Chief Operating Officer

The role of Chief Operating Officer will be critical for the scaling and smooth running of the foundation, both now and in the years to come. We believe this marks an exciting opportunity to have a particularly large impact on the growth of this nascent field and organisation, and thus on its top priority: the benefit of all.

Deadline: 31 July 2022 23:59 UTC
Deadline: 10 July 2022 23:59 UTC

The Cooperative AI Foundation (CAIF, pronounced “safe”) is a new charitable entity whose mission is to support research that will improve the cooperative intelligence of advanced AI for the benefit of all. This mission is driven by our belief that many of the most important problems facing humanity – climate change, nuclear war, and pandemic preparedness, to name but a few – are problems of cooperation, and that AI will be increasingly important when it comes to solving (or exacerbating) such problems.

With an initial endowment of $15 million from the Center for Emerging Risk Research, our ambition is to build the nascent field of Cooperative AI, improving the ability of AI systems to engender cooperation between humans, machines, and institutions. A more detailed introduction to this field can be found in our recent Nature piece and paper on open problems in Cooperative AI.

The Role
The Organisation

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) will report only to the Executive Director (ED), working closely with them to scale and shape the foundation’s structure and processes during its first years of operation, and managing both these processes and all other staff. As such, the role will be central to CAIF’s operations, and provides an exciting opportunity to proactively shape and manage the foundation in order to maximise its impact. More concretely, the responsibilities of the COO would include:

  • Designing and implementing the internal processes required for CAIF to run smoothly and efficiently,
  • Shaping the structure and culture of the foundation, including building and managing the rest of the team,
  • Overseeing and helping to evaluate the progress of CAIF’s activities, with respect to its mission.

In the initial stages of CAIF's growth, the COO may also take on other responsibilities, including organising important events such as workshops, or creating and managing key programs such as those for PhD scholarships. With that said, we will also encourage and expect the COO to hire further staff to assist with operations as necessary. Please contact us if you have any questions about the role.

This is a full-time role. CAIF’s current staff are based in both Oxford and London, and therefore operate remotely. We anticipate that the successful candidate will also be based remotely, and place no constraints on location aside from sufficient overlap between working hours with the UK. We expect to be able to employ people in most countries, though we cannot guarantee every case in advance. We also expect to remain remote for the foreseeable future, though we are likely to be able to offer shared office space in Oxford or London with organisations in our network (such as the Centre for the Governance of AI, or the Center on Long-Term Risk).


Salaries at CAIF account for relevant experience. For this role we expect salaries offered to be between $100,000 and $120,000. Please note that these figures are implicitly formed with respect to the cost of living in Oxford, and would be increased in line with the cost of living for those based in more expensive locations. A successful candidate with less prior experience should also expect their salary to increase with time spent in the role, according to this bracket.

Due to the importance of this particular role, however, and higher salaries for similar roles in the private sector, we are open to considering a substantially higher salary range if this would impact the decision of our preferred candidate. Please contact us if uncertainty regarding compensation might prevent you from applying.

Additional benefits associated with the role include health insurance, flexible work hours, 20 weeks of paid parental leave, ergonomic equipment, 5% pension contribution, and 25 days of paid vacation.


The application deadline is the 10th of July at 23:59 UTC. Please apply using the form above. You will be asked to submit a CV and a cover letter addressing a few short questions. Further information on the details required are provided on the first page of the application form.

Candidates who succeed in passing the application review process will be invited to a short interview in the weeks following the application deadline. The next stages will consist of a short remote work test, followed by a longer interview, reference calls, and a longer, collaborative work test at the final stage. We will confirm the timeline in more detail when we reach out to schedule initial interviews, and hope to communicate final decisions by the middle of August.

We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion, and we encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. We especially encourage applications from underrepresented groups, and are an equal opportunity employer. If you have specific needs or circumstances that require accommodation, please contact us.

The ideal candidate would possess:

  • ‍Excellent organisational and project management skills
  • Ambition, motivation, and excitement with respect to CAIF's mission
  • A strong ability to manage people, with good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent day-to-day judgement in running an organisation
  • The ability to coordinate with a wide range of stakeholders, especially academia

Note that prior knowledge of Cooperative AI is not required.

Application Process