Executive Director – The Carpentries
The Carpentries seeks its next Executive Director to spearhead the organisation’s vision of becoming the leading inclusive community teaching data and coding skills. Tracy Teal, the current Executive Director, will depart the organisation in January 2020. Senior Director of Equity and Assessment Kari Jordan will serve as Interim Executive Director until the next Executive is hired. This position is remote, so all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of location.
The Carpentries is an open global community teaching the skills and perspectives to turn data into knowledge. The Carpentries’ vision is to be “the leading inclusive community teaching data and computational skills.” The Carpentries comprises the Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, and Library Carpentry communities of instructors, trainers, maintainers, and mentors who share a mission to teach foundational computational and data science skills to researchers. The mission of The Carpentries is fourfold: to build global capacity in essential data and computational skills for conducting efficient, open, and reproducible research; to train and foster an active, inclusive, diverse community of learners and instructors that promotes and models the importance of software and data in research; to collaboratively develop openly-available lessons and deliver these lessons using evidence-based teaching practices, and; to focus on people conducting and supporting research.
Nine core values guide The Carpentries’ work, including acting openly, empowering one another, and valuing contributions. As an organisation, The Carpentries is always learning; internationally inclusive; and champions people first, access for all, and open collaboration. Comprised of 85 member organisations worldwide, The Carpentries has taught 59,000 learners across 46 countries in all seven continents through hands-on workshops taught by volunteer instructors.
The goal of the workshops is to empower students to learn new skills and build confidence in their ability to work effectively and reproducibly with data and code. The Carpentries supports three Lesson Programs, each with varying curriculum:
- Software Carpentry Workshops – Software Carpentry enables researchers to create purpose-built tools, whether it be a Unix shell script to automate repetitive tasks, or software code in programming languages such as Python or R. These enable researchers to build programs that can be read, re-used, and validated, greatly enhancing the sharing and reproducibility of their research.
- Data Carpentry Workshops – Data Carpentry learners are taught to work with data more effectively. Workshops focus on the data lifecycle, covering data organisation, cleaning and management to data analysis and visualization. Lessons are domain- specific, with curricula for working with ecological data, genomic sequencing data, social sciences survey data, and geospatial data.
- Library Carpentry Workshops – Library Carpentry develops lessons and teaches workshops for and with people working in library- and information-related roles. It creates an on-ramp to empower this community to use software and data in their own work as well as be advocates for and train others in efficient, effective, and reproducible data and software practices.
Volunteer Instructors are trained in pedagogy and focus on creating an inclusive, motivating, and engaging environment for learners. To date, The Carpentries has trained 2,400 instructors, and organized more than 2,300 workshops around the world.
The Executive Council (EC), which is comprised of four community-elected members and five Council-elected members, governs the organisation. The Carpentries is a fiscally sponsored project of the California nonprofit Community Initiatives, and has a budget of $2.2M for 2020 and an 11-person staff. Their revenue comes from membership fees, grants, and workshop fees.
Since its merger in January 2018, the unified Carpentries has achieved the following accomplishments:
- The Carpentries became a fiscally sponsored project of the nonprofit Community Initiatives in February 2018.
- The first EC was elected and developed its community’s by-laws, mission and vision statements, and growth goals.
- The Carpentries held its first conference, CarpentryCon, in Dublin, Ireland. 120 attendees from around the world had the opportunity to collaborate, many for the very first time, in 3-D.
- The organisation released The Carpentries Handbook, which consolidated a large range of scattered resources.
- The Carpentries received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to develop infrastructure, guidelines, and pathways for community engagement to establish open source lesson development as a practice, and additionally for events for community development and leadership.
- They have also received funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Chan Zuckerberg initiative for further work in community development, instructor training and curriculum development.
The EC is in the process of refining its goals for the next phase of The Carpentries’ work. It has approved the following high-level goals, each with its own set of objectives of the next 3-5 years:
- Build regional and local capacity to empower sustainable communities.
- Facilitate the creation and maintenance of relevant, high-quality, community-curated curricula.
- Intentionally incorporate equity, inclusion, and accessibility to support a diverse community.
