Head of Programs (Events and Communications)
FAR seeks a dynamic Head of Programs to lead and expand both our field and community building initiatives; bringing together global leaders of academia, industry and policy to promote the safe development and deployment of advanced AI systems.
Note: If you think you may be a great fit for only part of this role, e.g. a pure events focus without managing a communications team, we still recommend you apply and flag this to us on your application.
FAR AI is a technical AI research non-profit, focused on ensuring the safe development and deployment of frontier AI technologies.
Since starting in July 2022, FAR has grown to 12 FTE, produced 13 academic papers, hosted events for some of the world’s leading AI & computer science researchers, and opened our AI safety focused co-working space which is home to around 40 members.
About FAR Research
Our research team likes to move fast. We explore promising research directions in AI safety and scale up only those showing a high potential for impact. Unlike other AI safety labs that take a bet on a single research direction, FAR aims to pursue a diverse portfolio of projects. We also put our research into practice through red-teaming engagements with frontier AI developers.
Our current focus areas are building a science of robustness (e.g. finding vulnerabilities in superhuman Go AIs), finding more effective approaches to value alignment (e.g. training from language feedback), and model evaluation (e.g. inverse scaling and codebook features).
Other FAR Projects
To build a flourishing field of AI safety research, we host targeted workshops and events, and operate a co-working space in Berkeley, called FAR Labs. Our previous events include the International Dialogue for AI Safety that brought together prominent scientists (including 2 Turing Award winners) from around the globe, culminating in a public statement calling for global action on AI safety research and governance. We recently hosted the New Orleans Alignment Workshop for over 140 researchers from academia and industry to learn about AI safety and find collaborators. We’ve also hosted smaller events on topics like Provably Safe AI. For more information on FAR AI’s activities, please visit our latest post. We think there is significant room for FAR to coordinate and organize more events and to become a central node in the AI safety ecosystem. This could involve doubling down on our existing events or building out our portfolio through new events like specialized and targeted workshops or a larger annual AI safety conference hosted by FAR.
About the Role
Building on a series of successful community and field building initiatives in 2023, the Head of Programs will lead and grow a portfolio of targeted local and international programs which bring together global experts from academia, industry and policymakers to ‘coordinate global action on AI safety research and governance which is critical to prevent uncontrolled frontier AI development from posing unacceptable risks to humanity’ (IDAIS Press Statement).
The Head of Programs will also manage our team of science communicators who both work to educate relevant stakeholders on AI safety more broadly, as well as communicate the results of FAR’s research to a wide range of audiences. As this role is new, the candidate will be well supported by FARs leadership team, our collaborators and extended network of industry and academic contacts.
- Event management and planning: Lead and coordinate impactful events, overseeing their implementation from start to finish. Importantly, you will be leading the development and delivery of the Alignment Workshop Series. You will also create and oversee one-off and recurring events at FAR Labs (our co-working space) in partnership with our Director of FAR Labs.
- Community building: Grow a thriving community of researchers focused on alignment, keeping participants at our events engaged and providing the support they need to produce impactful research.
- Content curation and speaker liaison: Manage the event schedule and the process by which speakers and attendees are selected, in consultation with the respective event committee.
- Operations, administrations and budgeting: Manage the event budget together with our operations team and external partners.
- Communication Strategy: Lead our technical team of communication specialists, building and improving our existing communication strategy.
- Partnership development: Grow the brand associated with our events, building and maintaining strong relationships with key partners and stakeholders, including any overlapping projects that FAR sponsors and the broader AI community.
- Learning and development: Drive educational programs and initiatives on AI safety and alignment research to inform and educate members of our extended network (leading scientists, researchers and political decision makers).
You should be excited by working with high-profile speakers, building communities and managing complex events. You are expected to have previous experience running either conferences, workshops or events with over 50 participants. Familiarity with AI or AI safety is a strong advantage.
- Event management experience: Strong candidates will have previously coordinated large events from start to finish, including the planning, delivery and evaluation of conferences, workshops or talks.
- Community building experience: You have previously worked at engaging members of a community, facilitating knowledge exchange and fostering collaborations.
- Project management experience: You have managed complex projects with various stakeholders, while keeping track of all tasks and competing priorities. Ideally, you have gained this experience in a startup environment.
- Administrative experience: You are comfortable handling budgets and coordinating operational requirements associated with our events, e.g. visas, travel booking and calendar management. You may be supported internally by an operations team member or externally by an outsourced events team.
- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills: You communicate clearly and consciously, keeping in mind the language of your target audience. You can develop a communication strategy and oversee its implementation. Ideally, you have experience working in or with a communications team.
- Stakeholder management: You are comfortable and skilled at communicating and liaising with high-profile individuals. (Note that this requirement can be met in many different ways, e.g. if you previously held a development role in a philanthropic foundation or worked closely with executive leadership in a large company.)
Nice to have:
- Knowledge of key concepts and relevant actors in the AI safety community: As a convenor of flagship events, you will identify gaps in the space and act as a trusted contact person for the attendees of our events. The perfect candidate will be familiar with the needs of our key target audience (computer scientists, AI researchers and decision makers) to develop targeted programs that add value.
- Professional experience in people management: Running large events and leading communications teams will likely require some experience in people management. (Note that there are various ways this could be met, e.g. by temporarily managing contractors at a larger event or by leading a team of volunteers.)
- Content curation: You have previously designed curricula, syllabi or schedules for events, and have overseen their implementation and evaluation, including quick iteration based on the results. You constantly think of your target audience and what they need to succeed.
- Entrepreneurial experience: You’ve worked in startup environments or have overseen an independent project from start to finish. You’re excited by launching new projects and are not afraid to try out new ideas.
You will be an employee of FAR AI, a 501(c)(3) research non-profit.
- Location: Given the nature of the role, we strongly prefer applicants who can be in-person. We sponsor visas for in-person employees. While we can’t guarantee that any given visa application will be successful, we have previously successfully sponsored visas for several team members, including those in operations.
- Hours: Full-time (40 hours/week).
- Compensation: $100,000 - $200,000 year* depending on experience and location. We will also pay for work-related travel and equipment expenses. We offer catered lunch and dinner at our offices in Berkeley. *For exceptional candidates with an outstanding track record we may be able to offer additional compensation.
- Application process: Our application process will likely include several interviews and one or more test tasks. We expect that filling in the application form will take less than 15 minutes.