Head of Engineering


Employment Type Full time
Location Remote · USA Must be Eastern, Central, Mountain, or Pacific US time zones
Salary $182,350 (USD) 5% 401k match, insurance, FSA, HRA, generous vacation & leave
Team Engineering
Seniority Senior
  • Closing: 11:59pm, 31st Jul 2024 PDT

Job Description

iNaturalist seeks a dynamic and experienced Head of Engineering to join our leadership team. This important role will report directly to the Executive Director and will be pivotal in shaping the future of iNaturalist. The ideal candidate will possess a blend of strategic vision, technical expertise, and team leadership skills to effectively lead our engineering team.

About iNaturalist

iNaturalist is the leading biodiversity platform on the planet where millions of community scientists, supported by a vast network of expert naturalists, crowdsource one of the world's largest biodiversity databases. With 4 million monthly active users and 400 thousand monthly active contributors, each month iNaturalist generates over 6 million observations of over 100 thousand distinct species. The iNaturalist database is the backbone of conservation science, supports a global network of stewards, and motivates a movement of nature advocates. Launched in 2008 and operating as a nonprofit committed to open data, iNaturalist is at the forefront of combining crowdsourcing and AI models to further our mission. 

iNaturalist's vision is a world where everyone can understand and sustain biodiversity through the practice of observing wild organisms and sharing information about them. We are an independent 501(c)3 non-profit. 


Organizational Leadership

  • Strategic Planning: Collaborate with the Executive Director, Head of Engagement, and Head of Development to develop and execute organizational strategies, goals, and operating plans.

  • Goal Setting: Contribute to setting and achieving goals that focus on expanding iNaturalist’s impact on biodiversity, growing the community, enhancing the product, building organizational capacity, and ensuring sustainability.

  • Cross-functional Collaboration: Foster a collaborative environment across all departments to ensure alignment and integration of efforts towards common goals.

Engineering Team Leadership

  • Team Leadership: Cultivate a culture of high performance coupled with a celebration of achievement within the engineering team. Develop career paths, conduct performance reviews, and manage recruitment and hiring processes.

  • Technical Oversight: Overseeing a team of 10 engineers, designers, and project managers involved in mobile and web interfaces, database systems, AI models, and backend operations.

  • Workflow: Coordinate and streamline the management of engineering projects, timelines, and launches. Ensure timely delivery of high-quality products.

Experience and Qualifications
  • Management Experience: Extensive experience managing and growing a team of 10+ engineers. Experience managing in a remote environment and experience with open source projects.

  • Technical Expertise: Experience with the following technologies: mobile and web development, database management, AI, and backend operations and software development processes including systems architecture, software design, and testing that cover all phases of traditional software development lifecycle. Experience with agile/scrum, cloud deployments, and managing major vendor relationships (e.g. Google, Azure, Apple)

  • Collaborative Spirit: Excellent communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to work effectively across departments and with diverse stakeholders.

  • Passion for Nature: A strong commitment to nature and technology as well as an interest in science and conservation.

Why Join Us?
  • Impact: Play a pivotal role in a mission-driven organization dedicated to biodiversity conservation and community engagement.

  • Innovation: Leading a team of developers building cutting-edge technology that empowers millions of people to make a positive impact on nature.

  • Growth: Be part of a growing organization with opportunities for personal and professional development.

If you are passionate about biodiversity, technology, and leading talented teams to achieve meaningful impact, we encourage you to apply for this exciting opportunity.

Compensation and Benefits

Why it’s Great to work at iNaturalist 

 A mission that matters. 

With species going extinct daily, the need to protect and document biodiversity has never been more essential. iNaturalist has become the go-to data source to measure biodiversity conservation and protection. 

A great team.

Smart, hard-working nature lovers make up our small team. We live in countries all over the world but come together each day to further our mission. For this position, to facilitate collaboration across time zones, we require that you be a resident of and eligible to work in the lower 48 states (i.e., not Alaska or Hawaii). 

Flexible work. 

We are a virtual team, and most of this position’s work can be performed from home or wherever you are comfortable. You’ll even get some funds to set up your office and a monthly stipend to defray some of the costs. Some travel to meetings and events will  be required. 

Competitive pay.

The salary for this full-time position is $182,350 per year, non-negotiable. 

Great benefits.

We offer a pretty awesome benefits package, including medical, dental, vision and life insurance, plus an employer-funded health reimbursement account and employee-funded flexible spending accounts. There is a 401k plan with a 5% match. This position is eligible for unlimited personal time off, and unlike some tech companies, we really mean it – everyone is expected to take a minimum of three weeks a year off. Eligible new parents get up to 12 weeks of paid leave and an additional 18 of unpaid. 

Application process

Instead of a cover letter, we will ask you to answer two questions that will be reviewed (by real people, not AI) and assessed separately from each other, your resume, and your name. The hiring team will review your answers and resume in a batch of answers and resumes from other candidates in randomized orders. Randomization and anonymization of each element in the initial review process minimizes bias.

Applied asks for your demographic information, but we never see it in association with you—only summarized in aggregate. We use it to assess the overall demographics of the candidate pool.

After initial review of applications on a rolling basis, advancing candidates will be asked to answer a few more questions within one week. 

Process Summary:

  • Application (July)

  • Written follow up (July/Aug)

  • First round interview (Aug)

  • Second round interview (Aug)

  • Offer (Sept)

  • Ideal start date: October 1

Removing bias from the hiring process

Start your de-biased application


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Start your de-biased application