We are seeking a Director to join the Global Health and Development (GHD) Department at Rethink Priorities, working closely with all team members, and having at least initially direct reports of two Senior Research Managers. The Department typically carries out short research projects, often commissioned by philanthropic organizations and other relevant actors in the global health and development space.
In their daily work, the Director of Global Health and Development (DGHD) will be overseeing the team as they conduct secondary research, leading and coordinating projects, and leading the team’s strategy processes. Because of this, we are looking for a person with high autonomy and research experience who will feel comfortable working collaboratively and overseeing time-sensitive projects on a variety of global health and development topics.
The DGHD will lead the team’s fundraising execution and will be responsible for maintaining relationships with various stakeholders. This may include engaging in outreach to potential clients, leading the creation and maintenance of relationships with potential and current funders and clients, and promoting the team’s services when relevant.
The DGHD will also help optimize the GHD department’s strategy and execution at all levels of the department, to ensure progress towards the organization’s overall vision, and to ensure outstanding deliverables. The DGHD will manage other GHD managers, helping to ensure their success. Importantly, they will also contribute to sharpening RP’s “big-picture” strategy and the direction, execution, and evaluation of existing programs and projects, in addition to organizational expansions and/or innovations.
This position is ideal for someone who is interested in: overseeing secondary research on a wide range of topics, the potential to have a positive impact through their work, working in a collaborative environment, having project lead/management responsibilities.
We expect the successful candidate to coordinate work across the team members involved and conduct the appropriate research to make sure that our projects are high quality and completed in a timely manner. We also expect them to be comfortable switching between multiple tasks, since the seniority of this role will imply changing hats to work on research, coordination/leadership, fundraising, and strategy/management support as needed. In addition to being highly proficient with regards to interpersonal acumen, we expect the successful candidate to excel at organizational communication, workflow management, adaptability, performance management, and giving and receiving constructive feedback.
This role is fully remote and we are able to legally hire in many countries. In certain cases, we may be able to provide visa sponsorship to the US or UK and help candidates relocate. If you have questions about whether we can hire or provide visa sponsorship in another country and if this will influence your decision about applying, please contact [email protected] before submitting your application. While we welcome applicants from all time zones, our current team members are based in various American and European time zones, and given the collaborative nature of our work, you will be expected to attend some meetings during working hours between UTC-8 and UTC+1. This role is open to part-time (minimum 32 hours per week) and full-time candidates; however, we have a preference for candidates who are able to work full-time (40 hours per week).
Please note that international travel is an essential requirement for this position. A majority of our staff travel a few times per year for conferences, team and all-staff retreats, and other work-related purposes. In most cases, travel is not mandatory, but encouraged. For this position, the minimum requirement will be to attend our annual all-staff retreat. Outside of that, depending on the event, we can likely make accommodations, such as allowing virtual participation when possible
Ideally, we would like the successful candidate to join our team in early June 2024.
Improve Strategy and Execution of Projects, Programs, Causes and the Department Overall
- Set and optimize strategy at the department level alongside the Co-CEO of Rethink Priorities who oversees Global Health and Development and Animal Welfare. Includes importantly contributing to strategy across and within program areas, projects, or causes, with particular emphasis on wherever the most value can be added.
- Evaluate, contribute to, and execute the “big picture” strategy for RP.
- Help evaluate, revise, and optimize the implementation of theory of change models.
- Understand RP’s capabilities, culture, comparative advantages, and the operational landscape, to skillfully identify and advise on key impact opportunities and threats.
- Consult with various staff to advise on key projects or programs or deliverables.
- Liaise with communications and fundraising staff in order to help communicate the strategy and plans, including completing the contents of fundraising and grant applications.
- Annually organize and help lead at least one strategy retreat for the department.
Lead Fundraising Execution and Client Relationship Maintenance
- Lead the creation and maintenance of relationships with potential and current funders and clients, with the support of the Development and Communications Team.
- Engage in warm and cold outreach to potential and existing clients and fundraising leads.
- Pitch RP's GHD research services to existing and potential clients via calls, emails, and, when relevant, in person meetings.
