Public Interest Technology Director

  • Full Time
  • Remote
  • Applications have closed

Website Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an established San Francisco-based nonprofit organization defending online privacy and free expression, is looking for a full-time manager to lead our Public Interest Technology team. If you want to use your management skills and technical knowledge to have an outsized impact on the future of digital rights, this is the opportunity for you. This position is remote-friendly within the U.S. and will need to keep Pacific time zone hours.

As the Public Interest Technology Director, you will be responsible for leading EFF’s distributed 15-person Public Interest Technology team, including our Certbot engineers, Privacy Badger developers, and growing group of public-facing technology analysts, security researchers, and expert rabble-rousers. You have the management skills and experience to directly supervise the Director of Certbot Engineering and Associate Director of Technology Policy, who in turn manage respective teams of individual contributors, software projects, and advocacy initiatives. EFF originated the position of “public interest technologist” before it was a trendy term, and your support and direction will be key to ensuring that the concept continues to thrive and evolve. You will also join EFF’s senior leadership team, helping make organization-wide decisions about how we utilize resources and where we focus our overall strategy to bring about long-term change in technology.


Embedding technical expertise at every level of our work is what sets EFF apart as a trusted leader in digital rights advocacy, and you have the cross-functional skills to facilitate collaboration among internal teams to maintain this standard with a focus on our mission. Our staff technologists bring technical rigor and creativity to their engineering projects as well as to their day-to-day collaboration with our Legal, Activist, Legislative, and Press colleagues. Your management style is about building bridges and fostering relationships rooted in respect and open communication, and you have experience making decisions in the midst of complexity and difficult trade-offs. Above all, you understand what it takes to bring people together around a common purpose while navigating disagreements and prioritizing among the constantly changing digital rights developments that EFF is called to address.


Digital rights work is interdisciplinary and constantly changing, and there is no one particular educational or professional background that candidates must have to succeed in this role. If you have experience or skills that would serve EFF’s Public Interest Technology team, please apply!

What You’ll Do

The Public Interest Technology Director, who reports to the Managing Director of Technology, is responsible for the following:

  • Managing Associate Director-level managers, including hiring, delivering feedback, monitoring and maintaining sustainable workloads, and handling performance issues.
  • Ensuring all of EFF’s public-facing work is technically sound and focused on the most impactful technology issues, including making sure that staff technologists are appropriately assigned to internal working groups and issue areas.
  • Guiding Public Interest Technology team strategy in collaboration with Legal, Activism, Legislative, and Press peers.
  • Staying up-to-date on digital rights developments and tech industry trends in order to identify opportunities for EFF’s public interest technologists and their work.
  • Participating in EFF’s senior leadership group and organization-wide decisions, including through weekly meetings and annual leadership retreats.


What We’re Looking For

To be successful in this job, you’ll need:

  • Superb management skills: You approach leadership with a mindset of “power with” rather than “power over” and regularly include others in decision-making. You have significant experience managing technical or multi-disciplinary teams, including hiring, managing performance issues, and facilitating effective cross-functional relationships. You use resources wisely, own decisions, and can direct your staff’s time, talent, and resources towards the greatest likely impact.
  • Deep technical familiarity with digital rights issues: You are comfortable with the basic technical details of things like basic internet infrastructure, encryption, online tracking, net neutrality, and online censorship. Of course, we don’t expect any candidate to have encyclopedic knowledge of everything EFF works on! You are prepared to get up to speed on new issues as they arise, and you look at complex technology and policy developments from a user perspective.


What Else You Should Know

Compensation for this position is $170,000 to $180,000 for those residing in the Bay Area. For anyone outside of the Bay Area, compensation will be dependent on location. This position is open to remote candidates within the U.S. and will need to keep Pacific time zone hours.


EFF is a great place to work! We offer a supportive and empowering environment, along with an excellent benefits package including housing cost assistance, student loans assistance, medical, dental, and vision insurance, a 403(b)(7) retirement savings program with matching, paid time off, holiday benefits, paid parental leave, a dog-friendly workplace, and more.


As an advocacy organization, EFF is committed to being part of a diverse community. Diversity of life experiences makes a big difference in how we identify and litigate legal issues, design privacy-enhancing software, and organize our activism. To that end, we deliberately seek applicants with different perspectives, identities, and experiences to build an inclusive workplace to better inform our advocacy and defense of freedom in our digital world. EFF is an equal opportunity employer and encourages people of all races, genders, ages, abilities, orientations, ethnicities, and national origins to apply. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


EFF is looking to fill this position as soon as possible so please submit your application promptly, and no later than May 19, 2023. Applications submitted after that date will be considered until the position is filled.

Tagged as: #policy #digital, Internet governance, internet law, internet policy, Technology