TED Prize

SETI Institute is hiring: Become the project manager for Jill Tarter's TED Prize wish

Posted by: Emily McManus

This spring, astronomer Jill Tarter made a far-reaching TED Prize wish — to search for signs of intelligent life on other planets.

As part of making this wish come true, the SETI Institute is looking to hire a project manager with the experience, qualifications and energy to run the TED Prize wish project for at least two years. For the full job description and contact info, read on.

This is a unique opportunity to work in both open-source software and social media, on a project whose ramifications are literally beyond global.

Watch Jill Tarter’s TED Prize wish to get inspired:

We are seeking someone with deep experience in managing open-source software projects and the communities that power them to drive a bold and agenda-setting initiative. The initiative will involve managing a traditional open-source software project, as well as a complex public-facing system that will enlist the general/nontechnical public’s assistance in conducting our search. To succeed, a candidate above all needs a history of success in managing major open-source projects. While it’s not essential that this person be a coding engineer, it is essential that s/he be comfortable enough with C++ code to have technically meaningful interactions with committers and the broader open-source community. It’s also essential that s/he be a strong evangelist — able to speak inspiringly in public, and to energize, recruit and maintain engagement with key influencers in the open source coding world.

The other part of the job will be governing a project that will in many ways resemble Galaxy Zoo (an intriguing “citizen scientist” system). This will involve managing a respected Web development company as it creates the site, and thereafter overseeing/”gardening” a large community of nontechnical contributors. We expect this community to be self-policing and self-monitoring, like Wikipedia’s editorial community. But it will need leadership and a baseline architecture, and our hire will be responsible for delivering this.

This is a unique opportunity to work in both open-source software and social media, on a project whose ramifications are literally beyond global.

This will be a full-time role at the SETI Institute for two years, funded by the money TED has allocated toward granting Jill’s wish. However, because this is a TED Prize wish, one in which many people and individuals are giving a lot to make happen, we do hope to find someone who will do this at a reduced rate. We have a large brainstorm taking place on June 1 and would love to have the right person chosen and at the table for that meeting.

Please send a resume and cover letter to tedprize1@ted.com if you are interested in the position.

And please forward this opportunity on to anyone you believe possess the right skills!