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Edit: We have extended the deadline to June 4th and reduced our expected time requirement.


We’re looking for nominations to the boards of trustees of Effective Ventures Foundation (UK) (“EV UK”) and Effective Ventures Foundation USA, Inc. (“EV US”). If you or someone you know might be interested, please fill out one of these forms [applynominate someone]. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis, with a deadline of June 4th.

EV UK and EV US work together to host and fiscally sponsor many key projects in effective altruism, including the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA), 80,000 Hours, Giving What We Can, and EA Funds.[1] You can read more about the structure of the organisations in this post.

The current trustees of EV UK are Claire Zabel, Nick Beckstead, Tasha McCauley, and Will MacAskill. The current trustees of EV US are Eli Rose, Nick Beckstead, Nicole Ross, and Zachary Robinson.

Who are we looking for?

We’re particularly looking for people who:

  • Have a good understanding of effective altruism and/or longtermism 
  • Have a track record of integrity and good judgement, and who more broadly embody these guiding principles of effective altruism
  • Have experience in one or more of the following areas:
    • Accounting, law, finance or risk management
    • Management or other senior role in a large organisation, especially a non-profit
  • Are able to work collaboratively in a high-pressure environment

We think the role will require significant time and attention, though we expect it to vary depending on the needs of the organisation. Trustees should be ready to commit ~2-3hrs/wk to the role on a regular basis, though they should also be prepared to scale up their involvement from time to time in the case of urgent decisions requiring board response.

We especially encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply, and we especially encourage applications from people of colour, self-identified women, and non-binary individuals who are excited about contributing to our mission. 

The role is currently unpaid, but we are investigating whether this can and should be changed. We will share here if we change this policy while the application is still open. 

The role is remote, though we strongly prefer someone who is able to make meetings in times that are reasonable hours in both the UK and California. 

What does an EV UK or EV US trustee do?

As a member of either of the boards, you have ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the charity of which you are a trustee fulfils its charitable objectives as best it can. In practice, most strategic and programmatic decision-making is delegated to the ED / CEOs of the projects, or to the Interim CEO of the relevant entity. (This general board philosophy is in accordance with the thoughts expressed in this post by Holden Karnofsky.)

During business as usual times, we expect the primary activities of a trustee to be:

  • Assessing the performance of EDs / CEOs of the fiscally sponsored projects, and the (interim) CEO of the relevant entity.
  • Appointing EDs / CEOs of the fiscally sponsored projects, or the (interim) CEO of the relevant entity, in case of change.
  • Evaluating and deciding on high-level issues that impact the relevant organisation as a whole.
  • Reviewing budgets and broad strategic plans for the relevant organisation.
  • Evaluating the performance of the board and whether its composition could be improved (e.g. by adding in a trustee with underrepresented skills or experiences).

However, since the bankruptcy of FTX in November last year, the boards have been a lot more involved than usual. This is partly because there have been many more decisions which have to be coordinated at an entity level, rather than at the project level. It is also because there are important questions around how the two charities and their projects have been affected and what changes should follow. 

As such, we expect that the role for incoming trustees will be more involved than typical nonprofit board positions for at least the coming months, with particular focus on governance and high-level direction-setting for each organisation.

Why should you apply?

It’s a pivotal time at EV UK and EV US: Many of the issues the boards need to consider in the coming year will have long-lasting effects. These decisions will include major issues concerning the structure of both entities, the boards, and their projects. 

This means that as a trustee, you have the potential to make a major impact on the charity which you are a part of and thus on EA as a whole.

How can you apply or nominate someone? 

If you or someone you know would like to sit on the EV UK or EV US board of trustees, please fill out one of these forms [applynominate someone]. Applications will close on June 4th and will be assessed on a rolling basis. 

Following the initial application, we expect successful candidates to go through ~2 interviews with current trustees and a series of background and reference checks, though this may vary in particular cases. We may also add a work test or other additional steps if we feel it's necessary to select the best candidate, though we don’t currently plan to.  

  1. ^

     EV UK and EV US were previously known as CEA and CEA (US) respectively. This was changed to avoid confusion with the project that goes by the same name. EV UK and EV US work closely together, but they have their own separate boards. 

Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

A huge thank you to Zach and the EV UK & US executive teams & boards for your dedication to building robust governance at EV! It's truly fantastic to see an open application process for new board members. As someone who has had excellent experiences with open rounds in the past, I can attest to their value in surfacing a diverse range of talented candidates who might not otherwise be considered.

I'm thrilled to support the search for exceptional board members and am eager to collaborate with the new trustees to advance our shared goals at Giving What We Can. I'll definitely dedicate some time to considering potential nominations, and I encourage everyone in our community to do the same. Investing time in this process could have an incredible impact.

Could you please clarify if there are any constraints we should be mindful of when nominating candidates, such as their location or potential conflicts of interest (e.g., working for an organisation that has received funding from EV)?