Keep Generally Abreast of Developments in Order To Best Contribute to Strategy and Execution, or Important Contributing Research
- Help grow and maintain relationships with other organizations, institutions, and individuals working on projects, or with interests, relevant to the Global Health and Development department, in order to further optimize the organization’s actions.
- Work closely with staff to ensure an accurate picture of current activities and progress.
- Otherwise stay up date in areas that are of interest to the department.
- Help keep the CEOs up to date on areas of interest in order to optimize RP’s strategy.
Reporting, Management, and Leadership Structure
- Directly report to the Co-CEO of Rethink Priorities who oversees Global Health and Development and Animal Welfare.
- Manage other managers in the GHD department.Lead hiring and staffing efforts in the department.
What We Are Looking For
- Impact Focus: Rethink Priorities’ mission is to support relevant stakeholders to achieve a high positive impact. Our research projects and other initiatives are always carried out with potential for impact as one of the main considerations.
- Research Rigor: The DGHD’s responsibility will be to oversee secondary research that will be informative and useful for our clients and the broader community. As such, assessing methodological soundness to collate the relevant evidence and being able to assess its quality and the proper summation of its findings will be key.
- Strategic and Critical Thinking: As an overseer of most of the research projects they participate in, the DGHD will need to display good strategic and critical thinking, being able to propose the best course of action for a project given constraints (e.g., scope, time, etc.) and pivot as needed given new evidence or external events (e.g., change in client preferences).
- Reasoning Transparency: We hope that our research reports help key stakeholders improve their decision making in the GHD space. To support this mission, we strive for utmost clarity in our outputs, particularly around the reasoning supporting our conclusions. The successful candidate will be able to document key steps in arguments and identify/summarize important takeaways, while recognizing and highlighting any uncertainties. They will also be careful to include sources of support for any claims.
- Time/Self-management: On some of our projects, we work with pretty tight deadlines, and the DGHD is asked to provide support with coordination and strategy tasks in addition to conducting research, so great time management will be paramount.
- Collaboration/Teamwork: Most of our work is done collaboratively, so the DGHD will routinely work on projects with teammates. Being able to work and communicate well with others is key for our projects’ success.
- Written and Verbal Communication: Our primary outputs are written reports, which we share with our clients but also share through broad and targeted dissemination when possible. Good writing skills are important to ensure our research findings come across clearly. Verbal communication is relevant to ensure clarity about the project status and next steps when interacting with the clients, as well as appropriate dissemination of our findings when we share them verbally through webinars or other outlets.
- Outreach/Networking: Outreach will be a routine part of the role, both to contact experts (whether through a connection or cold contact) for interviews, as well as to reach out to relevant parties for dissemination of our complete reports.
- Statistical Analysis and Quantitative Modeling: Analyzing research publications will be a key for the Department, so comfort understanding and interpreting results from statistical analysis will be necessary. That being said, we rarely carry out statistical analyses ourselves, so it is not required to have experience implementing complex statistical models.
- Project Management: As DGHD, this individual will usually oversee any research project they’re involved in. Because of this, excellent project management skills to ensure proper coordination across teammates and timely completion of the work will be essential.
- Fundraising and Budgeting: The DGHD may engage with some donors and/or potential funders according to policies and should understand and/or anticipate funding needs, and participate in creating and implementing fundraising strategy, as well as participate in grant application processes and developing grant proposals.
- Organizational Communication: Communicates team needs to leadership, and organizational priorities to the team; Ensures that information flows within their team, and between the team and the organization.
- Workflow Management: Plans, distributes, and monitors work assignments; Ensures quality control measures are in place for their team’s work products. Oversees projects at the department-level. Monitors team and individual capacity, and manages potential new work for the team. Manages expectations of internal/external stakeholders according to the capacity of the team (i.e., not over-committing). Considers the role of their team in the organization, and develops goals accordingly.
- Adaptability: Be open to change and new information and/or perspectives and, when appropriate, adjusts behavior or work methods in response. Understands when to seek expertise from others. When necessary, shifts goals to align with organizational priorities.
