Research Analyst @ 80,000 Hours
1655Joined Dec 2018


Luisa Rodriguez is research analyst at 80,000 Hours. Previously, she researched civilisational collapse at the Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research,  and nuclear war at Rethink Priorities and as a visiting researcher at the Future of Humanity Institute. Before that, she conducted cost-effectiveness evaluations of nonprofit and government programs at ImpactMatters, Innovations for Poverty Action, and GiveWell (as a summer intern).


Hi Dan, I’m Luisa — I’ve been helping EA-aligned organizations find candidates for their open roles as part of my work at 80,000 Hours. I think there’s a good chance one of the direct outreach emails you’ve seen at IDinsight came from me, so I thought it’d be good to share a bit more about what kinds of headhunting we’re doing, and how we’re thinking about it. 

Briefly, 80,000 Hours is sometimes asked by hiring managers at EA-aligned orgs to recommend potential candidates for specific roles. Given we get to know lots of EA-aligned people through our programs, we think we’re pretty well-placed to help talented people find out about impactful roles they might be a good fit for (that they might not have been aware of otherwise).

This does sometimes include reaching out to people who already have jobs — sometimes at EA-aligned (and adjacent) organizations — to find out if they’re open to other roles, and if so, put some roles we think are especially impactful on their radar. 

We hope that the fact that we don’t have the same financial incentives as normal headhunters (who are paid when they get placements) means we’re able to act as a neutral-ish third party trying to think about which roles are extra-worth putting on more people’s radars. 

We recognize that there are potential downsides, like increasing costs to organizations that spend a year training a new hire, only to have that person leave for another org soon once they’ve skilled up. And we absolutely don’t endorse pushing people harder on switching jobs than they would endorse, or in any way misleading people. 

We hope this means we’re able to help create a better-working talent pipeline for orgs doing high-impact work, while minimizing the costs to orgs doing great work (like IDinsight!)


Thanks so much for sharing this publicly — I just shared with 8 people :)


I really loved this post! Thanks for writing it, Julia!

This meant so much <3

I love the idea of adding a section on good things that imposter syndrome’s trying to protect :) I’d love your help writing it if you’re up for it! I’ll DM you :) 

Do you have a citation for the 100-1000 figure?

Comes from here and the papers it cites:

It seems that groups of about seventy people colonized both Polynesia and the New World (Murray-McIntosh, Scrimshaw, Hatfield, & Penny, 1998; Hey, 2005). So let us assume, as a reference point for analysis, that the survival of humanity requires that one hundred humans remain, relatively close to one another, after a disruption and its resulting social collapse. With a healthy enough environment, one hundred connected humans might successfully adopt a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. If they were in close enough contact, and had enough resources to help them through a transition period, they might maintain a sufficiently diverse gene pool, and slowly increase their capabilities until they could support farming. Once they could communicate to share innovations and grow at the rate that our farming ancestors grew, humanity should return to our population and productivity level within twenty thousand years. (Murray-McIntosh, Scrimshaw, Hatfield, & Penny, 1998; Hey, 2005)

Yea, I find this really difficult to think about. I think if I’d never joined Rethink, I’d have ended up continuing to work in the global poverty space (>70%). If I left Rethink now, I’d probably look for (longtermist-oriented) research and research-adjacent jobs at EA orgs and EA-aligned think tanks.

Hey Aaron, good question!

I’m currently in touch with folks at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and a few other similar think tanks, but I don’t think my work has meaningfully influenced their views/activities. My hope is that this will change as I continue building my relationships with them.

To date, I think the audience that has engaged most with (and gotten the most value out of) the nuclear risks series is funders in the EA space. For example, I understand that multiple EA funders/grantmakers have drawn on (and augmented) some of my nuclear risks models as part of some cause prioritization work they've done.

Note: I can't discuss this, since it's covered by an NDA, and I haven't seen the report that OpenPhil received, but compared to what I see as a superforecaster on the questions it looks like the numbers you have from GJP are wrong.

Davidmainheim, thanks for raising this! The GJI data should be correct now — let me know if you notice any other inconsistencies.

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