your best work
  • Compensation:
    • Executive Director: €70,000 - €90,000. We are committed to attracting top talent and are willing to offer a higher salary for the right candidate.
    • EU Tech Policy Lead: €55,000 - €75,000. We are committed to attracting top talent and are willing to offer a higher salary for the right candidate.

Application Process

  • Submit your application form by December 27th with your resume/CV. We’ll be conducting rolling interviews, so apply earlier to be considered sooner.
  • If selected, you will be invited for 1-2 interviews where we can both assess your fit for the role.
  • Next, you will complete a 3-5 hour work sample relevant to the role.
  • Finally, promising candidates will be invited for a multi-day work trial with our team (in-person strongly preferred). We can accommodate in-person work trials in Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Oxford, London, and Edinburgh.

 

Apply here by December 27th

  1. ^

     In Greek mythology, Talos was a bronze automaton tasked with protecting Europa from pirates and invaders. Talos represents innovation and evokes a safeguarding presence. The organisation is being registered as Talos Institute, however we are open to the incoming ED proposing a name change.

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