About the project
Within the animal advocacy space, few organizations work directly on the welfare of invertebrate animals, and none focus exclusively on the welfare of insects. However, it is already plausibly the case that insects farmed for food and feed outnumber all vertebrate animals farmed for food, and in the near future, will likely become the vast majority of all animals directly harmed or killed by humans for food. Even more massive in scale are insects killed by pesticides. Other industries routinely use billions of insects.
The lack of work being done to understand and improve the lives of these insects is a critical oversight on the part of the animal advocacy research community. Rethink Priorities is incubating a new organization, temporarily called the Insect Welfare Project, to address these issues.
This new organization aims to improve the lives of insects by collaborating with others, making evidence-based decisions, innovating, staying flexible to changing circumstances, and remaining accountable for its actions.
We’re now seeking an Executive Director for this project. This person will initially join us at Rethink Priorities, supervised by the Steering Committee (see below, “About us”) while working to get the project off the ground and build it into a successful independent charity. We expect this new organization to start by tackling urgent issues related to the growth of the industry raising insects for food and feed.
About the role
The Executive Director will provide strategic leadership to the provisionally called Insect Welfare Project. Working with the Steering Committee, they will develop and implement the vision and mission of this new organization, along with its strategic direction and plan. The Executive Director is responsible for the organization’s overall management, as well as for building a foundational team to support the organization’s program implementation and for ensuring the financial sustainability of the organization. The Executive Director also plays a key role in building the organization’s culture.
Reports to: The Steering Committee and to whom it may delegate.
Supervises: Project manager, if applicable.
Hours: Full-time (40 hours/week).
Salary: The salary for this position is between $85,000 and $100,000 USD annually during the period that the organization is part of Rethink Priorities. The Executive Director and Board will set salaries once the new organization spins off.
Location: Remote; open to individuals in most countries. However, candidates should be aware that most of the work of this new project will be carried out in the United States and Europe. Additionally, this position requires regular meetings with staff in European, Pacific, Central and Eastern US time zones.
The Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is the provisional governing body of the organization while being incubated at Rethink Priorities. Committee members act as fiduciaries who steer the charity towards an effective initiative by setting the charity’s identity, ensuring well-founded strategic decisions are adopted, finding the organization’s best leadership, and overseeing that financial resources are efficiently administered.
– Leadership, Governance, and Strategic direction:Sets and implements the mission and vision of the organization, along with the Steering Committee;
– Develops and executes the organization’s strategic plan, based on the best available evidence and transparent reasoning;
– Positively promotes the organization’s values;
– Proactively reports to the Steering Committee, to ensure the observance of the organization’s mission, vision, and values.
– Management and Operations:Program management:Ensures that the organization’s programs or projects (interventions) contribute to the organization’s mission and reflect its strategic priorities;
– Develops and oversees operational plans to conduct the organization’s interventions and others if needed;
– Develops and implements processes for assessing the organization’s impact.
– Financials: Creates an annual budget in collaboration with the Steering Committee.
– Fundraising: Ensures the organization’s financial solvency in the short, mid and long term.
– People management: Hires and manages foundational staff to ensure the organization’s initial plans are effectively conducted;
– Fosters an inclusive, healthy, and respectful work environment.
– Others: Sets organizational policies for the approval of the Steering Committee;
– Oversees the efficient and effective day-to-day operations of the organization.
– Communications & PR:Provides guidance and oversight to ensure the organization’s public communications are strategically effective, well-supported by available evidence, and minimize PR risks;
– Is an effective communicator and spokesperson so as to engage key stakeholders–including donors–via appropriate channels.
Skills, Knowledge, and Expertise
– Experience in nonprofit management and/or in other areas related to the work you’ll be conducting–e.g., lobbying, animal welfare research, effective altruism.
– Strong critical and strategic thinking skills.
– Capable of changing your mind in the face of new facts or information.
– Interest in developing a nimble organization that can change direction as needed to have the greatest impact.
– Dedication to reducing the suffering and improving the well-being of insects
– Dedication to the principles of effective altruism, such as a focus on impact and cost-effectiveness.
– Excellent communication skills.
– Confidence when networking with key stakeholders.
– Ability to work independently while collaborating with many different parties.
– Strong attention to detail and commitment to high-quality work.
– Commitment to transparency and integrity.
– Highly organized and self-motivated.
– Ability to manage multiple tasks.
– Willingness to commit to this project for the long term.
– Proficient in the use of online working tools.
– Demonstrated ability to manage a remote team.
– Familiarity with animal welfare, animal sentience, the food and feed industry, and other related topics.
– Salary between $85,000 and $100,000 pre-tax USD annually for a full-time position
– Fiscal sponsorship up to a year while the project gets off the ground.
– Commitment to fully fund the Executive Director’s salary and benefits for at least one year from the initial employment contract. This includes:Flexible work hours
– Flexible work location
– Competitive global benefits program
– Generous family leave (six months paid at full salary, regardless of gender)
– Organization-wide mid- and end-of-year breaks, plus unlimited vacation and personal time off (several additional weeks in practice)
– Seed funding and introductions to interested funders to enable the rapid growth of the organization over the next few years.
– Access to researchers at Rethink Priorities, including a staff entomologist, to aid in the assessment of conditions for insects on farms. We’re a caring team that looks out for each other, is friendly, respectful, and values having a healthy work-life balance.
– Training in nonprofit operations, finance, and compliance, and ongoing operations support after the organization becomes independent of Rethink Priorities.
– Low bureaucracy.
– We don’t provide snacks but we could mail you a box of Oreos if you want.
About Rethink Priorities
Rethink Priorities is a research organization aimed at uncovering insights to inform policymakers and major foundations about how to best set policy to help people and nonhuman animals.
Since the beginning of 2018, we’ve:
– Studied alternatives to QALYs for measuring wellbeing
– Published reviews of lead reduction policy, charter cities, and agricultural land reform
– Conducted polls, surveys, and message testing to better understand how the public thinks about animal welfare and other important topics
– Brought to light the important and neglected area of invertebrate welfare
– Investigated nuclear war as a possible existential risk, quantitatively modeled the expected harm from various nuclear war scenarios, and explored some interventions for reducing this risk
– And much much more!
You can review our public work to date here
We’re supported by Open Philanthropy, Effective Altruism Funds, the Survival and Flourishing Fund, and individual donors.
If you’d like to know more about our hiring process, culture, and what working at Rethink Priorities is like, visit our Career Opportunities website.
Rethink Priorities is committed to building an inclusive, equitable, and supportive community for you to thrive and do your best work. We’re committed to finding the best talent for our team, so please don’t hesitate to apply for a role regardless of your age, gender identity, political identity, personal preferences, physical abilities, veteran status, or any other background you may identify with.
About Rethink Priorities
Rethink Priorities is a research organization that conducts critical research to inform policymakers and major foundations about how to best help people and nonhuman animals in both the present and the long-term future.
Our research spans everything from animal welfare to the threat of nuclear war. We explore neglected but promising areas to improve the world and try to further build the community of researchers working on understanding how to do this most effectively.
We follow the principles of effective altruism, and are dedicated to using our resources to have the greatest impact on the lives of people and animals.