What will the typical week of the new GovAI Project Manager be like?
It’s a little hard to say, because it will largely depend on who we end up hiring. Taking into account the person’s skills and interests, we will split up my current work portfolio (and maybe add some new things into the mix as well). That portfolio currently includes:
Operations: Taking care of our finances (including some grant reporting, budgeting, fundraising) and making sure we can spend our funds on what we want (e.g. setting up contracts, sorting out visas). It also includes things like setting up our new office and maintaining our website. A lot of our administrative / operations tasks are supported by central staff at FHI, which is great.
Team management: Making sure everyone on the team is doing well and helping improve their productivity. This includes organising the team meetings and events, having regular check-ins with everyone.
Recruitment: Includes taking our various hiring efforts to fruition, such as those that are currently ongoing, but also helping onboard and support folks once they join. I’ve for example spent time supervising a few of our GovAI Fellows as well as Summer Research Fellows. It also includes being on the lookout for and cultivating relationships with folks we might want to hire in the future, by bringing them over for visits, having them do talks etc.
Outreach: This can include doing talks, and organising various events. Currently we’re running a webinar series that I think the new PM would be well-suited to take over responsibility of. In the future, this could mean organising conferences as well.
Research management: This includes a lot of activities usually done in collaboration with the rest of the team, ranging from just checking in on research and making sure it’s progressing as planned, to giving in-depth feedback and steering, to deciding where and how something should be published, to in some cases co-authoring pieces. This work requires a lot of context and understanding of the field.
Policy Engagement: We’re starting to put more work into policy engagement, but it’s still in its early stages. There’s a lot of room to do more. Currently, this primarily consists of scanning for opportunities that seem particularly high value and engaging in those. In the future, I’d like us to become more proactive, e.g. defining some clear policy goals and figuring out how to increase the chance they’re realised.
Strategy: Working with Allan and the rest of the team to decide what we should be spending our time on.
I think the most likely thing is that the person will start by working on things like operations, team management, recruitment, and helping organise events. As they absorb more context and develop a better understanding of the AI governance space, they’ll take on more responsibility in other areas such as policy engagement, research management, recruitment, strategy, or other new projects we identify.