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Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Executive Director

About Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) sits at the nexus of participatory mapping, community-led development, humanitarian response, open data, and technology. With a talented and diverse team spread around the globe, they are a values-based organization in the midst of a period of significant growth in a rapidly evolving environment. They support a dynamic global community of thousands of dedicated volunteers using maps and open data for humanitarian response and the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2020, the work of the HOT community was recognized by TED’s Audacious Project, a collaborative philanthropic initiative that serves as a springboard for social impact on a grand scale, leading to an exciting new phase of growth. HOT has been expanding its activities by opening four regional hubs in Asia Pacific, West & Northern Africa, East & Southern Africa, and most recently in Latin America and the Caribbean. Through their Regional Hubs, HOT works in 94 priority countries globally. HOT has an ambitious goal of mapping an area home to one billion people who are living under multidimensional poverty and high risk of disasters.

HOT’s recently launched Living Strategy articulates the role they want to play in the future and how they want to get there. They see themselves as a catalyst, using their position and influence as a vocal and visible advocate for locally-led social change, bridging emerging approaches and learnings from communities with established open technology and open mapping practices and players. 

The values that underpin and shape their work and approach are: 

  • Put people first
  • Collaborate for impact
  • Work in the open
  • Build for inclusivity

About the Role

The Executive Director drives forward HOT’s Living Strategy and will lead the organization to improve the well-being of people and the health of our planet by growing and sustaining the open mapping movement. Under the direction of the Executive Director, HOT will work towards a vision of a world where community needs are addressed through mapping; everyone can access and contribute to the map; and open map data is available and used for impact.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides visionary and inspirational direction within a distributed leadership model to:

  • articulate and amplify HOT’s vision, core values, and culture across the organization;
  • secure and provide resources needed to operate and achieve their mission;
  • ensure accountability to the communities they work with;
  • ensure the needs of communities, their local knowledge and contributions are part of the decision-making process;
  • develop systems and practices that address the interplay between innovation, failing, and learning; 
  • ensure diversity, inclusion, equity, and transparency are at the forefront of HOT’s work;
  • build, empower, and motivate high-performing teams.

The Executive Director develops and manages strategic high-level partnerships and collaborations. They will drive the expansion of their reach and influence across the global humanitarian and development landscape to be able to strengthen the vibrant open mapping community and advocate for emerging approaches and learnings from communities in addition to establishing mapping models and practices. 

About You

As the next Executive Director, you will have deep leadership experience in humanitarian action and/or community development with a strong passion for open data and technology, and you appreciate the dynamic relationship between these sectors.

As a strategic and analytical thinker who does not shy away from challenging existing global paradigms and structures, you will hold different perspectives while collaborating to create even better solutions. You see the world as full of possibilities, make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings. You are open-minded, committed to experimentation, an iterative mindset, and constant learning as key ingredients for building sustainable solutions and achieving the desired outcomes. You are willing to cede power to those most closely aligned with local challenges and solutions while still being able to lead, nurture and direct confidently. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership and Culture

  • In collaboration with the Deputy Executive Director and the leadership team, lead the execution of HOT’s Living Strategy, monitoring progress against strategic goals, and define and evolve the organizational strategy in the short and long term;
  • Support and guide the collaborative and interconnected leadership of programs, innovations, communications, philanthropic partnerships, and operations;
  • Identify and monitor new challenges and risks for HOT, leading and coordinating the organization’s response and flexible approaches to rapidly changing circumstances;
  • Maintain the organization’s leadership in connecting and supporting social change leaders with tools, practices, and models;
  • Work closely with the board on strategic issues and leverage board expertise;
  • Be instrumental in shaping organizational culture, helping to sustain a healthy, open, and inclusive person-centered culture for the global organization.
  • Be an example of an enabler leader with a strong focus on team and community empowerment, recognizing others’ leadership roles at all levels. 

Community-led Partnerships 

  • Exhibit deep trust in and respect for grassroots partnerships through listening, learning, and elevating partners’ experiences and stories; 
  • Work in collaboration with HOT’s Deputy Executive Director and Regional Directors to oversee and sustain ongoing responsibility for key program initiatives and major cross-program initiatives that promote the leadership of grassroots organizations;
  • Support the design and leadership of new programs and sector-level collaborations, leading them through the development and launch phases, engaging current staff and recruiting new staff, consultants, and partners as needed.

