Program Director

Please submit your resume and cover letter with “Program Director” in the subject line.

AIR is searching for a Program Director to help lead the delivery of AIR’s ambitious innovation programs – including TechSprints, human capital development and strategic consulting activities.

AIR’s Program Directors work with the Chief Program Officer and other members of AIR’s executive team to develop and refine the organization’s strategy and delivery to support the global regulatory ecosystem.

Benefits

💲 Competitive salary

🩺 Healthcare coverage

📈 Retirement plans

🏡 Primarily a work-from-home position, with some international travel as needed

🌴 Flexible time off

AIR is a global nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that the digital transformation of finance is matched by digital transformation of financial regulation, equipping regulators to meet their mandate to make the financial sector resilient, inclusive and fair.

Financial regulation should be a potent force for good. It should operate as an invisible force in people’s lives, ensuring that consumers are shielded from discrimination and abuse, that small businesses can access capital, that criminals cannot use the banking system to hide illicit activity, and that economic catastrophes are averted. AIR educates, connects, and supports the regulatory ecosystem to help realize these goals.

As part of our efforts to drive innovation and further our mission of fair finance, AIR frequently produces TechSprints (regulatory hackathons), an innovation exercise where technologists and subject matter experts collaborate intensively for a short period of time to address specific problems, ideate, design and code prototype solutions. TechSprints bring together disparate members of the financial and regulatory ecosystem to solve intractable problems that no single stakeholder can solve on their own.

AIR undertakes other projects and programs to educate and develop human capital within regulatory agencies, to catalyze and foster innovation ecosystems, and to support agencies in the design and build of their innovation programs, initiatives and cultures.

Supporting AIR’s growth and wider strategy

Our fast growing nonprofit is seeking a dynamic, experienced leader to join our small but mighty team. 

The Director’s role is generally to lead AIR’s delivery initiatives, owning and managing relationships with relevant program stakeholders (partners, vendors and funders). The Director will collaborate with a variety of global partners to plan and execute individual TechSprints and other programs. The Director will maintain close contact with relevant stakeholders – keeping them informed of progress, key milestones and issues. The Director will be responsible for ensuring that individual program outcomes and metrics are monitored and reported on, as required and as appropriate, based on stakeholder needs and expectations.  

The Director will line-manage 2-4 colleagues, program managers and subject matter specialists, who will be engaged on programs and initiatives that are led by the Program Director or others.   

Successful TechSprint execution requires a combination of strategic thinking, problem solving, relationship building, and strong organizational management. The Director will work with partners to design and agree on the strategic approach to specific TechSprints including: facilitating sessions with partners to identify goals; drafting and refining problem statements; identifying data requirements; overseeing delivery of the technical platforms and supporting the logistics of the TechSprint. 

As part of a team executing a fast paced and complex project, flexibility and a willingness to take on additional roles as needed are essential. TechSprints often include event elements such as a parallel conference and a Demo Day where the competing teams present their prototypes to a panel of judges and, often, a conference-type audience. The role will include working with AIR’s events team, as needed, overseeing and engaging with speakers and ensuring an engaging and well-executed event.

TechSprints can be held either in-person or virtually, and the candidate should be prepared to operate in either environment. 

AIR’s work is international – our team currently spans three countries. The Director will need to be able to lead teams effectively and efficiently with members who are working from home and who operate in different time zones. This includes enabling people to be productive working in an “asynchronous” mode.

This Director will also play a key role in refining AIR’s TechSprint strategy, including overseeing and supporting the development of tools and resources that assist us in guiding partners and clients through the TechSprint planning process, as well as enabling us to elevate the quality and efficiency of the events we produce.

Where appropriate and desirable, the Program Director will support program expansion and growth, to expand the usage of TechSprints as a regulatory innovation tool, and to aid in the development, structuring and planning of other innovation programs which advance AIR’s mission and support impact in areas of focus for AIR and its stakeholders.

Job Description

Program leadership and ownership, together with line management and development of colleagues, comprise the majority of this role. However, AIR is constantly evolving and growing, exploring opportunities and innovating. This requires flexibility from our people. In return, we offer the opportunity to grow your skills and knowledge across a wide range of projects. We strive to support our people to get involved in activities they enjoy and to look for stretch opportunities.

As Program Director, you will be flexible, curious and ambitious in supporting the wider activities and strategy of AIR and may take on additional responsibilities and roles as required.

