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Senior Program Associate

Position: Senior Program Associate

Salary: Our salaries are competitive with peer organizations like private foundations, academic institutions/think tanks, and the World Bank, and are benchmarked for the cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, where GiveWell is based. Pay starts at $120,000 but may be higher based on an individual’s experience and capabilities. We adjust the salaries of remote employees based on the federal geographic location adjustment database.

Benefits: Read about the benefits we offer here.

Location: You will be joining a hybrid team that works remotely throughout the US. GiveWell has an office in Oakland, California that you are welcome, but not required, to work from. As a general rule, we request that employees work in locations that are within three hours of the Pacific Time Zone. Exceptions to the time zone rule may be made in rare circumstances.

Flexibility: We support and encourage flexible working, including flexible hours, working remotely, and working from the office when you choose. The majority of our staff, including senior management, work flexibly in one way or another.

Visa Sponsorship: We can sponsor work visas. However, please be aware that processing times can be much longer than usual right now and are subject to specific country circumstances.

Timeline: Applications will close at midnight PST, June 6, 2022.

About GiveWell

GiveWell is motivated by the simple question: how can we do as much good as possible?

In our efforts to answer this question, our staff search for and make grants to support the most cost-effective programs we can find to save and improve lives. We focus on global health and poverty alleviation programs in the lowest-income parts of the world because that is where we've found we can have the greatest impact, according to our criteria.

In 2020, we directed more than $240 million. In 2021, we anticipate directing more than $400 million (our numbers are not yet final as of this writing). By 2025, we aim to be directing $1 billion per year, making GiveWell one of the world's largest private funders of global development efforts.

Historically, we've supported programs that are evidence-backed, cost-effective, transparent, and in need of more funding. Many of our largest grants have supported malaria chemoprevention, antimalarial nets, vaccine incentivization, vitamin A supplementation and deworming medication. In the near term, we largely plan to continue investigating and supporting similar programs. In addition, we've also supported harder-to-measure programs, such as lead reduction and pesticide suicide prevention, that have the potential to have outsized impact, and research to inform our assumptions, such as for antimalarial nets.

The role

As a Senior Program Associate you will evaluate the case for grants and explain that case to others. You can expect to have a major influence over how GiveWell directs more than a hundred million dollars towards saving and improving lives each year. You will have ownership over:

  • Complex stakeholder engagement with grantees, governments, and other funders. You will routinely connect with a portfolio of grantees and will maintain and build relationships with other stakeholders of the programs we support, including government officials, other implementing organizations, and other funders. You will determine which coordinating groups and meetings can best keep you in touch with the broader community working on similar programs.
  • Designing and executing an efficient process for managing grants and potential grantee growth. You will collaborate with GiveWell's grantees to understand their funding needs for current programs and explore ways we can support their growth. Once a potential grant opportunity is identified, you will work closely with a Program Officer to decide what research is needed to determine whether to make a grant, which stakeholders to consult and what to ask, what analysis to do, and who to seek feedback from. You will execute on these plans by coordinating your own contributions and those of other team members.
  • Impact and cost-effectiveness modeling. You will develop plans for assessing the impact of GiveWell's grantees and refining our models for estimating their cost-effectiveness. Projects may include tracking grantees' spending and outputs, estimating future funding gaps, updating impact models with additional data, and designing various forms of data collection to test the assumptions in our cost-effectiveness models.
  • Effective communication of our grant decisions and rationale. You will confer with Program Officers to determine whether or not to fund a grant, then write clear, concise explanations for the recommendation, first for an internal audience and then for GiveWell's website.

Over time, individuals hired as Senior Program Associates may take full responsibility for a portfolio of grants covering multiple program areas and may manage a team to support their work.

About you

Note: Confidence can sometimes hold us back from applying for a job. Here’s a secret: there's no such thing as a "perfect" candidate. GiveWell is looking for exceptional people who want to make a positive impact through their work and help create an organization where everyone can thrive. So whatever background you bring with you, please apply if this role would make you excited to come to work every day.

We expect you will be characterized by the below qualities and that the most qualified candidates will have 4+ years experience. We encourage you to apply if you would use the majority of these characteristics to describe yourself:

  • You are passionate about helping to improve global health and alleviate global poverty as much as possible.
  • You are highly skilled at planning and managing complex projects, including identifying and focusing on the most decision-relevant aspects of a project and communicating effectively with teammates.
  • You are effective at building cross-organization relationships and productive, wide-ranging partnerships.
  • You consider the big picture, stepping back to assess things like: is this project appropriately formulated and the best use of my time? What is GiveWell getting wrong in our research?
  • You clearly communicate what you believe and why, as well as what you are uncertain about.
  • You ask a lot of questions, and are curious, rather than defensive, when interrogating your own or others’ work.

To apply

Apply here: We only accept applications through our website. You may also send additional materials, such as a letter of recommendation, to support your application; this is not required. Please send those materials to

We plan to respond to all submissions. Please contact with any questions.

If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at

As part of our dedication to the diversity of our staff, GiveWell is committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and to making employment decisions based on merit and value. We are committed to complying with all federal, state, and local laws providing Equal Employment Opportunities, as well as all laws related to terms and conditions of employment. We desire to maintain a work environment free of harassment or discrimination due to sex, race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, citizenship, physical or mental disability, marital status, familial status, ethnicity, ancestry, status as a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, age, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

We will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.