A just and equitable world where communities and ecosystems can thrive is possible. But social injustice, democratic backsliding, and the climate crisis threaten us all. The courageous people and communities daring to speak out face attacks and reprisals from powerful vested interests. Many pay the ultimate price.
Open Briefing is a vital part of the response. We build resistance and resilience among the people and communities challenging power. And we are answering more calls for assistance across more countries than ever before. Last year, our international team provided over 4,500 hours of direct support to activists and advocates under threat of physical, digital, and psychological harm across 93 countries.
Alongside this local support, we provide consultancy and advisory to help nonprofits and foundations supporting and resourcing grassroots change to take the right risks. We ensure that these international partners are equipped and empowered by enhancing their risk management, data protection, and staff care. Our work in this area frequently involves being both a trusted ally and a critical friend.
Our team protects many high-profile activists and well-known organisations. But much of our work is behind the scenes, with ordinary people and communities who are targeted for challenging power. For 12 years, we have worked together towards a better future. And we are just getting started. We are expanding our diverse, inspired, and purpose-driven team; will you join us as our new director of digital and information security?
As our director of digital and information security, you will lead our digital and information security team and workstream in order to help build resistance and resilience among the people and communities challenging power. Your primary focus in this senior role will be on leadership, strategy, growth, and culture. Your responsibilities will include:
Lead our digital and information security workstream
- Coordinate the design and delivery of digital and information security mentoring and remote accompaniment to at-risk activists and low-resource civil society organisations referred for support through our rapid response mechanism.
- Coordinate the design and delivery of professional digital and information security consultancy and advisory services to high-impact nonprofit and foundation clients supporting and resourcing grassroots change.
- Lead a team of digital and information security consultants and trainers, including:
- Build and maintain an effective team and recruit, onboard, and mentor new consultants as required to meet increased demand or to fill gaps.
- Inspire and motivate the team members and foster a team culture that reflects our organisation’s values and culture.
- Quality assure and provide expert input into the work of consultants in the team as appropriate.
- Review and approve consultant invoices and timesheets, update our project management system, and conduct annual reviews of team members.
- Produce tools, guides, and articles on key digital and information security issues of concern to activists and organisations at risk.
Champion our own digital and information security
- Maintain an up-to-date registry of our valuable and sensitive information assets and the technical and organisational measures in place to protect them.
- Define, prioritise, and implement additional technical and organisational measures to better protect each of our valuable and sensitive information assets.
- Continuously improve the digital hygiene of our team members and the security of our devices, accounts, communications, and website by introducing additional general measures, including training.
- Respond to requests for IT and digital security support from our team members.
- Coordinate our response to any data breach or security incident involving our information assets, devices, accounts, communications, or website.
Shape our organisational strategy and culture
- Play an active role in strategic decision making and delivering our three-year strategy as part of our senior management team.
- Ensure the smooth delivery of holistic security contracts and cases as part of our cross-workstream working group.
- Actively participate in one or more other working groups as appropriate, including people operations and human resources; budget and finance; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning (MEAL); and climate action.
- Raise Open Briefing’s profile by representing the organisation externally, including at conferences and events and within relevant networks, and support our CEO and development director to manage and cultivate new and existing partnerships.
- Model our organisation’s values and culture by using inclusive language, empathy, and a solution-focussed mindset in your interactions with all our stakeholders.
Advance your own growth and development
- Engage in our programme of training, coaching, and mentoring in order to grow as a leader and foster a growth mindset.
- Remain up to date with key developments in digital and information security, such as data protection regulations, digital rights, internet freedom, the capabilities of threat actors, and new surveillance and censorship technologies.
You will be properly onboarded and there will be a full handover with our current director of digital and information security. You will be supported in your role by an office manager, fellow directors, and a CEO who believes in character-based and servant leadership. We also have an extensive internal knowledge base and an up-to-date project management system. To help you grow as a leader, we will co-design your quarterly objectives, regularly review your priorities and progress, and provide an annual 360 performance review. Your early priorities once onboarded will include:
- Recruit and onboard 1-2 multilingual digital and information security consultants.
