Executive Director

Open Humans Foundation
Job Location
Negotiable, but past and present organization headquarters have included Boston and New York City
Job Description

Open Humans Foundation (formerly PersonalGenomes.org) is

seeking an energetic and experienced leader to sustain and develop

our organization, not just into a larger version of its current self, but

into one that will find new and more effective ways to support its

mission. That mission is: public availability and research use of

genetic and matching phenotypic data, which requires support

ranging from public policy to individual data donation.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is

responsible for the programmatic and financial health and stability of

the organization, and its further development. The ED provides

direction and oversight to programs, projects, and outside

partnerships and will work closely with the Board in the areas of

strategy, fundraising, and financial management.


The ED is the primary point of contact with the community – both

members of the public and institutions - and will represent the values

and mission of OHF. The ED should share our vision and also have

the background, leadership skills, and ability to extend it.


The ideal candidate will be a skilled communicator comfortable in the

role of coalition builder, chief fundraiser and leader of OHF. They

should be knowledgeable in relevant policy issues and be

comfortable interacting with policymakers, advocacy organizations

and thought leaders. They will have experience running a small

organization with direct supervisory responsibility for administration,

program, budget, and fundraising. The candidate will have expertise

in user-engagement strategy and partnerships, and a commitment to

the power of data to generate meaning and further scientific progress.

The candidate must demonstrate the ability to lead with transparency,

to engage with leaders from outside their own communities, to

balance teamwork with autonomy and to make hard decisions.


Coalition Building

- Work effectively with other organizations that may have

conflicting visions

- Be comfortable interacting with stakeholders across the

human research domain in government, academia, the

private sector, the nonprofit world and the public at large

- Become a thought leader in matters related to the

organization’s mission and ensure that OHF is seen as a

leader on these same issues



- Cultivate and maintain major donors

- Execute creative campaigns to increase individual and

institutional contributions

- Seek grant-based resources



- Ensure that existing grants are well-managed and deliverables

are met

- Supervise the team and grow it as necessary

- Build and maintain relationships with important partners

- Oversee the communications strategy for OHF

- Work effectively with the Board to develop OHF’s vision and

strategic initiative based on the mission of the organization and

the needs of its stakeholders: individual data providers,

researchers, funders, policy-makers, and other institutions,

interest groups and businesses

- Communicate effectively with the Board on all other significant

OHF matters

- Communicate OHF’s vision and strategic initiatives to staff

- Meet the administrative needs and requirements of the

organization and improve internal policies and practices as




- Assume day-to- day responsibility for: 1) implementing OHF’s

vision and the strategic initiatives developed with the Board;

and 2) communicating these to collaborating organizations,

other stakeholders and the public

- Ensure that programmatic goals are aligned with available


- Monitor the delivery of the data platform and APIs and other

services of the organization (GET Conference, PGP Network)

- Reach out to the broader public, both for individual data

donations and for educational outreach. (Crowdfunding a

secondary issue.)


Work Schedule: fulltime and dedicated

Start Date: ASAP, but no later than September 1, 2016


How to Apply

Please submit a succinct cover letter in which you share with us your

vision of how the OHF can grow to be even more effective. We do not

expect you to have perfect knowledge of OHF, but we are interested

in your views of the needs and challenges in this space, and in how

you believe that OHF can uniquely contribute to open genotype-

phenotype research data and related goals. In addition, please

submit your resume or c.v. Please submit in PDF format (single

document preferred but not required) to

[email protected], with "Executive Director" and your

name in the subject line. Kindly copy

[email protected]. No phone calls please.

About Our Organization

About Open Humans Foundation

The Open Humans Foundation supports the vision of humans having access to their own data and sharing it at their own option with others for the benefit of science and humanity.

OHF is a small and dynamic research and citizen participation organization with an 8-year history of dramatic change from a nonprofit organization created to support what began as a small, 10-participant public-genome project (the Harvard Personal Genome Project) to a much broader platform for citizen participation for data collection and sharing. We collect and share microbiomes, trait data and other health data in addition to genomes. Over the past eight years we have fostered the creation of the PGP Network, the Genomes Environment Traits Conference and Labs, and the Open Humans Project.

The organization is now ready to scale, and is looking for an executive director who can help us do so. We plan to reach a much broader data-supplying public as well as more researchers. We intend to become an even stronger voice advocating for user access to data with the option of sharing it with researchers and/or the public at large, at their option.

The board of the Open Humans Foundation includes George Church, Misha Angrist, John Cammack, Esther Dyson, Steven Keating, Michelle Meyer, Ryan Phelan and Juan Enriquez.

OHF is committed to providing equal employment opportunity to qualified persons without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, military, veteran status or any other protected status or classification under federal, state or local law. 

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