VC Principal @ Omidyar Network in Washington DC

Omidyar Network is a market-oriented philanthropic investment firm. We support innovative start-ups and partner with organizations around the world in the service of driving individual empowerment. 

Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, our efforts today focus on a core set of the most pressing and difficult issues that have emerged in society. Our resources and people are dedicated to reimagining capitalism; promoting the beneficial use of technology; building bridges in a pluralistic world; and fostering individual capabilities. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations whose work is aligned with our mission. 

About Omidyar Labs and Beneficial Tech:
Omidyar Labs is our newly-announced innovation unit with a mandate for research, experimentation and investment across the themes noted above: capitalism, technology, pluralism and individual empowerment. It experiments with new, additional approaches and tools for exploring impact; and further develops how we contribute to, affect, and help inform ideas, assumptions, and policies in service of our work. It is in the process of developing a team and network that better enables us to deploy a full range of foresight, advocacy, and network tools. 

Beneficial Tech is focused on ensuring that the fundamental drivers of responsible technological innovation are human well-being and respect for individual liberty. We are committed to interrogating and addressing the paradigms, rules and norms that drive the relationship between technology and society, and building resilience and capacity to address and manage the risks, unintended consequences, or unforeseen negative outcomes that new technologies may create. We believe this will complement and amplify the positive efforts we work on for technology to improve societal outcomes, such as enabling people to assert their identities online, claiming their land rights, and improving their educational outcomes. 

Position Summary:
This is an opportunity for a passionate, rising, ideas-driven leader to play a formative role in shaping Omidyar Labs’ Beneficial Technology strategy and program. As a Principal, you’ll be part of a dynamic and growing team that seeks to profoundly affect the role and position of technology in the lives of people. The position is based in either Washington DC or Redwood City, CA and reports to our Director for Beneficial Tech. 

How you’ll contribute to our success:

  • Thought leadership and issue amplification: You’ll quickly assess emerging trends and important issues, and shape exceptional ideas and positions we can stand behind. You’ll play a role in authoring and commissioning public writing, and amplify the salience of, and our engagement with, viewpoints and evidence that matter.
  • Portfolio creation and program management: You’ll shape hypotheses, structure experiments, and assess portfolio opportunities (e.g. potential investments / grants, influence campaigns, etc.). Together, we will strategically prioritize the best use of our resources and partnership capital, using excellent judgment to enhance the chance of meaningful impact.
  • Network and relationships: Core to our work is building our network with diverse and sometimes high-profile external stakeholders. You’ll help us bring new allies onto, and strengthen the commitment of existing partners on, our campaigns, using your skills as a passionate voice and persuasive coalition-builder.
  • Learning: You’ll work with the team to build learning processes and ensure we measure and reflect on our progress, course-correct / fail fast / seize rapid-response opportunities.
  • Stakeholder and portfolio management: You’ll manage grants, contracts, and investments through their full lifecycle; manage stakeholders so as to communicate strategy, priorities and impact internally and externally; and think about portfolio enhancement and management, including advisor and problem solving to drive impact and overcome obstacles.

What you’ll bring to the team:

  • You are passionate about the mission of the team, and aligned to Omidyar Network’s values
  • You have a deep understanding of how technology works, how to assess and communicate its opportunities and risks, and are energized and full of ideas about how tech can be shaped to serve people and be a force for good
  • We’re open to considering exceptional experience and trajectory, but typically, you have 7-10 years of relevant experience, which might include a mix of:
  • Understanding and working with technology, either in product design, development and positioning, or strategy.
  • Working on influence campaigns/movement building, policy / advocacy, or strategic communications and media.
  • Track record in venture investing, philanthropic grantmaking or strategic program development.
  • You have excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • You have a sense of humor, and care about team culture and harmony.
  • You have a high sense of personal responsibility and integrity.
  • You have a BA/BS, and possibly, a relevant graduate degree.

If interested, please apply here.

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