- Performance Management: Supports the performance of their direct reports. Provides timely, fair, and well-documented feedback and evaluations of their staff, such that performance evaluation meetings rarely contain surprises. Consistently tracks and reports high level performance, project, and HR matters to leadership, as appropriate. Takes necessary steps to address performance issues, and recognizes exceptional performance; communicates expectations/performance standards to direct reports.
- Culture: Actively builds and contributes to RP's organizational culture; participates in and/or promotes culture-building activities to their direct reports and other team members. Fosters inclusivity within their team and the organization. At more senior levels, encourages cross-organizational initiatives.
What We Offer
- An annual salary of $125,250 USD pre-tax, or, depending on the candidate's location, £96,641 GBP pre-tax or €111,596 EUR pre-tax for a full-time position, prorated for part-time work.
- This salary is based on the title level, and calculated using RP’s salary algorithm. To ensure fairness, RP does not negotiate salaries.
- Compensation is not restricted to the currencies listed above. Payments may be made in different currencies and payment intervals depending on the location of applicants and legal requirements.
- Opportunity to contribute to a fast-growing, high-impact organization — our research is used by key decision makers who influence the distribution of hundreds of millions of charitable dollars.
- Flexible work hours and location.
- Comprehensive global benefits package (while they vary by country, we make every effort to ensure that our benefits package is equitable and high-quality for all staff).
- Generous paid time off (PTO) and unpaid leave including:Unlimited vacation with a minimum number of required statutory paid days off
- “Mandated” 3-weeks total mid- and end-year organization-wide breaks
- Unlimited (within reason) personal and sick paid and unpaid leave
- Parental leave - up to 6-9 months of a combination of paid and unpaid parental leave that can be taken prior and/or during the first 2 years after a child’s birth or adoption
- Other paid and unpaid leave (e.g., bereavement)
- For more details about our benefits, please see: Benefit Package for Permanent Roles.
- A caring team that values respectful work relations and a healthy work-life balance.
- Opportunities to grow/advance your career and engage in professional development.
- Low administrative bureaucracy.
- We don’t provide snacks but we could mail you a box of Oreos if you want!
About Rethink Priorities
Founded in 2018, Rethink Priorities (RP) is a nonprofit organization that addresses global priorities—important and neglected issues—by researching solutions and strategies, mobilizing resources, and empowering our team and others. RP’s mission is to generate the most significant possible impact for others in the present and the long-term future.
Our cause areas include animal welfare, global health and development, climate change, artificial intelligence, and other work to safeguard a flourishing long-term future. RP also aims to understand and support the professional communities working on these issues. Each researcher tends to focus on one particular cause area.
Rethink Priorities works as all of the following:
- A consultancy doing commissioned work in response to demands from organizations doing high-impact work
- A research institute driven by research agendas we set according to our own priorities.
- A think tank aiming to inform public policy to improve the world.
- An accelerator, incubator, and base for priority projects.
Some of RP’s recent accomplishments in the GHD space include:
- Helping major foundations to answer their questions on climate change solutions, weather forecasting in lower- and middle-income countries, increasing access to medicine, and the effectiveness of prizes and other interventions.
- Delivering over 40 reports on topics such as climate change solutions, weather forecasting, medicine in the developing world; specifically, some examples include:How effective are prizes at spurring innovation?
- Livelihood interventions: overview, evaluation, and cost-effectiveness
- An overview of WHO Prequalification: Process, usage, and potential improvements
- An overview of market shaping in global health: Landscape, new developments, and gaps
- Road safety: Landscape of the problem and routes to effective policy advocacy
- Holding a Strategy Forum and two series of climate-focused roundtables in 2023, both of which were attended by several different stakeholder operating in the effective altruism space, whose work focuses on global health and development.
- A number of key stakeholders considering and/or citing our work, for example: GiveWell, The Center for Global Development, Happier Lives Institute, Giving What We Can, 1Day Sooner, Vox’s Future Perfect, twice.
We welcome you to review our database of published work here.
We’re supported by Open Philanthropy, the Survival and Flourishing Fund, and additional institutional and individual donors.
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