Partnership on AI

Director of Programs and Research

Full-Time in San Francisco, CA - Remote OK - Senior - Research

$170,000 - $190,000

Remote US-based


The Partnership on AI is the leading forum addressing the most important and difficult decisions on the future of AI.

We are a non-profit that invites diverse voices into the process of technical governance, design, and deployment of AI technologies.

Our essential Partners work together across industry, academia, and civil society to understand the implications of AI advancements and ensure they benefit society equitably.

Through dialogue, insight, education, and guidance, PAI informs responsible AI solutions and identifies opportunities to address humanity’s pressing challenges.

Our vision is a future where Artificial Intelligence empowers humanity by contributing to a more just, equitable, and prosperous world. Our mission is to bring diverse voices together across global sectors, disciplines, and demographics so developments in AI advance positive outcomes for people and society.

If you are committed to a future of responsible AI and you are interested in joining the Partnership on AI in our quest, we genuinely appreciate your interest and we want to hear from you.


The Partnership on AI (PAI) is hiring a dynamic and experienced Director of Programs and Research to advance the strategic directions and impact of the organization’s mission, supporting PAI Partners and the broader community to move from principles to practice. We are looking for a respected international leader interested in the compelling and practical work of developing innovative multistakeholder programming focused on novel tools and solutions that advance the responsible design, development, deployment and use of AI.

Reporting to the CEO, the Director of Programs and Research will foster a compelling, unique and high impact portfolio of programming that aligns with our theory of change, including holding timely convenings on emerging international challenges; conducting research, synthesis and analysis to develop accessible resources, tools, and recommendations on specific areas of programming for PAI; and, promoting adoption of best practices with Partners. The Director will engage collaboratively and consultatively with our global community of Partners and work supportively with individuals across PAI’s organization and as a member of the Executive Team. The Director will lead the Programs and Research Management Team made up of the following direct reports: Heads of Fairness, Transparency, Accountability, and Safety; AI, Labor and the Economy; AI and Media Integrity; Inclusive Research and Design; and Machine Learning.


  • Guide, strengthen and expand PAI programmatic portfolio to ensure real-world impact, high relevance and prominence of PAI work and outputs.
  • Consult with Partner members to envision and launch new areas of programs and research collaborations building on the architecture of PAI’s Six Thematic Pillars: Safety-critical AI; Fair, Transparent, and Accountable AI; Collaborations Between People and AI Systems; AI, Labor and the Economy; Social and Societal Influences of AI; AI for Social Good.
  • Establish transparent and accountable areas of timely and influential work that engages our Partners, by implementing clear criteria and an open, rigorous approach to identify important emerging topics, both for convenings and for those areas of work selected to advance action with Partners, policy makers and the public.
  • Focus programs and research on fundamental sociotechnical challenges that connect AI research and technology expertise with diverse perspectives from PAI’s community of civil society and media experts, researchers based at academic institutions and think tanks, policy-makers, scientists and engineers from technology companies, and those most harmed or at risk of harm from AI.
  • Translate research into action by supporting Partner understanding and adoption of new ways of working including testing solutions by running pilots, developing use cases, benchmarking experiences and conducting surveys and interviews.
  • Champion equity and diversity internally and externally.
  • Understand and monitor the state-of-the-art in the field of sociotechnical AI design, development, deployment and use (and related disciplines); represent the organization and its progress at conferences and other public forums to maintain visibility within the broader AI community
  • Lead and facilitate the Programs and Research Management Team (PRMT) by supporting their ongoing convenings with Partners, as well as the design and development of influential, high quality, accessible, relevant PAI resources, tools and recommendations that synthesize knowledge and make complex topics accessible and actionable.
  • With the PRMT, foster a supportive, inclusive and equitable Programs and Research Team that empowers and enables people to succeed in support of the overall mission.
  • With the PMRT, recruit, mentor, develop, and provide ongoing support and coaching to the Programs and Research Team, setting and meeting team and individual goals and benchmarks.
  • Work with the Director of Content and Communications to communicate programming to advance Partner adoption and public understanding. Identify and support opportunities where the PAI staff should present our work to the greater AI research community
  • Work with the Director of Policy and Public Affairs to translate programming to inform public policy, advance timely positions on important issues and develop progress reports in the public interest.
  • Work with the Director of Partnerships to support fundraising initiatives and the creation of a globally-diverse and inclusive Partner community.
  • Ensure that research and program team members are utilizing PAIs Salesforce CRM to track Research and Program engagements.
  • Work with the PMRT and COO to oversee all operational activities related to Programs and Research, including monitoring and evaluation of Programs and Research goals, IT, finances and budget, human resources and PAI’s organization-wide plan to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in all of activities.
  • Present to the Board and lead the development of materials for reporting to PAI’s Board of Directors and relevant Board committees, as needed.


