Director of Operations

Start date: As soon as possible
Status: Full-time employee, salaried (note: at this time we are unable to sponsor visas for this role)
Compensation: TBD based on experience (minimum $60k)
Typical Hours: 40 per week, primarily during standard business hours.
Work Location: Berkeley, CA
Application: at the bottom of this page

BERI is seeking a Director of Operations to help us pursue our vision of support for the existential risk (x-risk) ecosystem. Currently, BERI supports the x-risk ecosystem by:

  1. Directly supporting highly aligned organizations (CHAI, FHI, CSER), and
  1. Providing grants to individuals and organizations working on x-risk.

Purpose of the role

As the Director of Operations at BERI, you’ll be responsible for (a) the reliable and efficient functioning of finance and internal operations, while (b) maintaining a high degree of inspectability to BERI’s funders, Board of Directors, auditors, accountants, legal counsel, and other interested parties.

BERI’s financial processes touch all of our programs, and it is vital to our operations that such processes are absolutely reliable. We seek someone with the ability to create streamlined and robust common processes that will act as a catalyst to all of BERI’s current programs.

We also want to be sure that our processes are highly transparent. It should be easy for BERI’s various stakeholders to inspect our operations and verify that we are following responsible procedures.

Responsibilities

As our Director of Operations, you’d need to manage and build systems that simultaneously support all of our activities. We expect that you will also manage at least one additional operations staff to help achieve your goals.

Areas of leadership will include:

  • Finance and accounting. You’ll ensure that BERI has systems in place that allow for timely payments to vendors, donation processing, budget creation, and much more. Ideally, these systems will “speak” to each other and be automated as much as possible. This will require a detailed understanding of BERI’s financial practices and the ability to audit processes and decisions. Essentially, you’ll manage “all things finance,” from big-picture financial management down to in-the-weeds accounting.

  • Reporting. You’ll maintain a wide variety of readily available reports of BERI’s ongoing activities and finances for communication with the BERI’s Board of Directors, funders, financial auditors, legal counsel, and other stakeholders. We’ll expect you to create efficient systems to maintain these reports while freeing up the time and attention of staff, to build capacity for other mission-driven responsibilities.

  • Office management. BERI is growing, and we expect our office needs to continue to change with new staff. We need someone who can assess what staff need to be productive in our physical space, distill that information into prioritized tasks, and manage those tasks to completion.

  • General systemization and optimization of workflows. We expect a Director of Operations to continually improve coordination across the areas listed above (and others) to facilitate more of BERI’s work. We want someone who can think about systems “algorithmically”—that is, create straightforward, comprehensible, and inspectible processes that can be reliably executed upon without additional instruction. We hope you’ll build checks into our systems to help ensure mistakes are prevented at best, and are caught at worst.

Other areas of responsibility could include:

  • Human resources. BERI often provides human resources support for our collaborators. We want our hiring, onboarding, and offboarding processes to be streamlined, and our benefits to be attractive but cost-efficient.

  • Recruitment. Researching similar job postings, building out our candidate pipeline improving our application form, streamlining our interviewing process, and developing trial tasks for promising candidates are all areas you could potentially help BERI with.

  • Internal communication and task management. We want our team to be able to quickly sync up on projects and see how each our activities fits into BERI’s overall goals. You could help us develop transparent internal task management flows. Eventually, we may seek to make these flows understandable to external stakeholders (e.g., via KPIs and other internal metrics).

Qualifications

BERI strives to become the type of organization that gets things right on the first try. We believe an excellent Director of Operations will need to be able to:

  • Never drop balls. This requires excellent communication and follow-up. Given the importance of our internal processes to the rest of our programs, this trait is must-have.

  • Stay organized and maintain prioritization despite high volumes of information.

  • Communicate clearly with BERI staff and external stakeholders.

  • Use Quickbooks Online and other software such as Expensify, Gusto, and Bill.com. You do not need to be thoroughly acquainted with all of these systems, but we will favor applicants with more familiarity with finances and operations.

  • Develop thorough models of how BERI relates to other groups (the IRS, the government, the public, etc.) and apply those models to improve our processes. This will likely involve legal research, as you diligently examine the ethical, legal, and financial implications of BERI’s activities before taking action.

  • Comfortably use quantitative reasoning and spreadsheets in their workflow.

  • Notice and flag uncertainty, work to resolve confusion, and generally maintain epistemic humility.

  • Answer the telephone during most business hours.

This role will require substantial initial onboarding to BERI’s current systems. We want someone willing to “dive in” to the details, but who is nonetheless able to maintain big-picture prioritization of tasks.

Other desirable experience could include:

  • Experience in a leadership role in operations (e.g., Director of Operations, COO, Assistant Manager of Finance, etc.)

  • Co-founding successful companies or non-profits

  • An advanced degree in a STEM field, a JD, an MD, or an MBA, MPA, MFE, or PhD in other disciplines.

  • Experience engaging with legal considerations or developing new programs.

  • Experience managing budgets ($1MM+)

  • Programming ability, and an excitement to employ it to automate ongoing operations challenges.

(Click here to apply)