Head of Operations


Head of Operations Introduction The NEAR project is unlike anything else out there -- it combines the collaborative community of an open-source project with aspects of developer platforms like Heroku or AWS. This provides a unique opportunity for a visionary operations leader: you will not just help the NEAR Foundation to build and support its internal operations, but you will be a vital part of ensuring that the entire ecosystem around the NEAR project is firing on all cylinders and allowing creators to build extraordinary, world-changing applications. In that way, you have the opportunity to lead both the scrappy culture of a startup and the scale of a large enterprise or social movement. About NEAR and the NEAR Collective NEAR's purpose is to enable community-driven innovation to benefit people around the world and its mission is to accelerate the adoption of Open Technologies. The NEAR platform, which launched in 2020, provides a decentralized application platform that is secure enough to manage high value assets like money or identity and performant enough to make them useful for everyday people, putting the power of Open Finance and the Open Web in their hands. The NEAR platform, NEAR Protocol, and associated tooling are being built by the NEAR Collective, a collection of the best engineers in the world who work across teams, companies and countries similar to other large scale open source projects. Core contributors include a couple of 2-time ICPC world champions, 4 gold medalists, a Latin American champion and multiple other competitive programming finalists. About the NEAR Foundation The NEAR Foundation is a nonprofit, non-beneficiary foundation based in Switzerland which supports community-driven innovation and the Open Web with a specific focus on the NEAR platform. The Foundation distributes grant funding into the NEAR ecosystem, coordinates governance among participants, educates people about the protocol and ensures that relationships among the community members are as strong and sustainable as the apps they build. It seeks to combine the inclusive care of a community-driven NGO with the at-scale effectiveness of a Silicon Valley startup. The Role As the NEAR Foundation's Head of Operations, you wear a substantial number of hats and have ownership of critical areas of the Foundation's functioning. This position reports to and substantially supports the Foundation's CEO. As one part of this, you will directly own all areas of operations within the NF, including core grant-giving processes and everything that is necessary to keep a foundation of this size running. More importantly, you will need to take the ball and run with anything that doesn't have an owner by default. As is typical in startup environments, you will frequently need to spin up a team to take on the most important project, build out its processes, and then hand things off to a capable leader before taking on the next biggest project. Finally, your mandate extends beyond just the NF and to making the entrepreneurs and developers who primarily comprise the NEAR ecosystem successful in their own endeavors. To do this effectively, you will need to have an uncommon ability to get things done regardless of constraints and the vision to actively participate in leadership and strategy discussions that help drive the future of the foundation and, by extension, the entire NEAR ecosystem. The potential impact here can't be overstated. To complement this along the way, you will have access to substantial resources and the support of an extraordinary team. You will be a visible face of the NEAR project and will interact frequently with the teams and individuals which comprise it, in particular the NF Council (board), its CEO, the function heads and the NEAR project's founders. The right mental model for this is to combine the mentality of running a startup with the scope of driving a social movement. Roll up your sleeves! To be successful, you will need to be a leader with the following things: 1. A strong and creative vision for building a world class open source organization and ecosystem. 2. Experience building, leading and managing successful technology projects and businesses as a founder and/or executive member of the leadership team. 3. Familiarity with the zeitgeist of the blockchain and developer-focused open source communities. Key Outcomes 1. Core NF functions run smoothly, particularly the grant-issuing process and the associated accountability from projects to grow the ecosystem 2. The NF has continuously growing capacity to identify and take advantage of new opportunities and to take full advantage of existing ones. 3. The NF's leadership team, extended team and broader governance across the ecosystem all operate effectively. Requirements This is a senior-level position which requires someone who combines the experience of working in successful technology ventures with the scrappiness of someone who understands startups and the open source communities we support. Specifically: 1. 10+ years of experience building and leading technology companies or similar organizations. 2. Demonstrated ability to build world class teams and handle a wide range of challenges with flexibility, composure and fantastic judgement. 3. Uncommon ability to argue effectively, learn rapidly and take ownership of results. 4. Epic level communication skills, particularly in English. The aperture of communication between you and the rest of the leadership team will be one of the most important factors in your success. Logistics This is a full-time, partially remote position with the NEAR Foundation.