Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is a US-based NGO and global community of thousands of volunteers working together to use maps and open data for humanitarian response and the Sustainable Development Goals. As the world’s preeminent participatory mapping NGO, HOT has fostered a global mapping community composed of more than 160,000 people with ground operations in eight countries. When major disaster strikes anywhere in the world, HOT rallies this global network to create the maps and data that enable responders to reach those in need.
About the Role
HOT’s Director of Technology serves as the organization’s Chief Technology Officer as part of HOT’s senior management team, reporting to the Executive Director. Leading via collaboration, the Director of Technology guides HOT’s thinking around innovative open-source software tools and workflows, supporting our vision of enabling every person to contribute to a collective map of our world. The Director of Technology will advance our core beliefs around technology:
- Design with the user: Producing tech that meets local needs & community-identified problems
- A space for technology innovation: Leading the way in conceptualizing and developing humanitarian map data apps, tools, & defining workflows used across the sector
- The home for open source: A neutral convener and steward of open source mapping software for humanitarian action and sustainable development
- Principles for Digital Development: HOT’s work, where possible, aligns with the Digital Principles
The Director of Technology oversees a team of 11 staff members, including four project/product managers and seven developers, support engineers, and designers working remotely across multiple time zones. This team is responsible for the development, maintenance, and support of 10 open source apps and tools that enable collaborative editing, analysis, and visualization around OpenStreetMap. These tools are relied upon by dozens of humanitarian and development sector partners including UN agencies, the World Bank, Red Cross societies, Médecins Sans Frontières and other NGOs.
In line with HOT’s Strategic Plan, the Director of Technology will have a significant role in advancing technology strategy for the organization, community of volunteers, and partner organizations relying on HOT tools. This includes dramatically scaling the quantity and quality of data produced by the HOT network through the introduction of machine learning and shifting toward mobile-first workflows as we aim to map an area home to 1 billion people over the next three years. To succeed in this role, the Director will work closely with HOT field programs and community teams, remotely and with occasional travel to HOT program locations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Responsibilities and Priority Areas for Action
Strategic Innovation: Collaborate with HOT’s stakeholders to define and publish an overall technology roadmap that includes: core processes we’ll support through technology, where current tools fit in, the future vision for tool phase-in/phase-out. Define priorities for innovation and work closely with field teams to harmonize country-level innovations with those led by the global team.
- Product Development and Rollout: Work with product/project managers to define/review/approve a strategy for each technology product with a roadmap that aligns with the overall HOT roadmap. Develop and communicate specific vision/timing for future releases.
- Product Support: Document Service Level Agreements together with HOT community and partners on all HOT supported applications. Manage support engineer(s) and developers to deliver on agreed-upon SLAs.
- Standards: Develop HOT’s approach for aligning our work with the Principles for Digital Development. Define product architecture policies and standards (e.g. usage of preferred technologies, hosting platforms, UI/UX standards). Ensure contractor/vendor adherence.
- People (Staff Team): Determine what skills we need on the team, and chart how these will scale up/down in alignment with project budgets 6-12 months in advance. Set pay scales/hiring standards in consultation with HOT’s Director of Finance. Oversee hiring and reporting.
- People (Community): Develop and implement a strategy for growing volunteer engagement, leadership, and contributions to HOT FOSS projects. Determine/address current roadblocks to contributing, coordinating with HOT’s Director of Partnerships and Community on engagement strategies. Lead HOT’s Technical Working Group. Bring forward new and creative ideas to address diversity and participation globally.
- Fundraising/Finances: Develop an overall technology budget that aligns with the roadmap. In collaboration with HOT’s Director of Partnerships, develop a fundraising strategy, relationships and secure donor funding to support this work. Manage projections and adherence to budgets across all technology projects.
- Outreach and Partnerships: Build strategic partnerships with private-sector tech companies and NGO tech consortia in support of HOT’s goals. Define strategy and calendar for engagement in external technical fora/activities. Serve as thought-leader / point of contact for external relations with selected donors & partners.
- Responsible Data: Serve as HOT’s focal point for data privacy and security, including compliance with national/regional legislation (e.g. GDPR) and developing responsible data guidance for the HOT network.
We’re seeking a senior digital development or humanitarian technology innovation leader with a track record of successful delivery in a similar CTO or Director level role. Given HOT’s rapid growth (50% year over year), small but growing tech team (11 people), and large volunteer community, we envision the best candidate for this role will:
- Think big about strategy, but also be an implementer, capable of hands-on guidance and helping see projects through to completion.
- Be able to convene and motivate others to deliver on open source projects, including a community composed of a mix of paid and volunteer developers and private sector tech partners providing in-kind developer hours.
- Be fluent in working in a fully or partially remote work environment, including management of diverse, geographically distributed teams and managing staff across multiple timezones.
- Share an optimistic vision of our future tech, co-create and refine that vision with our network, and lead our community toward the end goal without acquiescing to roadblocks.
- Be driven by compassion, humanitarian ethics, and a sense of humor.
- Possess 10+ years of relevant experience with 5+ years leading and managing technology teams.
- Have experience managing budgets in the $500k – $1m USD or greater range.
- Demonstrate evidence of success in managing agile software engineering teams deploying solutions to support complex organizational processes.
- Focus on mobile-first solutions and locally relevant technology that works for people at all income levels.
- Demonstrate experience translating complex partner needs into high-quality tech solutions that deliver impact.
- Utilize strong verbal and written communication to articulate complex concepts across varied audiences to build consensus and lead change.
- Have experience working in international humanitarian or development agencies/NGOs with a preference for geospatial sector experience/familiarity.
- Masters or Bachelors degree preferred.
- Speak and write English fluently; French or Spanish in addition to English are preferred