The Breakthrough Institute is an energy and environmental research center based in Oakland, California. Our research is based in ecomodernism, which means we believe humans can protect nature by using technology to limit the negative impacts on the environment. We envision a world that is good for both people and nature. We achieve this goal through our four focus areas: energy, conservation, food and farming, and energy access for all people.

Why join the Breakthrough team?

1.  Do a lot. You will get the chance to play an integral role in running the organization and overseeing our day to day operations. You will gain first-hand experience working on everything from managing the office, to overseeing finances, organizing our annual staff retreat, and supporting the team’s professional development.

2. Learn from the best in the business. We convene a powerful network of social scientists, journalists, scholars, academics, innovators, and entrepreneurs. As a part of the team you will get to learn from the thought leaders and influencers in energy and the environment.

3. Brilliant coworkers who love what they do.  We are in this for the same reason – to make a positive impact on the world around us – so we build each other up, support each other, and put our mission above our egos. We’re a friendly and collaborative group. That means you will be able to learn and work with a wide variety of people.


Operations Manager


Right now, we’re looking for an Operations Manager to join our team. The Operations Manager will coordinate and oversee the day-to-day operations of Breakthrough. They will oversee finances, HR, and payroll, and manage the office.

The ideal candidate will have significant experience with budgets, finance, and nonprofit administration, and enjoy working independently. This person will report to the Executive Director and collaborate with staff.  This person should be organized, flexible, and enjoy the challenge of supporting an office that is evolving in culture and structure.



Finances & Bookkeeping:

  • Pay bills semi-monthly. Assure that all invoices are properly documented, approved and coded prior to payment.

  • Deposit incoming checks and record in Quickbooks.

  • Process bi-weekly payroll with outside payroll service and ensure compliance with state & federal employment regulations

  • Work with outside CPA Firm who prepares monthly financial statements.

  • Review monthly financials and assist senior team in budgetary decision making

  • Work with management to prepare annual budget

  • Organize office procedures for invoice processing and expense reporting


HR & Legal:

  • Manage the hiring of new employees and exit of employees including setting up payroll, orientation, benefits enrollment, and VISA applications

  • Facilitate staff enrollment in medical, life insurance, retirement, state disability and leave, and commuter benefits

  • Implement office policies according to organizational handbook and update handbook as needed

  • Manage contract negotiations with office vendors, service providers, consultants, fellows, and office lease

Org Development:

  • Develop a professional development program for staff to ensure their ongoing growth within the organization

  • Coordinate annual staff retreat and meetings for the Breakthrough team to implement the strategic plan and internal organizational development goals  


Office Management:

  • Renew insurance coverage and oversee fundraising registration compliance and renewals

  • Maintain office equipment, software and email systems, computers, and phones

  • Organize and schedule staff meetings

  • Serve as the point person for all office maintenance issues. Answer the office door and phone.


  • Education and training in business and nonprofit administration, management, accounting, finance, or a related field at Bachelor’s or Master’s level -- for example, an MBA

  • Bookkeeping experience with Quickbooks or similar software

  • Experience with payroll software (i.e. ADP, Paychex, etc)

  • Office management, administrative or assistant experience

  • Knowledge of office management systems and procedures

  • Excellent time management skills and ability to multi-task and prioritize work

  • Attention to detail and problem solving skills

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Strong organizational and planning skills

  • Proficiency in MS Office

  • Knowledge of database management, Google Docs, Dropbox, Macbooks


Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent health insurance, paid leave, cell phone reimbursement, and commuter benefits. We are located in downtown Oakland, right above the 12th Street Oakland BART station.


Does this sound like you? If so, apply:

Send a letter of interest, resume, and three references (name, affiliation, email, and phone number) to Hafeezah Abdullah at jobs[at]thebreakthrough[dot]org. Use the subject line “[your name] - Operations Manager.”



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