Executive Assistant to Professor Stuart Russell

We are no longer hiring for this position.

Start date: As soon as possible
Status: BERI Employee, working 20-40 hrs/week, depending on our needs and your availability.
Compensation: Salary, based on experience
Work Location: Remote (US time zone preferred); possibility for on-site work at UC Berkeley in the future
Reports to: Sawyer Bernath (but you will mainly communicate with Prof. Russell)
Application: at the bottom of this page

BERI is seeking an experienced and dedicated executive assistant to help Professor Stuart Russell, director of the Center for Human-Compatible AI, manage a variety of tasks related to his roles as a professor and public figure.

Why is this role important?

As an executive assistant, you will dramatically increase Prof. Russell’s productivity and impact. You will provide comprehensive professional assistance to Prof. Russell so that he can focus on his primary responsibilities (e.g. research, interviews, and outreach) and maximize his time and effectiveness. You will need to learn his preferences across a variety of areas, so as to accurately execute the ways in which he wants to interface with the professional world. In this way, you will play a crucial role in the success of the Center for Human-Compatible AI.

As well as acting as a force multiplier, you will also get the opportunity to develop useful career skills and build a large network within the beneficial AI community. You will interact with a wide variety of people and organizations, from Berkeley students to government officials to corporate leaders.


  • 3+ years of experience in a directly relevant role
    • Experience as a personal/executive assistant is ideal, but we recognize that other roles often share many of the same responsibilities.
  • Excellent attention to detail. You will do well in this role if you are the sort of person who carefully evaluates all relevant considerations and checks their work carefully.
  • Excellent organisational skills, including email management.
  • Excellent spoken and written English. Comfortable communicating with a wide range of people, able to quickly summarize and process information.
  • Discretion. This job will see you work closely with our management team and you will be privy to a range of sensitive or potentially confidential information.
  • Autonomous and proactive. Excels performing tasks with minimal guidance, and actively looks for improvements to make and tasks to take on without being asked.
  • Computer skills, especially rapid and accurate typing, knowledge of the Google Apps suite, and confidence in creating and manipulating spreadsheets.
  • Prioritization. Can execute on many projects at once while keeping the high level aims of those projects in mind and prioritizing appropriately.
  • Enthusiasm for a behind-the-scenes support role.
  • Flexible generalist, comfortable switching between different tasks.

If you feel you do not meet these qualifications but are still interested in applying, please err on the side of applying anyway.


  • Inbox management: Responding to media requests and conference invitations; summarizing/highlighting important emails.
  • Calendar management: scheduling and moving meetings according to email requests and Prof. Russell’s requests.
  • Meeting preparation: when Prof. Russell is giving an interview or meeting with someone, research the particular outlet and their audience, and give him a short brief.
  • Booking travel and hotels (post COVID, of course).
  • Taking notes at meetings, for Prof. Russell’s review later.
  • Organizing files on Google Drive and elsewhere.
  • Communicating with researchers, students, and other stakeholders in the field of beneficial AI
  • Various other tasks as they arise, including copy-editing, fact-checking, and optimizing Prof. Russell’s work systems.

Depending on the appointed candidate, there might also be opportunities to:

  • Draft text for articles on beneficial AI and societal-scale issues, including impacts of automation.
  • Manage specific projects related to Prof. Russell’s work, such as the follow-up of the publication of the book Human Compatible.

The ideal candidate

  • 5+ years of experience as an executive assistant for a leader in business or academia.
  • Experience working in academia (i.e. a university setting).
  • Motivated by career impact and the common good.
  • Willingness to stay in the role for several years.
  • Familiarity with or interest in the field of artificial intelligence, especially concerns around ethics and existential risk.


  • Time-off (paid vacation, holidays, sick, bereavement, and parental leave)
  • Platinum health, dental, and vision insurance (98% of premiums covered by BERI)
  • Life and short-term/long-term disability insurances (100% of premiums covered by BERI)
  • Very flexible work schedule including hours, location, and unpaid vacation policies

Application process

We will consider applications as we receive them. Ideally, we’d like our chosen candidate to start work between June and July 2021.

After considering written applications, we will invite promising candidates to complete a short paid trial task followed by further interviews. We will invite finalists to provide references.

(Click here to apply)

BERI is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. Our mission to improve human civilization’s long-term prospects for survival and flourishing is in service of all of humanity, and is incompatible with unfair discrimination practices that would pit factions of humanity against one another. We do not discriminate against qualified employees or applicants based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, sexual preference, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law or local ordinance. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local law.