Ada Initiative: hiring a COO/Director of Operations to grow our organization

The Ada Initiative, a women in tech non-profit, is hiring a director of operations to grow the organization. As director of operations of the Ada Initiative, you would work flexible hours, have a compelling mission, help build a healthy organizational culture, hire most of your team, and be part of an organization where “feminist” isn’t a dirty word.


The Ada Initiative was founded in January 2011, with the purpose of helping women get and stay involved in open source, open data, open education, and other areas of free and open technology and culture. These communities are changing the future of global society, and if we want that society to be socially just and to serve the interests of all people, women must be involved in its creation and organization. Since its inception, the Ada Initiative has reached over 2 million people with our programs and messages.

As a young, successful community-supported non-profit, the Ada Initiative is ready for the next phase of organizational growth. We want to expand beyond our initial founding team and build a larger, more sustainable organization so we can better accomplish our mission.

The Director of Operations will lead this new growth phase, working directly with the founders and board of the Ada Initiative. This will be a vibrant, entrepreneurial position involving creativity, flexibility, and constant learning. In addition to guiding the growth and planning of the organization, the Director of Operations will take over the majority of administrative and managerial responsibilities. Responsibilities will include:

  • Day-to-day operational aspects of running a mission-driven non-profit
  • Serve as fundraising coordinator
  • Develop and implement a growth plan to reach long-term sustainability, with the support of the board
  • Hire and manage staff (growing from 2 staff to 5–15 staff)
  • Oversee HR functions, payroll, government compliance, taxes, etc.
  • Organize the logistics for conferences and events, including AdaCamp
  • Create budgets and financial plans

A good candidate will be passionate about operations and excited to roll up their sleeves and build out the organization. Ideally, they would have a background in advocacy and experience with mass communication. As a leader in a feminist activism organization, this role invites a lot of criticism, and potentially harassment online and in person. We do our best to reduce the emotional impact of this on our staff, but it is an occupational hazard.

The position is full time with salary commensurate to experience. Telecommuting and flexible hours are the norm in our organization. The current staff is mostly based in San Francisco, California, with one staff member in Sydney, Australia. We coordinate mainly through email and frequent conference calls.

The position will require that you reside in the United States; applicants must be able to work in the United States, and be familiar with basic tenets of U.S. employment law and ideally non-profit law. To apply, please send your résumé to by September 1, 2013 (earlier is better). We will reply within 1 week.

The Ada Initiative is an equal opportunity employer. We are flexible and eager to make any accommodations necessary to work with the best candidate.