Philanthropy & External Relations 

  • Maintain and nurture existing donor and investor relationships in collaboration with the Director of Philanthropy & External Relations;
  • Lead the growth of new donor and partner relationships to diversify the organization’s income streams and accelerate its visibility in the sector;
  • Raise at least USD $10M in annual funds;
  • Guide the growth and promotion of the regional hubs and impact areas funds in collaboration with the Director of Philanthropy and Regional Directors;
  • Act as HOT’s key spokesperson at external meetings and conferences to develop philanthropic and programmatic opportunities to experiment, collaborate, learn, and innovate;

Financial and Organizational Stewardship 

  • With the board, ensure strong governance and effective strategic and financial planning that reflects the organization’s mission, vision, and values;
  • With the Senior Director of Operations, build robust financial and operational structures that strengthen the experiences of partners, staff, and donors through diligent, efficient, and effective management of resources and relationships;
  • With the senior management team, lead and model organization-wide excellence in operations and programs and strategize the organization’s financial growth as it relates to the Living Strategy;
  • Spearhead financial growth and program innovation and lead the development and execution of major initiatives and partnerships;
  • Participate in organization-wide learning, and guide organizational culture as it manifests in hiring,  employment policies and implementation, professional development, team building, cross-program partnership, and administrative efficiency. 

Skills and Experience

The successful candidate will demonstrate: 

  • Exposure to diverse organizations at different growth stages;
  • Deep understanding of challenges associated with the development and humanitarian work in HOT´s priority countries. Knowledge of and enthusiasm in applying digital technologies in addressing those challenges;
  • Experience overseeing and leading teams through changes and development;
  • Track record of leading organizations to scale their impact by empowering local and regional leadership;
  • Experience leading with a coaching approach, empowering team members and asking the right questions to provide tailored support;
  • Track record of initiating, building, and managing successful win-win relationships with diverse stakeholders;
  • Proven experience and aptitude in leading programs that advance community self-determination,  organizational resilience, and social justice;
  • Cultural and ecological competence, respect for grassroots-led practices, and pedagogies of community organizing;
  • Excellent listening, public speaking, relationship-building, and decision-making skills;
  • Cultural competency, with the ability to inspire and motivate a multi-generational, multi-ethnic,  international team;
  • Accountability, with a high degree of emotional intelligence and self-awareness;
  • Creativity, with the passion and fervor to consider and create new paradigms;  
  • Humility, with an eager willingness to study and learn from models outside of the United States and Europe;
  • A commitment to continuous learning and reflection;
  • Alignment with HOT’s core values and proven commitment to and deep understanding of the mission and vision of the organization;


  • Experience managing a distributed leadership team and virtual workforce;
  • Significant skills and aptitude in philanthropic partnerships, including foundation and high-net-worth giving;
  • Policy, decision and/or direct experience working with community-based initiatives in Africa, Asia, and/or Latin America;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, live out a vision, and establish and execute plans to achieve the mission;
  • At least ten years of professional experience, including a leadership role and significant supervisory experience in geospatial mapping, technology, humanitarian response, philanthropy, social justice, and/or public sector experience;
  • An educational background, professional experience, and knowledge of at least one of the organization’s impact areas: disasters and climate resilience, public health, sustainable cities and communities, displacement and safe migration, and gender equality;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including well-developed public speaking and creative writing skills;
  • Proven organizational skills and the ability to manage competing deadlines;
  • The ability to support the board leadership in building a diverse membership that is representative of the community and is highly engaged at the strategy and governance levels and willing to leverage and secure resources;
  • Proven track record of challenging paradigms and reimagining systems;
  • A social justice, gender equality, and anti-racism lens;
  • Understanding of Open Data or Open Source technology is an advantage.

Compensation and benefits

HOT values transparency and equity. All HOT compensation globally is set according to a framework detailed on their website. HOT offers a work-from-anywhere culture, flexible working arrangements, and various other benefits that support staff well-being:

  • Fully remote & flexible work arrangements
  • Flexible public holidays
  • Paid time off
  • Home Office Allowance
  • Healthy Staff allowance or group plan
  • Learning & Development Opportunities
  • Book Stipend
  • Access to a Coaching Program and counseling services
  • Collaborating with a fast-growing, dedicated team who values humanitarianism, free, open-source, and accessible data
  • HOT is currently piloting a 4-day work week trial; a permanent shift will be determined in Q2 of 2023

Equal Opportunity

HOT seeks to recruit persons that reflect the diversity of the communities they work with. HOT does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, physical ability, religious or belief systems, political convictions, or sexual orientation. HOT also seeks to support the development and advancement of staff within the organization. Their staff includes people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, lived experiences, and perspectives on the world. HOT is an equal-opportunity employer. They seek to live their values and promote inclusivity in all locations. All of their staff work collectively and individually to promote a constructive and sensitive approach to others from a variety of backgrounds, where the work of all is valued and respected.

HOT is committed to diversity within their team, and recognizes their role in closing the digital divide, including identifying obstacles that certain groups face in developing skills needed for roles in the humanitarian & technology sectors. Women, nationals of developing countries, and members of other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.