Cristina Schmidt Ibáñez

Special Projects Coordinator @ Rethink Priorities
1185 karmaJoined May 2020Working (6-15 years)


Special Projects Coordinator at Rethink Priorities

I mentor people working in nonprofit operations (as time allows) and run the Effective Animal Advocacy Community Directory.

EA Forum Alignment: Neutral Good

Past work/activities: Operations & Intern Coordinator (Riesgos Catastróficos Globales), Project Manager (National Pandemic Cohort Network - Germany), Incubation Program Participant '21 (Charity Entrepreneurship), Operations Lead (EAGxVirtual '20), Volunteer Coordinator (EAG London '21), Event Lead (EA Fellowship Weekend '21 and EAGxVirtual Unconference '20), Group Lead (EA Hamburg)

My academic background: M.Sc. International Logistics and Management

I truly enjoy:

  • Improving organisation and coordination within teams
  • Figuring out how to structure things: information, organisations, etc.
  • Mentoring

Please reach out if you think I can help you.


Sorted by New


Topic Contributions

Interesting! This actually reminded me of a flower farmer I interviewed 4 years ago as part of my masters thesis and the reason why I was interviewing him was that he had no (third party) "social certification" for his flower production but brought up giving sunscreen to his employees which no other farmer that I interviewed (including the ones with social certification mentioned) did. Unfortunately I wasn't able to prioritize the issue as part of the other things I was assessing, but it did leave me thinking (a lot!).

(As a decently busy person) I've found that it's not so much how concise the material is I'm consuming rather than the medium through which I consume that predicts whether I will finish/engage with it or not.

For me I'm more of an audio-visual type and have ditched most (70%) written material for audio (e.g. podcasts, audiobooks) because the time I can use to learn (unless it's my professional development time that my employer offers me) directly competes with other things that I need/want to do during the week: exercise, clean the house, go for a walk, etc. I've found that after finally embracing that fact I've been learning much more than I used to.

In terms of actively learning (rather than passively consuming) I've found that chatting with others about the material I consume, whether it's a casual meeting with colleagues or having or other avenues for discussion is a great way to learn that doesn't require much additional time for me.

Hey Liv,

Here are a couple of things I can think about (though I would say preparing for an EAG is very similar to preparing for an EAGx) - maybe I'll see you there? :)

The bigger the kind of impact someone is planning, the more important it is that they have a good character.

Loved this line. And I second Rockwell's opinion: It's one of my favorite presentations I've seen at an EAG.

Hey! Cristina here. I work as a Special Projects Coordinator (which is an ops role) at Rethink Priorities providing ops services to internal and external new projects. I'm not only not required to be on call all the time (unless I'm providing events support on the ground in which case I'm asked to take time off afterwards to balance that off), it's in fact discouraged at RP, my team (Special Projects) and more specifically with my manager.

You're like the busiest people I know... how do y'all have time for this? What's your secret? :D Did ChatGPT write this for you?

Ops people should have the power to say no, since people don’t respect their time.


I think a major skill that any ops person needs to succeed and not burn out in the process is to set the right boundaries and have what I'll call great "interview skills". You need to be able to ask the right questions (ideally on the spot) instead of falling into a "reactive mode"

  • How important is it to get this done today/this week from 1 to 5?
  • How important is it to you that I do this task quick vs at a high quality level?
  • What do you think is a reasonable timeline to deliver this?
  • What does success for this look like?
  • How is this a bottleneck for other things you're doing?
  • If there's something from this list of things, which would you be OK dropping for 1-2 weeks?
  • Can we time cap this task?
  • How does this task relate to our OKRs?

And many other questions an ops person might want to ask. You have to ask yourself what you're saying yes to and be able to verbalize the negative ramifications of doing this task on a short-notice.

After gathering that information you can actually start negotiating with the other person and only then commit to a deadline/work package.

Another thing that some people might want to try if they feel comfortable (we do this in our team) is to share a  list of ongoing requests they are prioritizing during the week and so there's more transparency around the workload a person has at any given week. 

I take:

  • A "vegan" multivitamin (I used to take most of the things in it as separate pills but found it way too cumbersome and the dosage not very optimal)
  • Creatine
  • Omega 3 (DHA&EPA)

In the last years I've gone 1x/year to get the following checked:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Ferritin
  • Vitamin D

I might consider other tests/markers in the future (like holoTC). Based on the results the supplementation seems to have worked very well for me.

In terms of resources, I've found Niko Rittenau (mostly only known in German speaking countries) (his books, articles, etc.) very helpful. He seems to be very well up to date with all the relevant scientific literature.

Very excited to see you're doing this! Have added it to the EAA Community Directory Resources now.

Thank you for all your work Max! I really admire your courage to make this decision and allow yourself to be so honest and vulnerable in the process.  You're leaving us with a really valuable leadership lesson here.  And although we only got to interact very briefly during your tenure, I was still able to see all the great qualities that all of your team have mentioned here.

I'm wishing you lots of good times with your loved ones moving forward.

Load more