Rebecca Kagan

399Joined Aug 2021


Hey Chana — good question! Answered above.

Who’s responsible if there’s a really big error? Good question -- it depends in part on the type of issue. 

  • Project Leads: The project leads (e.g. Luke Freeman) continue to be responsible for running their projects (Giving What We Can). If there’s a programmatic, strategic, or tactical error within a specific project, that reflects on the project lead. They’re still the ones in charge of their projects; the Interim CEO appointments don’t change that. 
  • Interim CEOs: The Interim CEOs are responsible for a different set of issues than project leads. They’re primarily responsible for charity-wide issues, including legal response, coordination, and org structures, etc (that is, things that span multiple projects: 80k, CEA, GWWC, etc). Some of their errors will be less visible to e.g. the average EA Forum user, but we expect to hold them responsible for things related to the smooth operations of the charities as a whole. 
  • Boards: In addition, the respective board is also responsible if there’s a problem anywhere within EVF US or EVF UK. At the end of the day, they’re the bodies that are responsible for those charities. This is a less direct responsibility; as is typical for boards we delegate most of that responsibility to executives (both project leads and CEOs). So if there’s a project-level error, this could both be a project lead error and also a board one. (For example, boards could have put the wrong person in charge of the project, done inadequate oversight, etc.). The same goes for Interim CEO error.

Relatedly, the project leads still report directly to the boards for most aspects of their roles. There are some exceptions, though, as Interim CEOs set charity-wide policies and systems that may affect project leads.

That’s how it’s working today. The roles are new, so we’re still in the process of fleshing out all of the details, and things may also change over time. Ultimately, though, this additional interim CEO role doesn’t significantly change the project leads’ authority.

Minor clarification: On a first read, I wasn’t clear if you were asking whether the CEO of CEA is responsible for all of EVF. I don’t think that’s what you’re saying, but just in case there’s any ambiguity here, that’s definitely not the case (and technically there is no CEO of CEA). Max Dalton is the ED of project CEA. He has control over that project but not the rest of EVF (just as e.g. Luke Freeman is ED over GWWC, and has control over that project but not the rest of EVF).

"the uncertainty of what the people would do" -->

Both groups were being funded for open-ended plans (in one case, a career transition, in the other "exploring EA field-building"), rather than a specific venture, hence the uncertainty.

"If you don't want someone to do something" -->

This isn't the case -- if the funders hadn't wanted the recipients to move forward, they wouldn't have given funding. In that case, the funder offered to support a different plan than the one that was originally pitched, namely instead of a venture, a career transition.

Hey Michael! I don’t know if more money would have changed their decisions, but I want to clarify that the funding panel wasn’t funding constrained (we actually had more than $300k set aside for this), and funders didn’t make the decision with that as a limitation.

The cases aren’t actually that similar — in one, the funding panel gave a low amount to discourage the individual from pursuing the idea and support a career transition, in the other they gave the individuals more than requested — but in both cases the uncertainty of what the people would do was the key cause in giving a relatively small amount of money, not being funding constrained.