Director of Technology, Ethics, and Society

· San Francisco, California
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Executive

About the organization

The Foundation is the legacy of Patrick McGovern (1937-2014), an enterprising business leader and tireless advocate for science. McGovern was the founder of International Data Group (IDG), a global research, investment, and publishing company that chronicled the rise of digital technology and made it intelligible to millions.


The Foundation strives to advance the development and application of data science and AI to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all. As a leading funder in this area, we are committed to shaping an ecosystem around principles of ethical design, inclusive and equitable representation, structured accountability, and socially responsible decision making. Our work engages academia, civil society, and technologists as we practice strategic philanthropy, systems change grantmaking, and convene a broad network of thought leaders.


About the position

As the Foundation sets out to develop its strategy and thought leadership at the intersection of technology and social good, specifically relating to data science and artificial intelligence, we are clear-eyed about the great potential these technologies have for societal advancement as well as their complex ethical and practical implications, both in the ways that they are being deployed now and how they may be deployed in the future. The Foundation intends to work across these two “sides” of the field – both investing deeply in the potential that data science and AI have to accelerate scientific discovery and enable the work of social good organizations, and  working to address inequities in the field, algorithmic bias, harmful technologies, and other ethical concerns.


We are hoping to bring on a senior thought partner who can help us develop our ideas and viewpoints in these areas – both about the potential power of these technologies and about the ethical challenges or questions that they might open up. Part strategy director, part researcher and thought leader, and part network builder, you’ll collaborate with our leadership to shape the foundation’s core thinking and strategy, advise our strategy team as they develop out each of our strategic pillars, and will work with us to develop relationships with key advisors and collaborators across the field of technology for social good. As a leading voice in your own right, you’ll both leverage and build the foundation’s intellectual platform as you step out on a broad range of issues at the intersection of technology and society.


We hope to find a candidate who brings wide-ranging experience in the technology for good space, and who combines a keen understanding of ethical and social considerations with serious technical knowledge, particularly in the realm of data and AI.  Our ideal candidate combines this experienced perspective with a “beginner’s mind,” and enjoys intellectual collaboration and dialogue. They may hail from academia, industry, government, or the non-profit sector – what matters most is a holistic view of the field, the ability to look at complex issues from multiple angles, and the ability to communicate ideas in a clear and compelling way.


As with all our roles, we are deeply committed to fostering inclusion, diversity, equity, and access, and welcome candidates of all identities.


Key Attributes

  • You’re deeply committed to social impact. You are dedicated to delivering socially beneficial outcomes, and are motivated by helping others, both those you directly collaborate with as well as society at large
  • You’re passionate about the power of technology to accelerate societal progress
  • You’re analytical and methodical in your work. You like breaking tasks down into their component parts and designing processes and systems
  • You’re animated by ideas and derive a sense of purpose from working toward a common goal with a team
  • You are intentional. You think deeply about the short- and long-term implications of the decisions you make
  • You are highly empathetic and deeply practical at the same time
  • You are passionate about learning. You seek out direct feedback and love to invest in your personal development. You’re intellectually curious about technology, health, and the craft of strategy


Location, Compensation, and Benefits

Due to COVID-19, we're currently working as an all-remote team. When we transition back to in-person, we'll explore having a presence in both Boston and San Francisco.

Salary competitive, and commensurate with education and experience.  Generous benefits package.


Applicants are required to undergo a background check before being hired.


The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, military status, or disability, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and grant-making.

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  • Location
    San Francisco, California
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience