Mar 13, 2024

Director and Head of Engineering, Technical Projects Group

$240,000 - $320,000 yearly
  • Schmidt Futures
  • New York, NY, USA
Full-Time Engineering General Management Strategic Planning

Job Description

About the Company

Futures Action Network — the Office of Eric Schmidt — aims to support a diverse portfolio of philanthropic and for-profit initiatives focused on science and technology.

Program/Initiative Description. The Technical Projects Group (TPG), part of the Office of Eric Schmidt, is a dynamic and innovative technology incubator and product studio dedicated to developing impactful solutions for the greater good. We are seeking to hire a senior technical leader to lead up engineering on behalf of the Technical Project Group — who will work alongside the Head of Product to develop important tools and products for social impact.

The Role

Reporting to the Executive Director of the Technical Projects Group, the Director will be responsible for managing engineering efforts for all Technical Project Group projects.

  • Lead a small team of engineers building technology products across a range of important areas of public benefit
  • Work closely with Head of Product to shape product strategy and roadmaps
  • Recruit and mentor high-caliber engineers passionate about social impact
  • Architect and implement scalable technical infrastructure to support rapid product iteration

Key Responsibilities

  • Team management and coaching
  • Manage, coach, and develop engineering team members (~5 engineers currently)
  • Support hiring processes to attract and retain talented engineers motivated by mission
  • Mentoring engineers and fostering growth on a technical skill ladder
  • Fostering an engineering-driven culture across the Technical Projects Group
  • Work with TPG leadership to create a fast-paced, collaborative, results-oriented environment that sets the team up for success
  • Scoping and resource management
  • Partner with Head of Product to translate product requirements into technical specifications and execution plans
  • Monitor resourcing across projects and teams to meet commitments and roadmaps
  • Partner with the team to provide estimates to the Product team in order to help enable prioritization
  • Technical leadership
  • Architect software and data pipelines, balancing scalability, reliability, performance and rapid iteration
  • Lead/guide architecture reviews and design discussions
  • Establish technical norms and standards across the team
  • Engage directly hands-on, running code reviews, pairing with engineers, etc.
  • Stay abreast of emerging technologies and tools applicable to TPG focus areas
  • Manage existing technical infrastructure + developing maintenance and scaling strategies (including managing to uptime+performance requirements)
  • Work with team to manage trade-offs and risks - especially around fast-paced prototyping
  • Product development
  • Partner with the Executive Director and Head of Product on sourcing, identifying and evaluating new project ideas - looking at project viability, impact and fit
  • Prototype and spike potential projects to validate technical approach and de-risk concepts
  • Help establish decision frameworks and metrics to evaluate pilots and minimum viable products
  • Research technologies and solutions to enable or enhance high-potential project ideas

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Some of the desired capabilities include:

  • Deep knowledge of full-stack software engineering, infrastructure architecture, and modern software development practices
  • Deep experience across modern software languages and frameworks (e.g. Python, JavaScript/TypeScript, React, node.js)
  • Experience managing devops and infrastructure teams
  • Ability to write clean, well-documented, well-tested code following established best practices
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to collaborate with product, experience, and business stakeholders
  • Skilled at breaking down complex problems, evaluating technical tradeoffs, and explaining technical concepts to non-technical partners
  • Ability to mentor and develop engineers through code reviews, system design sessions, and general guidance
  • Lean startup mindset with skill to launch prototypes and minimum viable products for testing and iteration

We are committed to fair, transparent pay and we strive to provide competitive, market-informed compensation. The target salary range for this position is $240,000 to $320,000. Compensation for the successful candidate will be informed by the candidate’s particular combination of knowledge, skills, competencies and experience.

Futures Action Network, LLC is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. We do not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws or prohibited by Company policy. We strive for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibit harassment of any kind.

Hiring Organization

Futures Action Network



  • Experience as the Technical Founder, CTO or Head of Engineering for a zero to one startup
  • 5-10+ years directly managing and mentoring software engineering teams
  • Deep hands-on infrastructure and architecture experience with modern stacks
  • Startup/small team mindset with bias toward action
  • Experience working cross-functionally with product and design leadership
  • Commitment to social impact through quality technology products
  • Strong communication, influencer and listener able to work across disciplines
  • Entrepreneurial outlook and comfort with ambiguity
  • Background in social impact causes resonant with TPG’s mission
  • Experience with ML/AI strongly preferred

Industry/Service Area

Advocacy/Social Action, Science/Technology




We offer a wide range of competitive benefits including commuter, healthcare, savings plans, and education stipends.

Application Instructions

Please apply through the LinkedIn job listing.

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