Chief Technology Officer

Location: San Francisco, CA

Department: Technology

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Executive


The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) has global responsibility for strategic planning and deployment of technology products, resources and services across all Burning Man Project initiatives. The CTO manages the Burning Man Project Technology teams including the Technical Product, UX Design, Engineering, and User Success and Technology Operations teams as well as volunteer teams helping us to execute our technology mission. This role helps drive vision, strategy, and execution for technology-related projects as well as participating in broader strategic decision making for the organization in collaboration with other key executives. The CTO will have the opportunity to help determine and drive major new technology initiatives that will shape the future of Burning Man for years to come. 

The Burning Man Project CTO role involves combining deep technical knowledge with business perspective and stellar people management to deliver on our mission through thoughtful and timely decision making and communication. A successful candidate in this role will be an inspirational leader who earns the respect of those around them while empowering, mentoring and assisting their team and others within the organization.  



  • Collaboratively determine and execute global technology strategy for Burning Man Project
  • Build and lead a team of 20+ full and part-time staff and many additional seasonal and volunteer team members
  • Constantly improve technology team capabilities through professional development, coaching, mentoring, and recruiting of new world class employees, contractors and volunteers
  • Build trust and collaborative, open relationships with executive team and staff to
  • Define a shared understanding of success for Burning Man technology systems and products including defining quantitative and qualitative metrics and alignment with our Ten Principles.
  • Develop and maintain process and relationships to coordinate global technology team capacity and capabilities, strategic planning, and collaborative prioritization across the organization. 
  • Direct risk management and change management activities to balance risk and efficiency in the best interests of the organization
  • Manage Technology expenses and budgets to ensure accurate financial planning, showing a high level of fiduciary responsibility and cost optimization across programs
  • Evangelize key areas of technology plans and progress to a wide range of internal and external constituents including BMP staff and executives, board members, donors, volunteers, partners and participants
  • Engage executive level and other organization leadership in strategic roadmap and capacity planning conversations as necessary
  • Help establish, monitor and manage to key performance indicators and organizational and departmental metrics and goals
  • Stay current on relevant technology products, services, organizations, trends and strategies to inform and develop overall technology strategy and vision
  • Assist with business process analysis and process redesign as needed to keep the organization well run, modern and effective 


  • Documentation - Drives the creation, publishing, and maintenance of process documentation related to assigned duties.
  • Teaching – Takes a leadership role in the acculturation and training of staff. Teaches live or e-learning classes, as requested. Promotes a culture of teaching and learning throughout the community.
  • Mentoring - Mentors subordinates in acquiring the knowledge, skills, and experience that will allow them to advance in the organization. Aids, encourages, and inspires their team.
  • Training development - Collaborates with the education team to develop training materials in their area of expertise, as requested.
  • Learning – Pursues ongoing learning in their area of expertise, working to stay current on emergent knowledge, skills, and processes. Participates in conferences, forums, and networking events, where appropriate.
  • Speaking – Represents Burning Man as a subject matter expert and culture-bearer, as requested                                   



  • 10+ years of experience successfully leading technology teams in highly dynamic organizations
  • 5+ years experience as the top-level technology executive managing an organization of 20+ employees
  • Bachelor Degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, Engineering or related technical field or equivalent practical experience
  • Experience successfully managing and mentoring both managers and individual contributors
  • Exceptional written and verbal skills which demonstrate maturity, judgement, negotiation/influencer, analytical, and leadership skills
  • Must be good-natured, sociable, emotionally intelligent and calm under pressure
  • Strong visual communication skills, proficient in diagramming and other presentation tools
  • Proven experience with more than one software development methodology and ability to apply and adjust processes as necessary to be successful in a dynamic, volunteer-driven organization with significant seasonal demands
  • Experience in systems integration and integrated solutions
  • Experience working in collaboration with and managing multiple vendors as part of solutions
  • High degree of business acumen and technical competency; ability to balance and bridge technology and business needs
  • Excellent creative thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Highly knowledgeable about the current technology landscape and able to quickly assist with and drive technology selection and build vs buy vs integrate decision making process
  • Amazing negotiation capabilities seeking mutually beneficial outcomes and helping others to see the logic and benefits behind the optimal decision
  • Effective at quickly resolving competing priorities 
  • Strong facilitation skills that draw out the most from executives, peers and team members
  • Strong attention to detail with the ability to see the big picture
  • Drive acceptance and adoption of technology agendas with empathy and active listening skills


  • Significant knowledge and experience within the Burning Man Project organization, community, events and working environment


  • Valid Driver’s License and good driving record


  • Off-playa:  Work is primarily sedentary in nature, no special demands are required. 
  • On-playa:  Work is primarily sedentary but will also include the need to find and meet with department representatives who may not be in the vicinity therefore this could include walking or using some form of transportation.  Some of the work will be in outside weather conditions and will be exposed to fumes or airborne particles as well as possible extremes in temperature.


  • This is a regular, full-time position, eligible for benefits, working out of Burning Man headquarters in San Francisco, CA and in Black Rock City, NV. 
  • Burning Man is an equal-opportunity employer.
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