Job Opportunities


Director of Operations


About Ask Big Questions
We know today, more than ever before, that the future of our democracy depends on our ability to listen to, understand, and trust people different than ourselves. That’s why Ask Big Questions seeks to build the future leaders of our communities by teaching young adults how to have conversations about vital questions across lines of difference. We partner with colleges and universities to engage young adults in reflective community conversations about purpose, identity, and responsibility. These conversations build trust, strengthen community, and deepen understanding within diversity.

About the Role
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Operations provides leadership to the ABQ staff team in scaling its impact and growing to reach 100,000 students on 100 new campuses by 2020. The Director of Operations is a new position, designed to maintain and constantly improve the functioning of a fast-paced and rapidly shifting organization; provide technical know-how, project management, and financial management expertise to our growing staff; and support the smooth development, launch, assessment, and continuous improvement of our programs. The Director of Operations will be a key partner to the Executive Director and other senior staff, ensuring excellent operations overall and enabling team members to focus on their areas of greatest strength.

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the organization.
  • Work with Executive Director to ensure that our work is aligned with our strategic priorities.
  • Help our talented staff team to work cross-functionally in order to both maintain and improve current programs, and innovate new ones.
  • Make sure we continue to be a welcoming and supportive work environment for staff, clients and other stakeholders.

Here are some more specific things you’ll do:

  • Lead the budget preparation process and manage organizational finances to maintain fiscal health. This area includes working with our program team to establish business models and prices for our products and services.
  • Ensure that our information management, communication, and other relevant systems and processes support both our fundraising and business development efforts effectively.
  • Work collaboratively with team leaders to support their management of internal team projects.
  • Develop inter-team communications, collaboration, and cohesiveness.
  • Increase efficiencies and consistency throughout the organization by implementing best practices in processes, systems, and technology.
  • As directed by the Executive Director, organize job searches, including development and posting of job descriptions, recruitment, interviewing, and hiring; conducting onboarding for new employees; addressing complaints, resolving problems; handling details of staff transitions.
  • Monitor compliance with contractual, licensing and ethical requirements related to work of ABQ.
  • Supervise our Office Administrator, interns, and other operations staff as we grow.

What To Expect From the Role


  • You will help tens of thousands of college students learn to lead more reflective conversations, and grow through constructive conflict, across their political and cultural differences.
  • You will support a talented staff team to enhance the professional development of hundreds of university faculty and staff through skills training in the methodology of Ask Big Questions.
  • Your work will result in measurable positive effects on students and campus communities.
  • You will lead a mezzanine-level startup in scaling and growing into an inspiring future.


  • You will develop your skills at managing a diverse and talented team deeply committed to its mission.
  • You will hone your ability to create value in a social startup, including sales of products and services, licensing of content, and other innovative approaches to developing a strong earned revenue stream.
  • You will deepen your capacity for designing and implementing information-management, customer-management, and financial systems.

Good Stuff 

  • You will receive generous benefits including, but not limited to, health insurance, retirement plan with employer contribution, and a robust list of holidays, vacation, and leave.
  • You will be empowered and expected to bring your best ideas to work, and to offer feedback and constructive critique.
  • You will have clear objectives, with flexibility in designing approaches to achieve them.
  • You will join a dynamic and collaborative team of exceptional professionals.

We’re Looking for Someone Who Is…

  • Jazzed by the idea of further developing organizational structures and systems for a second-stage social startup.
  • An experienced team leader and a respectful, engaged contributor to a dynamic, multi-faceted team.
  • Excited by using the DARCI or MOCHA models for project management, making pivot tables, Gantt charts, and reading HBR.
  • Experienced and confident in the areas of: business development; financial management; technology resources; systems management; and legal/contractual considerations in client-facing work.
  • Adept at managing a geographically distributed team of talented colleagues.
  • A strong written and oral communicator.
  • A strategic thinker who is able to prioritize among competing needs.
  • Committed to our mission to change the world through better conversation.

You Will Thrive In This Role If…

  • You love managing people and projects.
  • You have a sense of humor, a willingness to learn from and collaborate with colleagues, and the ability to not take yourself too seriously as you do transformative work.
  • You know how to give and receive feedback.
  • You are creative and willing to try new strategies that serve our mission and key objectives.
  • You’re a person who gets the job done.

Other Key Information

  • We will pay as competitively and generously as we can. If you’re coming from the for-profit world, you may wind up taking a pay cut. That will be more than offset by the fact that you’re doing work that our democracy and our world desperately need right now. If you’re on the fence about applying for this job because of money, send us your resume.
  • Ask Big Questions is committed to building a culturally diverse team and strongly encourages applications from minority candidates.
  • Bachelors Degree and minimum 5 years relevant experience required. MBA preferred.
  • The position must be based out of our Evanston headquarters.
  • Review of applications will begin by February 15.


Apply here.

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