This role works closely with colleagues involved in program design and delivery including the Chief Program Officer, Chief Growth Officer and Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer. From the outset, and as AIR grows and its program portfolio increases in size, variety and complexity, the Director will play a key role in determining resourcing needs and program delivery strategies. This will include supporting the personal development of various colleagues within the program team, through the provision of timely and constructive feedback, coaching and on-the-job mentorship and guidance.

Key Duties & Responsibilities

⏵ Own and lead key projects and programs, some of which are multi-year and/or have multimillion dollar budgets. Manage risks and lead teams to find solutions and deliver value and desirable outcomes that advance AIR’s and its partner’s missions.

⏵ Own and manage key relationships – with funders, partners, collaborators and vendors.

⏵ Work with AIR’s leadership in setting priorities for TechSprints and other projects and programs.

⏵ Help ensure that each TechSprint is designed with clearly articulated objectives and, where appropriate, agreement on desirable outcomes and next steps.

⏵ Lead the scoping and delivery of TechSprints and other program-related projects, determining milestones, resourcing, critical success factors and liaising with and managing clients, funders, partners and other stakeholders throughout the life of the program.

⏵ Work with the project team to create project plans, establish overall goals, establish milestones, and shepherd projects to successful completion.

⏵ Support the project team, and deliver where required, on all aspects of programs that the Director is leading to ensure efficient, effective and successful delivery from start to finish.

⏵ Oversee programs in real time, problem-solve for stakeholder needs and execute needed follow ups.

⏵ Organize and oversee other programs as required to support AIR’s portfolio of work. These may take the form of education programs, establishing and managing working groups and establishing working relationships with key stakeholders on collaboration programs.

Working alongside TechSprint partners, convert promising sprint-developed concepts into working groups to build out actionable solutions. For each project, this includes:

⏵ Identifying and agreeing on what “success” will look like

⏵ Engaging the needed participants and securing their commitment to help

⏵ Finding any additional needed participants and resources

⏵ Establishing committed volunteer leadership

⏵ Assuring establishment of legal agreements regarding IP

Desirable, but not necessary:

⏵ Experience running accelerators, incubators and/or hackathons

⏵ Financial regulatory knowledge

⏵ Knowledge of RegTech and SupTech, including the tools and approaches regulators can employ to identify solutions and needs, how they can engage and support their innovation ecosystem and the impact of technology advancements on regulation.

Successful Candidates Demonstrate

⏵ Entrepreneurial leadership skills, preferably in a startup activity or organization

⏵ Comfort and creativity with inventing something from nothing.

⏵ Comfort in the “gray spaces” – an ability to respond in a timely and professional manner to ambiguity and uncertainties, to pivot, find solutions and chart a path towards successful achievement of target outcomes for AIR and its varied stakeholders.

⏵ Passion about “technology for good” and ability to enroll others in your enthusiasm

⏵ Comfort and ease interfacing with diverse stakeholders, including innovators, regulators, and compliance and product professionals from small and large financial services companies and from different countries and continents

⏵ Experience of line management, coaching and developing others through the provision of feedback and stretch opportunities that inspire and engage colleagues to grow and achieve outcomes in a supportive, empathic and collegial team environment.

⏵ Expertise in complex program management.

⏵ Strong written and verbal communication skills.

⏵ Readiness for moderate travel.

About AIR

AIR is a nonprofit, non-membership organization working to make the financial system fully inclusive, fair and resilient through responsible use of new technology. By connecting regulation, finance, technology and society, AIR drives global innovation and collaboration to overcome the system’s legacy shortcomings and prepare it for rapid technology change.

Financial regulation works as an invisible force shaping people’s lives. It aims to prevent mistreatment, bias, instability and corruption while ensuring that everyone has equal access and fair opportunity. Jo Ann Barefoot and David Ehrich founded AIR in 2019 to strengthen this force through new technology. AIR helps government and industry develop and scale up responsible innovation to solve systemic problems, including financial exclusion, race and gender discrimination, deceptive and predatory practices, climate change, economic instability, and financial crimes like human trafficking.

AIR’s Guiding Principles

WE BELIEVE in strong, effective regulation that protects consumers and fosters competitive, resilient financial markets.

WE BELIEVE in the responsible use of technology to improve the financial system for everyone.

WE BELIEVE in diversity and collaboration as essential to sound innovation.

WE BELIEVE in continuous learning and education to match rapid shifts in technology.

WE BELIEVE in leading change with transparency and integrity.

WE BELIEVE in boldly inventing the future of financial regulation, together.

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