Language Tech Programs Technical Lead at Translators Without Borders

Remote | Freelance
Translators Without Borders

Language Tech Programs Technical Lead

  • Technology · Remote location, Remote
  • Contract Length: Until December 31, 2021
  • Hours: Full-time
  • Location: Home-based
  • Travel: Limited, some possible.

Reporting to: Special Projects Program Coordinator

Translators without Borders is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion, and encourages qualified candidates of all genders and from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization.

The Role

This role will act as Technical Lead on our Language Technology (LT) Programs, with an initial focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. TWB anticipates that the role will be extended.

Our Language Technology Programs use third-party and TWB technology to offer innovative technical programs to build solutions which further our mission to provide people with access to vital information, and be heard, whatever language they speak. These technologies include:

  • Speech Recognition (ASR)
  • Multilingual Conversational chatbots
  • Machine Translation

in each case for marginalized local languages to ensure that we reach as many people as possible.

The Language Tech Programs Team will have the three key team roles:

  • Program Coordinator (which this role reports to)
  • Technical Lead (this role)
  • Program Manager (peer to this role)

The total team will be approximately 12-13 people.


  • Supports the Program Coordinator in developing all the technical aspects of programs
  • In consultation with partners and donors, identifies new possibilities for language technology programs
  • Manages the technical aspects of the programs
  • Liaises with partners on all technical aspects of proposals and programs
  • Develops relationships with local technology partners to build capacity in the ecosystem
  • Actively conceives and develops new technical program ideas with partners and donors
  • Develops and scopes technical proposals, including budgets

Please note that these responsibilities may change over time. The role will evolve along with the overall program as projects and activities develop to reflect the changing language needs of the affected population and implementing agencies.

Technical Abilities

  • Can evaluate every level of technical feasibility and “level of difficulty” relating to particular use cases
  • Works with program coordinator day-to-day to identify and articulate initiative scope, benefits and ROI
  • Manages the “big picture” of challenges impacting the deployment of language technology in larger humanitarian and development programs, including the technical, functional, process, and accounting policy considerations, and creatively defines and designs solutions to those challenges
  • Works with Program Manager(s) to ensure technical aspects of the program are delivered on time and in scope.
  • Develops and maintains current understanding of tech trends, especially cloud services, APIs and online/offline approaches.
  • Develops and communicates a point of view on complex technical topics. Align multiple domains, both technical and nontechnical, on this common vision
  • Devises and executes plans for collecting and managing metrics for product and customer experience growth
  • Develops executive level materials for articulating product visions, capability maps, and lead discussions to influence leadership prioritization


The Language Tech Programs Technical Lead should be passionate about how technology can help us scale our programs and provide more impact giving people access to vital knowledge in their language. The right candidate is an energetic team player and leader who aligns with TWB’s basic beliefs and values and who can work virtually with team members based throughout the world. In previous roles, you have shown yourself to be:

  • Passionate about being driven by evidence and impact
  • Able to innovate to find creative solutions; willing to explore new technologies
  • Able to deal with frequent changes, delays, interruptions, and unexpected events
  • Resourceful, able to get more out of small budgets
  • Good with people; able to work well in a team-oriented, collaborative, cross-functional environment
  • Detail-oriented, thorough, accurate, able to meet deadlines, and able to work quickly and steadily in a focused manner
  • At your best in a fast-paced environment and reacts well to pressure
  • Bold; willing to try things out and measure how they work
  • Willing to take initiative, persistence, ability to problem solve, and enthusiasm for learning.
  • Comfortable with multitasking, prioritizing, and working with minimal supervision
  • Able to mediate, negotiate, and resolve conflicts constructively


  • Several years of technical project design and management experience in the non-profit sector
  • International aid experience demonstrated understanding of local community engagement, especially the need for local language communication
  • Proven experience in grant management and impact measurement
  • Extensive experience of external representation, with a track record of effective coordination and liaison with UN agencies, international NGOs and governments
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills in English
  • Strong track record with using technology to address community engagement challenges

About Translators without Borders

Translators without Borders (TWB) envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-based non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting non-profit organizations with a community of language professionals, building local language translation capacity, and raising awareness of language barriers. Originally founded in 1993 in France (as Traducteurs sans Frontières), TWB translates millions of words of life-saving and life-changing information every year.

Core Values

Translators without Borders employees and volunteers are made of people who believe passionately about the value of this work and take personal responsibility for achieving the mission. Translators without Borders’ mission and organizational spirit embody the core values established in its strategic framework:

  • Excellence: As the leading voice for communicating humanitarian information in the right language, Translators without Borders is a leader in the translation industry and in the non-profit sector.
  • Integrity: Translators without Borders believes that every person, whether it’s the people who we serve, our volunteers or our staff, has value, deserves respect and has inherent dignity.
  • Empowerment: Translators without Borders believes in using language to empower people around the world to control their own development and destiny.
  • Innovation: Translators without Borders recognizes and celebrates the power of innovation to address humanitarian and crisis issues around the world.
  • Sustainability: Translators without Borders recognizes that meeting our mission necessitates establishment and maintenance of a solid financial and organizational infrastructure.
  • Tolerance: Our staff and volunteers are highly knowledgeable and skilled; value each other, our partner and our recipients; create a supportive work environment; and, conduct themselves professionally at all times.

TWB may re-advertise the vacancy, cancel the recruitment, offer an appointment with a modified job description or for a different duration at its discretion.

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