- Strengthen organisational structure and capacity to be strategic and responsive.
- Provide opportunities for the growth and professional development of the organisation’s volunteers and team.
- Advocate for its values and vision to empower more people to work with data and software.
The next Executive Director must have a strong vision about The Carpentries’ future direction and provide strong, credible leadership both inside and outside the organisation. S/he must demonstrate The Carpentries’ nine core values: to act openly, to empower one another, to value all contributions, to always learn, to include all community members, to put people first, to provide access for all, to collaborate with the community, and to find strength in diversity.
The key responsibilities for the next Executive Director include, but are not limited to the following:
- Manage and direct strategic planning to ensure that The Carpentries can successfully fulfill its mission into the future; communicate a vision of The Carpentries’ strategic future to staff, EC, volunteers and donors.
- Serve as the external face of The Carpentries, which includes serving on panels, communicating with stakeholders, and representing the organisation at events.
- Enhance the Carpentries’ reputation by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, academic, civic and private organisations, as appropriate.
- Develop and maintain academic, corporate, nonprofit, government and other business and advocacy relationships.
- Engage in robust fundraising, such as writing grants and implementing programs that generate revenue.
- Create a sustainable business model that will support the organisation’s growth in revenue, programs, and staff size.
- Provide fiscal oversight, ensuring the organisation stays within the approved budget.
- Manage the staff and coordinate work across the organisation; inspire the internal teams responsible for program implementation by encouraging innovation and continuous development.
- Work with The Carpentries’ fiscal sponsor Community Initiatives to develop strategies for conducting international activities.
- Takes direction from the EC and works with the EC to ensure that The Carpentries operates with a clear mission, and a long-range strategic plan that is consistent with the mission.
Skills and Attributes
The ideal skills and attributes include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Passion for open science and the core values of The Carpentries.
- An innovative and strategic mindset with an ability to synthesize information, align multiple stakeholders around a common vision, and make decisions for the organization; ability to listen to different perspectives and respond to feedback from people in the community with kindness.
- Visionary and entrepreneurial skills with a willingness to take risks and lead bold programmatic strategies through a well-defined strategic plan.
- Systems-oriented approach with a strong ability to build scalable processes within an organisation, and ensure long-term sustainability.
- Experience in the research and academic space involving software and computation, and an understanding of the interests and the needs of The Carpentries’ community.
- Experience leading within a mission-driven nonprofit organization and managing multiple lines of business.
- Track record of successful fundraising, writing and acquiring grants, and managing donor relations.
- A well-honed business acumen; proven experience with fiscal management, budgeting, and operations.
- Stellar relationship building skills; ability to forge connections within academic and technology fields; excellence in forming interpersonal relationships, especially across international contexts
- Demonstrated ability to foster an outcomes-driven team.
- Experience leading a virtual team across the US and around the world; willingness to trust and delegate to teams accountable for carrying out the organisation’s work.
- Ability to lead an organization through times of uncertainty, conflicts, and transitions.
- Empathy and awareness to manage a diverse team with various power dynamics.
- A hands-on, ‘roll up your sleeves’ approach to the work, and willingness to become immersed in projects of all degrees of difficulty.
- Experience managing a governing board in its early stages of development.
- Demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion.
- Strong written and oral communication skills.
- Three or more years’ experience with open source, or as an instructor or facilitator of data or software skills.
- Must be willing to travel up to 15-20% of the time, including international travel, depending on the home location of the new Executive Director.
Equal Opportunity Employer
The Carpentries is dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for all people, regardless of background or identity. We are an equal opportunity employer and give consideration for employment to qualified applicants without regard to age, race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, disability or protected veteran status, or any other status or characteristic protected by US federal, state, or local law. We encourage all qualified individuals to apply.
This is a remote position. For US-based candidates, compensation will be commensurate with experience. Outside the US, total compensation may need to be adjusted in accordance with legal and financial costs associated with international hiring and contracting for a US-based entity. All qualified applicants are highly encouraged to apply, and we will make every effort to be transparent about the impact of costs on potential compensation during the interview process.