Additionally, addressing a few more aspects in this post or the comments could benefit the process and potential applicants:

  1. Share details on how potential conflicts of interest will be managed, both during the selection process and once new trustees are appointed.
  2. Offer more information about the decision-making process and division of labour within the board, such as voting mechanisms, how disagreements are resolved, and whether different board members have specific responsibilities (e.g. the active trustee model, leading subcommittees, etc.).
  3. Include details about the expected term length for a trustee and the board's approach to turnover, board performance evaluation, and succession planning.

Thanks again for your tireless efforts in laying a strong foundation for such a crucial part of the EA community!

It's probably worth mentioning the Charity Commission inquiry into EV UK, as this could affect someone's interest in joining. 

The inquiry will examine:

  • the extent of any risk to the charity’s assets and the extent to which the trustees are complying with their legal duties with regard to the protection of the charity’s property.
  • the governance and administration of the charity by the trustees, including relationships between the charity’s trustees and its funders and the identification and management of conflicts of interest and / or loyalty.

Thanks for advertising this here.

The role is currently unpaid, but we are investigating whether this can and should be changed. ... We think the role will require significant time and attention, though this will vary depending on the needs of the organisation. Some trustees have estimated they are currently putting in 3-8 hours per week, though we are working on proposals to reduce this significantly over time. In any event, trustees should be prepared to scale up their involvement from time to time in the case of urgent decisions requiring board response.

I would strongly encourage you to make the position paid! Right now it seems like a non-trivial commitment: 3-8 hours, maybe less in the future, but sometimes urgently more, and dealing with difficult and sensitive topics. It's typical for corporate boards to be paid, and this seems like a role that is both more hands-on and more unpleasant, especially with the FTX Investigation of Damocles still looming overhead.

Just a note for the UK boards: trustees cannot generally be paid for their work. UK gov quote:

When you become a trustee, you volunteer your services and usually won’t receive payment for your work.

Generally, charities cannot pay their trustees for simply being a trustee. Some charities do pay their trustees – they can only do so because it’s allowed by their governing document, by the Charity Commission or by the courts

My guess is that the CC would probably approve payment to at least a minority of board members for a limited time; their guidance on when they will do so is here.

They do seem to be concerned about conflicts of interest -- but I would view providing reasonable compensation to a minority as posing lower risks than the likely alternative (which is that people who work for other EA organizations take on the role, and their employer implicitly subsidizes their board membership by not reducing their salary and understanding that their productivity for the employer may be impacted).

Ah, I defer to your superior expertise! But I think it would mean specifically getting permission from the CC, which sounds like quite a bit of faff anyway, and after which they might still say no.

I can't speak for EVF (with whom I have no affiliation), but would encourage anyone for whom financial considerations would be a barrier to apply and note that. The status of the applicant pool may be relevant to whether EVF wants to make an application to the CC, and is relevant to whether the CC would allow an application.

Thanks for raising - it sounds like it is not that easy to change the governing doc on this matter.

I generally agree with this given the present time commitment, but note one concern. If someone is getting paid for 8 hours a week (0.2 FTE), plus is devoting additional paid time during fire drills, they may be starting to be more financially enmeshed with the organization for which they serve as a director. That level of financial involvement is starting to look more like that of a part-time employee rather than that of a typical paid director. 

Of course, it's common for some directors to have significant financial enmeshment with their organizations. But there are good reasons you want a majority of directors to not have significant enmeshment -- i.e., to have financial independence from their organization. This wisdom is reflected in, e.g., California Corporation Code 5227, which requires that a majority of directors not be "interested persons" such as employees or contractors.[1]

The upshot of that is that the solid proposal of paying directors under these circumstances needs to go hand-in-hand with plans to reduce the time commitment for (at least most) directors significantly over time.



  1. ^

    "[R]easonable compensation paid to a director as director" doesn't make one an interested person. I don't know at what point the director starts looking too much like a part-time employee . . . but my point is about the wisdom of not having too many directors with significant enmeshment, not whether an arrangement would comply with any given law.

What do you think about the idea of large donors holding back some of their funding and directly transferring it to the people in the board? Or the donors could maybe earmark some part of their funding for that purpose. Then the people in the board don't have to feel like their income is dependent on their relationships to people in the org.

I think the issue is more that such an income would depend on the org's performance or existence even in that arrangement, and that directors should be ready to make hard decisions that could e.g., shut down the organization. Depending on the org in any way would limit their decision power to make such calls.

Are there citizenship requirements?

Are you also seeking trustees via the EA Good Governance project? I suspect both that the kind of people they could supply have a lot of key skills absent from the majority of the EA community and that those people's time is in enough demand that you have to go to them rather than hope they apply to you.

To what extent should the community have a say in EV?


  • Many EV orgs are community orgs. While we aren't all experts in many aspects of charites or AI safety, we are all pretty expert on what if feels like to be a member of the EA community


  • My general stance is that elites do in fact make better decisions than the median voter, where there aren't just awful incentives

How many examples do you have of elites making the right decisions for a larger group? And out of how many elites trying to do that in general?

I've been vocal about thinking the community should have a voice here (maybe specifically in CEA, and other stakeholders should be involved for other parts of EVF). But widening the boards is a minimal step in the right direction.

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