- Prepare the digital and information security team to again accept referrals through our rapid response mechanism for organisations and activists at risk.
- Specify a number of innovative digital and information security consultancy services and trainings and promote them to our nonprofit and foundation clients.
- Review our information registry and define, prioritise, and schedule the roll out of additional specific and general security measures.
- You will be an experienced and empathetic leader or manager who values collaboration and teamwork.
- You will have a proven track record in digital and information security roles.
- You will have experience of working with grassroots movements, organisations, and activists and/or international nonprofits and foundations.
- You will have considerable digital and information security expertise and be able to communicate and apply that knowledge clearly, concisely, and effectively.
- You will be sensitive to the progressive and rights-based missions and diverse profiles of our clients and other stakeholders.
- You will have excellent written and spoken English.
- You may have a strong understanding of the physical security and psychosocial aspects of holistic security and how they interact with digital and information security.
- You may have experience of working in consultancy, customer service, sales, or other customer-facing roles.
- You may have excellent written and spoken French, Spanish, Portuguese, or Arabic.
- You may be based in a country with a time zone that is UTC +/- 3 hours.
Terms and conditions
We are remote first and digital-nomad friendly. We encourage flexible working. This is a home-working role. We are looking for someone who wants to become part of our close-knit team and develop a long-term working relationship with us and our clients. You will be properly onboarded and continually supported by empowering managers and highly-experienced colleagues. Your line manager will be our CEO, Chris Abbott.
This is a full-time, employed role. We offer a remuneration package made up of fair pay, sector-leading benefits, and progressive leave policies, including:
- Salary of £70,000 per annum.
- 7% employer pension contribution.
- Family private medical insurance.
- Employee Assistance Programme, including welfare counselling
- 25 days annual leave plus local public holidays.
- Up to three additional leave days for annual closedown.
- Enhanced sick leave.
- Support for climate action:
- Personal carbon emissions offset.
- Up to two additional leave days for sustainable travel.
- Up to two additional leave days for climate activism.
- Flexible working.
- Coworking space.
- Apple MacBook Air and peripherals.
In order to ensure that we comply with local laws and regulations, Open Briefing staff based outside the United Kingdom are contracted locally through an employer of record (EOR). Wherever possible, we apply the same terms and conditions of employment to all staff, whether employed directly or through an EOR. Where there are differences due to local laws and regulations, we will apply the better of the provisions set out above or the local statutory requirements.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Open Briefing values diversity. We are committed to being equitable and inclusive, and to being a place where all can be their authentic selves. We therefore encourage applications from all who may meet the person specification and particularly from candidates who are from historically-marginalised groups that are underrecognised in our team. This currently includes Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour; people from countries in the global majority; and women and/or non-binary people. Please read our diversity, equity, and inclusion policy for more information.
Open Briefing is neuroinclusive, positive about mental health, and a Disability Confident Employer. We welcome applications from all candidates who meet the person specification. Please let us know in your cover letter how we can be the recruiter and employer that you need us to be.
We follow the gender pay gap reporting guidance from the UK government. This reveals that women currently have higher average pay than men in our organisation. The pay ratio in our organisation is currently 2.4 : 1. We have checked the text of this advert using the Gender Decoder tool.
How to apply
To apply, please email your CV to our office manager, Lauren Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also include a cover letter of no more than two pages setting out:
- What excites you about Open Briefing and the role of director of digital and information security.
- How you meet the advertised person specification.
- A project in which you went beyond technical measures and implemented organisational measures (i.e. policies and practices) to better protect sensitive information.
Please note the following dates:
- Closing date: 09:00 UTC, Monday 12 February 2024.
- First round interviews: 19-21 February 2024
- Second round interviews: 23 February 2024.
The successful applicant will need to complete a reasonable vetting process before engagement.