Director of Product

  • The Future Company
  • New York, NY 10003, USA
Full time Design Executive Management Other

Job Description

The National Innovation Service (NIS) partners with governments across the country to engage in systems-level transformations. We do this by creating collaborative coalitions between communities, public sector partners, and other relevant stakeholders to redesign systems with those most impacted at the center of decision-making processes. Our work is to build new systems that produce equitable outcomes.

Our team draws on a variety of disciplines and experiences to deliver this work, privileging direct experience of the problems we address and merging practices from service design, policy analysis, systems thinking, community organizing, and change management. We develop strategies and roadmaps for transformation and also remain committed partners throughout implementation. As we establish and test pathways forward with our partners, we are working to advance equity-based policy and legislation at the local, state, and national levels, as well as the development of new products and services.

NIS was officially incorporated in February 2019. Our first partnership was with King County and the City of Seattle in Fall 2018. For more details, click here. We’re seeking leaders with an all-hands-on-deck mentality to build our team from the ground up.

NIS is supported by The Future Company, a startup studio based in New York City.

We strive to attract and develop individuals who reflect a broad spectrum of diversity, including (but by no means limited to) racial, ethnic, gender identity, and socioeconomic dimensions. We believe that inclusion of diverse perspectives is essential to achieving long-term, systemic change. We explicitly seek applications from those who self-identify as coming from historically marginalized populations to enrich and elevate our equity-centered approach to problem-solving.

The Director of Product of the National Innovation Service will have the fluency to translate between the policy space and the tech space seamlessly. They understand the opportunities that technology presents, and relish the opportunity to build products, and the team that will produce them, from scratch in service of the public good. Because NIS is in its founding stage, each member of the team will also be expected to seek out revenue opportunities and build out strong high-level, high-visibility relationships.

We encourage you to apply if you believe your skills and experience align with the role described below, as there are many different backgrounds, industries, and lived experiences—including, but not limited to, experiences of economic insecurity, housing instability and homelessness, and mental health challenges—that give rise to ideal candidates.

As our Director of Product of NIS, you will be accountable for…
Product Development
  • Leading all stages  of the product life cycle, from solution identification to design, development, and implementation.
  • Developing and maintaining a product roadmap, while helping the team prioritize.
  • Ensuring that products meet high standards for usability, visual design, voice, and tone.
  • Stewarding forward a product vision while scanning the market for new product opportunities.
  • Building a team of engineers and designers to deliver outstanding product.
  • Building strong relationships with employees and supporting their progress, resolving issues as needed.
  • Engaging with the national technology community; to collaborate with and learn from other tech leaders who share a common vision of opportunity and equity.
  • Representing NIS to partners, funders, at public meetings, in the media, etc.
Strong candidates may...
  • Come from backgrounds in product development and/or civic technology departments in (or in partnership with) the public sector.
  • Have built out product development teams.
  • Have an extensive knowledge of the growing civic technology field.

We're looking for someone who...
  • Technical and Design Fluency: Has a comprehensive understanding of technology/design principles and strong familiarity with the technology/design world. While deep full-stack technical expertise is not required, their technical understanding should command the respect of a talented team, including designers and technologists across the organization, stakeholders, and partners.
  • Process Design: Has iterative design experience while working under agile and lean circumstances. Understands the interface between tech and user experience and has experience with structure and gate development.
  • Equity: Is deeply fluent in equity concepts and language, understands their own privilege and power, and is able to bring equity impact analysis to life in the context of their tasks.
  • Flexibility: Approaches work with a spirit of “yes” and pushes through obstacles and ambiguity, adapting quickly to changing situations while effectively juggling shifting priorities that are characteristic of early-stage startups.
  • Team Development: Understands that NIS is a new organization, and sees their job as building the team and supporting its growth, anticipating scaling problems and course-correcting when needed.
  • 100% Follow-through: Cares deeply about getting results, stays on top of all specific tasks/follow-up items, and consistently meets deadlines.

This role requires the willingness and ability to travel up to 30-50%, dependent on project work, to conduct meetings with leaders in the space, represent NIS, and lead project teams as needed.
Salary for this position is competitive. Additionally, we offer a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to medical, dental, vision, and generous Paid Time Off.
We look forward to having our Director of Product join us by March 2019.

The National Innovation Service is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and will not discriminate against an applicant or employee based on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, alienage or citizenship status, ancestry, nationality, national origin, marital or domestic partnership or civil union status, familial status, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, The National Innovation Service will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.