Location: Multiple Countries

Department: Board

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Senior Executive

We live in a knowledge society where we face two different futures: one which is open and one which is closed. 

We are the Open Knowledge Foundation.  We want openness of all forms of knowledge to ensure a fair, free future full of possibility for all, where shared knowledge contributes to happier and healthier lives.  To this end, we will step up as global leaders.

We are looking for a leader who will spearhead and lead the team to spread the global message of openness and establish new rules to counter the unaccountable tech companies monopolising the digital age.  This is a time to be hopeful about the future, and to inspire those who want to build a better society.

We will pursue our mission in the following ways:

  • People – support people and organisations to create a free, fair and open future
  • Places – extend our global reach into new geographies and industries, in particular, health, education and work
  • Policies – have policies and procedures that support our vision and make us fit for purpose
  • Partnerships – work in partnership with others who can help us achieve our vision, and secure funding and income that enable us to be sustainable

We will achieve all of this as the world struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, faces a new global recession and an ongoing climate emergency. There is a crossroad ahead, with a choice between two paths – open or closed. We can be the inspiration for others to follow and ensure society takes the most equitable route. It is an exciting time for our organisation.

We recognise the value of bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and places and with diverse thinking. No applicant for a role with us will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, disability, gender and transgender status, race and ethnicity, religion and belief (including no belief), marriage or civil partnership status or sexual orientation.

If you think you don’t meet 100% of the requirements perfectly, that’s a pretty common feeling, so don’t let that hold you back making the application. We’re interested in having the broadest pool of applicants possible, and we can’t do that if you rule yourself out before you apply.

The position is remote, and applications are welcome from anywhere in the world. Open Knowledge Foundation is a virtual team.

Job Description


  • £70,000+

Core Responsibilities

  • Vision – champion the vision and strategy of the organisation ensuring they are consistent with the place open has in today’s world
  • Brand – be an ambassador for the organisation, making sure the team punches above its weight in the public domain
  • Delivery – operationalise the strategy to ensure the organisation can deliver consistently and demonstrably
  • Impact – nurture the organisation’s importance and impact in the world
  • Relationships – develop deep and productive relationships with funders, users of services and the organisation’s Board of Directors
  • Growth – build strategic partnerships and relationships to drive growth and impact
  • Financial – own the operating budget and align talent and resources to achieve key goals, for funding, delivery and impact
  • Governance – ensure the sustainability and compliance of the organisation as a whole


  • Champion for open – familiarity with and enthusiasm for the open community
  • Imagination and action – ability to think strategically and tactically, and act practically
  • Operational effectiveness – getting things done with a smile on everyone’s face, including working effectively with a diverse, international organisation, underpinned by the ability to relate work at local, national and regional level to a global context
  • Relevant experience – preferably in a non-profit or equivalent organisation, including P&L and fundraising responsibilities, strategic planning, driving organisational culture, and overseeing change management
  • Collaborative leader – proven track record of running happy and productive teams where everyone thrives, including ability to build and lead high-performing, multicultural teams, underpinned by effective delegation, empowerment of individuals, and the establishment of clear responsibilities and accountabilities
  • Financial management – robust understanding of budgeting and financial management, ideally gained within a non-profit context
  • Governance – experience of good governance and compliance and Board relations, including experience of meeting the regulatory, compliance, and safeguarding requirements of an organisation of this type


  • Understanding of open ecosystem – sophisticated understanding of the global open ecosystem, as well as a knowledge of the major debates and actors 
  • Personal integrity – ability to foster an empowering, open and collaborative culture through personal example and to inspire and get the best from others
  • Collaborative approach – experience of working in and championing coalitions, networks and other forms of collective collaboration
  • Impact & advocacy skills – presence to act as an ambassador and champion for the organisation, underpinned by proven interpersonal, diplomatic and negotiating skills necessary to work effectively with key partners and stakeholders (a wide range of grassroots civil society organisations, international NGOs, donors, multilaterals and bilaterals, and high-level political actors)
  • Strong communication skills – ability to be effective communicator inside and outside the organisation, including at events and with the media
  • Networking & development skills – ability to engage in raising funds, to develop relationships with potential donors, and identify and capitalise on opportunities for diversifying and enhancing income generation
  • Language – excellent written and oral English

How to apply

Applications are via Jazz. You will be asked to

  • Upload a CV – we find that’s a really efficient way to get a snapshot of you and gives you a lot of flexibility about how you’d like to present yourself to us
  • Answer a short questionnaire  – we find that’s a really great way for people to show us that they’ve really thought about what they might bring to the role and the organisation.

Before you get to that, we’d like to be open with you about how we use your personal data when you apply for a role with us. Please take time to read our Job Applicant Privacy Notice.

We will not accept speculative CVs sent to staff or any Board member via email. We can only accept applications from applicants directly via the portal. We expressly do not accept any agency terms and conditions unless contained in a separate agreement signed between us and the agency before the date this application went live on our website.

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We stand for fair, free and open. Our mission is to create a more open world – where all non-personal information is open, free for everyone to use, build on and share – and where creators and innovators are fairly recognised and rewarded. What do you think our biggest challenge is to achieve our mission and what would you do to overcome it? (500 words maximum)*
If you could only write this in a tweet, what does open mean to you personally?*
What has 2020 taught you about the nature of work? (250 words maximum)*
What would being our CEO mean to you personally? (250 words maximum)*
The world in 2021 will be a changed place: how do you convince people to fund open? (500 words maximum)*