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Managing Director Full-time

Published at 2023-04-18 - Viewed: 2875 times - Foundation (Worldwide/Remote)

The Foundation is a non-profit UK Community Interest Company that serves as both a guardian and champion of Matrix, an open standard and protocol for real-time communication that is used by an ever-growing global community. Matrix is to communicating in the 21st century what e-mail was to sending messages in the 20th – an interoperable and federated protocol that makes it possible for anyone, anywhere in the world, to connect to users anywhere on the global network in a safe, reliable manner.

While work on Matrix began in 2014, today ongoing development of the specification is entrusted to the Foundation, currently led by a group of five Guardians who keep a watchful eye on the Matrix Spec Core Team and its work, making sure the community stays true to its overall philosophy.

To date, most of the work of the Foundation has been provided through in-kind efforts of ecosystem leaders, such as Element. These contributions have included general outreach and advocacy for Matrix, operation of the massively popular homeserver, and funding software development for projects including end-to-end encryption, client SDKs and Synapse, the Matrix reference homeserver implementation. While these external contributions have been and remain critical, the Foundation takes seriously its responsibility to the long-term success of Matrix, and so recently began to transition into a more direct and hands-on role in key areas.

The Role

As we begin to prepare for the 2nd decade of Matrix and respond to the community’s rapid growth, the Foundation is seeking its first Managing Director to: (a) build support for the evolution of the ecosystem of service providers and software developers building technology and services on the Matrix protocol, (b) to oversee development and operations of key technology infrastructure and community resources, and © to help ensure the Foundation’s fiscal sustainability for the long term in order to provide stability and assurance to users and contributors.

This role is responsible for strategy, operations, and fundraising for the Foundation in service to the larger Matrix community. The role reports to the newly-forming Matrix Governing Board via the long-established committee of Guardians who have deep ongoing experience with the ecosystem’s history, successes, and challenges. The person in this role will also initially be responsible for taking over certain tasks from predecessor volunteers and outsourced providers, including such tasks as annual tax & reporting filings, maintenance of the Foundation’s online presence, and overseeing key community events/programs/activities (conferences, participation in standards groups, Google Summer of Code, etc.).

The Foundation’s inaugural Managing Director will have an especially critical responsibility to design strategic plans, operational approaches, and help to build a culture that is aligned with the long-term goals of the Matrix community and to the extent possible supports its work in all its forms. You will not only need to build the plans for the future of the Foundation, you will also be responsible to raise funds to execute those plans, and then transform those plans into reality through building internal teams and ecosystem partnerships.

Specifically, we are looking for someone who is:

* Intellectually and emotionally smart, naturally curious, and deeply enthusiastic about our mission. * A compelling and articulate communicator (both in written form and through public speaking) who takes great pleasure in helping others be successful. * Empathetic, with not only Matrix ecosystem members, but also users and potential supporters. * Comfortable with the pace, trade offs, and ambiguity of an early stage non-profit organization, and who remembers how to balance their own self-care alongside caring for and supporting others in our community. * Comfortable “wearing many hats” and taking on a variety of roles temporarily as the organization builds its team. * Not afraid to explain to people that changing the world takes both resources and money, and to enthusiastically solicit financial support for the Foundation in doing so.

Your experience

First and foremost, we are looking for someone who is deeply passionate about the Matrix mission for democratising communication, and who will be an outspoken advocate for our work. We also need someone with not only deep experience in building organizations and communities, but also in organizational development work such as fundraising and partnership building. We expect the successful candidate to have the following experience:

* Past experience building a fundraising pipeline to support annual operating budgets. Based on the desired activities of the Foundation, our target annual budgets will be in the $4-5M range. * Existing access to a wide network of funding organizations and comfort making contact with new organizations to build relationships and solicit support. * Experience leading free and open source software projects. * Experience with implementing and supporting back-office technology such as project management tools, CRM (for members management) and fundraising campaign software.

The following attributes will make your application stand out even more:

  • Experience with software development practices (e.g. coding, QA, design, management) will help to understand the needs and challenges of Matrix contributors.
  • Hands-on experience with the Matrix project, such as software development or running your own homeserver, would help you to better understand some of the practical issues and roadmap for Matrix. Technical experience with other real-time messaging platforms would be helpful for the same reasons. * We are a global project and expect to work with community members, partners, and donors in multiple countries. So past experience working with colleagues across multiple countries, as is fluency in multiple written and spoken languages.


This position is designed to be remote. Most of your colleagues will be located in Europe, so you should be willing and able to readily communicate in those time zones.

As the first official role directly serving the Foundation, we are opening this role as an independent contractor/consultant relationship in order to provide maximum flexibility in the early phase of the newly-energized organization. As is the case with most new organizations yet to name a leader, funding is currently limited but we will work to both provide flexibility to the right person, and to provide fair compensation that is competitive with other similar opportunities qualified candidates may have.

Depending on a candidate’s needs and situation, we may also be able to offer a direct hire relationship if needed. Because this role will be the first paid role in the organization, employee benefits are not yet established. However, once recurring funding is secured the Foundation’s current leadership is committed to a budget and building revenue sources that will accommodate a competitive benefits package for all employees, including retirement savings, allowances for workspace costs, paid leave, and healthcare benefits as necessary.

The Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, colour, religion, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other reason prohibited by law in provision of employment opportunities and benefits.

How To Apply

If you are interested in this role and think you might be qualified, we encourage you to get in touch with us. We especially encourage people subject to systematic bias or impacted by underrepresentation in the technical industry to apply. Even if you don’t check every item in this job description, if you meet some of the core criteria and are eager and able to take on the role’s responsibilities, we would like to hear from you.

Please send a CV or resume of your relevant experience, contact information (including a Matrix ID if you have one!), and a one-page cover letter describing why you think you might be a good fit for this role. We will contact those candidates who are short-listed on a rolling basis as we receive application materials, so please don’t delay in applying. We may request examples of your past relevant work in order to better understand how your experience would work in our organization.

The Foundation is eager to have a new leader as soon as possible, and the Matrix community is ready to grow with this role’s support!

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