Director of Business Operations






$135,000 to $150,000

/ Yearly


Mar 16, 2023

About Activate Global 

Activate empowers scientists to reinvent our world and address climate change by bringing their research to market. We partner with leading funders and research institutions—including a groundbreaking new partnership with the National Science Foundation—to offer the Activate Fellowship, providing the funding, technical support, networking, community, and time that scientists need at the outset of their entrepreneurial journey. 

The results are game changing: Activate Fellows have launched 106 new companies since 2015. These companies have raised more than $1.3B in follow-on funding, created more than 1,200 U.S.-based high-tech jobs, reached scientific breakthroughs, and defined new market categories. Activate supports fellows in Berkeley, CA; Cambridge, MA; New York, NY; and across the U.S. through Activate Anywhere.

Activate exists to create a better future, for all. In service of this purpose, we are building a foundation of equity and inclusivity across our business, including our operations, our fellowship, our partnerships, and our brand.

The Opportunity 

Activate has expanded from 2 to 4 geographies in the past year, doubling our Fellows cohort. By 2026, we will reach 8 Activate communities and 100 new Activate Fellows each year. As we prepare for this rapid growth, we seek a self-motivated leader with exceptional analytical, interpersonal, and project management capabilities to partner with Activate’s COO to build out the operational foundations for excellence at scale. The ideal candidate will work closely with stakeholders across the organization to define and drive the evolution of Activate’s internal tools and business processes. Our new Director of Business Operations will report directly to the COO, serving as an internal change leader. They will manage one direct report, an IT Systems Administrator, and will work closely with Activate’s technology team, a Data Solutions Architect, and a Data Solutions Engineer.  

Key Responsibilities 

Strategic Leadership 

  • Develop, recommend, and lead the adoption of best practices that accelerate our path to scale, strengthen organizational efficiency, and increase coordination across departments
  • Lead the cross-functional process to define metrics and develop organizational dashboards to streamline external reporting and increase internal visibility for key business and impact drivers
  • Analyze current capabilities and gaps to plan for systems and process changes that facilitate growth while maintaining operational excellence 
  • Lead transition to new technology systems, e.g. CRM, ensuring that the right stakeholders are engaged in software selection and implementation
  • Manage priorities of the technology team (Systems Administrator, Data Solutions Architect, Data Solutions Engineer) and manage external technology resources. Lead cross-functional prioritization process for technology projects, drive adoption of new internal tools, and create documentation

Operational Leadership 

  • Manage annual planning and goal setting to advance our strategic plan
  • Drive measurable progress on goals, and coordinate resource planning and prioritization
  • Proactively identify systems-focused solutions to the challenges of organizational growth 
  • Evaluate and oversee third-party vendors across operations, systems, and administration
  • Lead roll-out of new Hubspot CRM, coordinating with our database architect and key stakeholders to test the system after implementation. Design the launch and training for the team, and provide ongoing support for strong adoption across Activate
  • Own Activate Wiki on Notion. Facilitate the creation and maintenance of internal resources on the wiki.
  • Write documentation and training resources for internal tools at Activate
  • Support risk management and compliance processes and projects as needed

Team Leadership 

  • Mentor and motivate technology team, vendors, and consultants with clarity on successful project outcomes and consistent support and feedback
  • Model and promote successful norms of cross-functional team leadership—listening, motivating, influencing, and negotiating—to achieve ambitious goals 
  • Partner with technology team personnel to scope projects, define priorities, and communicate progress against a technology roadmap
  • Support internal communications and change management, in collaboration with the People & Culture team and the COO

Our Ideal Candidate

  • 7+ years of operations experience, including a successful track record of leading cross-functional project teams in tech-forward, growing organizations
  • Demonstrated experience using analytical skills to advance data-driven, solutions-focused approaches when problem solving 
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, including the ability to embrace uncertainty and ambiguity. Passion for continuous improvement
  • Experience leading people through complex projects to concrete results without direct reporting authority. Outstanding communication and stakeholder management skills.
  • Hands-on builder willing to dive into creating dashboards, wikis, and other tools and documentation. 
  • Excellent communicator in a variety of settings and modes (leading meetings, 1:1, developing written resources
  • Adept with new technologies and able to support teammates in adopting new tools 
  • Flexibility, humility, and sense of humor
  • Cooperative leadership style with ability to maintain a neutral, facilitative perspective
  • Demonstrates accountability in meeting deadlines, advancing stakeholder conversations, and driving forward decisions 
  • Flexibility and initiative, as well as the ability to work independently
  • Willingness to travel to Activate’s offices and Activate Fellows program events, as needed
  • Ability to connect with diverse people and personalities, including a demonstrated commitment to DEIB
  • Belief in the power of science innovation to combat climate change and create a sustainable, resilient, equitable global economy

Our Team: Culture and Benefits

Activate’s culture is built around the following values:

  • We put people first through mutual support, respect, and continuous improvement
  • We live in trust, acting with authenticity, integrity, and a presumption of good intention 
  • We appreciate experimentation, using data to improve, and accepting that failure and discomfort are necessary for growth
  • We create value through connection and building community
  • We are guided by intention and are purpose-driven to improve society

This is a highly flexible, remote role. In-person presence is not required. We have offices in Berkeley, CA, Cambridge, MA, and New York, NY that are available for in-person work based on the employee’s preference. The salary range for this role is budgeted at $135,000 to $150,000. We offer a generous bonus structure and a comprehensive benefits package that includes professional development, $2,000 in annual wellness funds, unlimited paid time off, 90% paid healthcare premiums for employee and dependents, and the opportunity to join a retirement plan with a 3% match after one year of employment. 

Encouraging Applications from All Backgrounds 

We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. We will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics. Activate Global, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Job Location

-Remote, California, Massachusetts, New York, Texas

Job Industry

Environmental/Animal Welfare

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