  • PhD or Masters degree in related discipline or equivalent (10+ years) work experience required.
  • Extensive research experience in sociotechnical approaches to artificial intelligence; or otherwise demonstrated technical competence in implementing, designing and managing AI systems.
  • Extensive work experience overseeing program design, development, implementation and evaluation across several topic areas.
  • Research and work experience conducting collaborative initiatives with a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary point-of-view.
  • Exceptional partnering and team skills as a trusted colleague and team leader. Track record of managing and supporting a collaborative and cohesive team environment.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with and relate to a broad range of stakeholders, including senior leaders, peers, direct reports, partner organizations, and Board members.
  • Flexible and adaptable in a small, fast-paced environment.
  • Extensive network within the sociotechnical AI research community.
  • Ability to work with diverse perspectives and to incorporate these perspectives into PAI’s projects.
  • Excellent conflict resolution skills. Ability to resolve disparate programs and research directions, Partner interests, and resourcing trade offs, with an orientation toward win-win solutions.
  • Proven collaborator with internal and external stakeholders, ability to build and maintain effective working relationships
  • Experience with or comfort in speaking publicly as a spokesperson to a variety of audiences including funders.


  • Vision – Ability to develop and articulate a vision for the future of an organization or significant initiative. Possesses a “big picture” perspective.
  • Strategic Development – Demonstrates success initiating, developing and implementing large-scale project execution strategies for an organization.
  • Decision-Making with Integrity – Demonstrates a high level of technical acumen and judgment required for the role; ability to make practical, realistic, data-driven and timely decisions in support of the organization’s objectives with the highest degree of integrity.
  • Problem Solving – Ability to understand, analyze and interpret complex problems and develop appropriate action plans to achieve sustainable solutions. Engages team in collaborative problem solving to develop well- informed plans to achieve results.
  • Hands-On – Unafraid to roll up their sleeves to contribute to the success of an emerging organization.
  • Entrepreneurial Drive – Desire and proven ability to have an impact. An energetic self-starter with a strong work ethic and sense of urgency, capable of thriving in a high growth environment.
  • Detail-Oriented – Encourages the highest quality and rigor of research output and commitment to scientific inquiry and ethics.
  • Collaborative Style – A team player, who works effectively in a team-based organization, collaborates cross- functionally across multiple stakeholders, exercises influence diplomatically and builds trust and credibility at all levels. Someone who builds consensus and achieves agreement on key priorities.
  • Relationship-Oriented – Ability to successfully influence, build credibility and work effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders: senior leaders, policy makers, partners, Board members, and externally with key stakeholders. Able to synthesize divergent views and coalesce all constituencies around a shared view or plan.
  • Builds Trust - Able to be transparent by being authentic, conveying trust and communicating openly while involving key stakeholders in decision-making
  • Equity and Inclusion - Fluent with the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion including a commitment to racial equity and anti-racism.


  • Must be eligible to work in the United States or Canada; we are unable to sponsor visas at this time
  • Must be fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus as per PAI’s Employee Policy


  • We know that research has shown that some potential applicants will submit an application only when they feel that they have met close to all of the qualifications for a role—we encourage you to take a leap of faith with us and submit your application as long as you are passionate about working to make real impact on responsible AI. We are very interested in hearing from a diverse pool of candidates.
  • PAI offers a generous paid leave and benefits package, including: Twenty vacation days; three personal reflection days; sick leave and family leave above industry standards; high-quality PPO and HMO health insurance plans, many 100% covered by PAI; Dental and vision insurance 100% covered by PAI; up to a 7% 401K match, vested immediately; pre-tax commuter benefits (Clipper); automatic cell phone reimbursement ($75/month); up to $1,000 in professional development funds annually; regular team lunches & reading days; opportunities to attend AI related conferences and events and to collaborate with our 100+ partners across industry, academia and civil society. Please refer to our careers page for an updated list of benefits.
  • PAI is headquartered in San Francisco, with a global membership base and scope. This role is eligible for remote work within the United States or Canada with no requirement to be located in San Francisco. We do not offer visa support for this position at this time.

PAI is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and we are committed to creating an inclusive environment in all aspects of employment, including recruiting, hiring, promoting, training, education assistance, social and recreational programs, compensation, benefits, transfers, discipline, and all privileges and conditions of employment. Employment decisions at PAI are based on business needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications.

PAI will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories, in a manner consistent with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance or similar laws.

The Partnership on AI may become subject to certain governmental record keeping and reporting requirements for the administration of civil rights laws and regulations. We also track diversity in our workforce for the purpose of improving over time. In order to comply with these goals, the Partnership on AI invites employees to voluntarily self-identify their gender and race/ethnicity. Submission of this information is voluntary and refusal to provide it will not jeopardize or adversely affect employment or any consideration you may receive for employment or advancement. The information obtained will be kept confidential.


To apply please send a cover letter and resume by January 31, 2022. Applications may be accepted after deadline on a rolling basis until the role is filled.

Only complete applications will be reviewed.