Technical Program Manager, Innovation Lab

Human Rights First
December 30, 2021
San Francisco, CA
Job Type


JOB TITLE:                        Technical Program Manager, Innovation Lab
LOCATION:                        San Francisco Bay Area or Remote
REPORTS TO:                    Sr. Director, Innovation Lab
JOB CLASSIFICATION:     Full-time; Exempt; Non-Union
The Innovation Lab at Human Rights First, created in 2020, houses the world’s first digital technology incubator dedicated solely to the advancement of human rights. The Innovation Lab selects and supports exceptional individuals applying artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other new digital technologies to create and release tools that support and protect human rights and democracy. The Lab’s projects are being applied to combat white nationalist extremism in the US, monitor human rights violations in Afghanistan, track use of force by US police, and protect democracy activists from persecution in the Philippines.
HRF’s Innovation Lab now seeks a Technical Program Manager to lead technical support across its growing portfolio of software projects, develop and manage its data science, development and technical partnerships, and shape and implement the Lab-wide technical resourcing strategy needed to grow and sustain its impact.

The role will be responsible for ensuring efficient management of the Innovation Lab’s technical projects, including oversight of project roadmaps, timelines, and milestones, as well as ensuring fiscal accountability.

It will support the Senior Director in assessment of new projects for future cohorts, as well as resourcing determinations on active Lab projects. Finally, the role will provide support to civil society partners in their adoption of Lab tools as needed.

  • Serve as primary day-to-day technical support to the Lab’s Technology Fellows and project leads, as well as technical translator to non-technical Lab researchers and experts.
  • Implement a repeatable, lean product development process, from discovery and prototyping  to development, beta testing, and as needed, technical deployment. Ensure technical personnel follow best practice in user-centered development
  • Implement Lab’s technical + software development partnerships and vendors, specifically ensuring effective utilization and integration of development partners across Lab projects
  • Lead analysis of compute, cloud and security needs of the Lab and its projects, including needed resources to support the scale of key projects. Ensure these needs are met and liaise with IT and Operations departments as necessary
  • Deliver technical support to Lab Tech Fellows and Project Leads both directly and by engaging and securing expert advisory support as needed
  • Support outreach for and support the selection of the Lab’s 2022 Cohort to engineers and data scientists
  • Support development of creative engagement strategies to attract engineering and data science talent to the Lab
  • Develop, facilitate, and continually optimize all internal Lab communications
  • Support Lab’s rapid response efforts in the face of abuses of technology to infringe on human rights, and other special projects
  • Support communication of HRF’s technology and innovation work – in particular to technical audiences - through project/product demos, creative content, videos, and presentations
  • Support the development of - and ensure efficient implementation of - technical project plans, product roadmaps, development tasks, and timelines.
  • Certification in software development from leading coding school or program
  • 5+ years of professional work experience, at least 2 years professional experience directly coding full-stack web applications
  • Coding ability and experience across JavaScript, Java, Node.js, Python, experience with AWS, RESTful APIs, and open-source technologies
  • Demonstrated ability to build, manage, and support product teams including data science, dev-ops, full stack developers, and designers
  • Experience building digital products utilizing machine learning
  • Experience creating a web application from concept and prototype to MVP strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated excellence in project management
  • Excellent communicator, including creating and leading presentations on early stage products and ventures. Adept translator of technical and layperson language.
  • Experience and fluency in design and strategy methods Design thinking, Lean start-up etc.
  • Deep interest in the intersection of emerging technology, human rights, and democracy
  • Experience with financial and vendor management
  • Strong strategic acumen and business instincts. 
  • Experience and passion in human rights, democracy and/or social justice fields
  • Comfortable working with technical, NGO, and civil society stakeholders.
  • Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs
  • A continual and rapid learner, able to build and employ new expertise quickly as needed
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical initiatives
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with all levels of staff
  • Self-motivated individual must be able to work collaboratively in fast paced team environment with competing priorities
  • Startup experience preferred
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements.
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