United Nations Foundation

  • Technical Lead, Mobile Network Integration Program, Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)

    Job Location US-DC
    Regular Full-Time
  • Overview


    DIAL Overview: DIAL is a new, $55 million global alliance to enable the digital ecosystem to deliver greater scale, efficiency and social impact as it creates more inclusive digital economies in emerging markets. Working with partners, DIAL will generate evidence of what works through a series of demonstration projects, distil insights and tools to promote scale-up and replication, and provide mechanisms to encourage knowledge sharing, collaboration and co-investment throughout the ecosystem.


    Mobile Network Integration Program:

    In emerging markets, many digital services are delivered through core mobile service (CMS) channels—voice, SMS, and USSD. Accessing these services requires relationships and technical integration with mobile network operators (MNOs). Establishing these partnership agreements and delivering the technical integrations can be slow and time-consuming, creating barriers to efficiently and effectively delivering new mobile services at scale.

    In this environment, aggregators—companies that establish intermediary relationships and provide integration with multiple MNOs—play a critical role in reducing the barrier to service delivery of new mobile services, providing digital service providers (e.g., NGOs, companies) with a low-friction single-point-of-connection. This enables a faster time to market in any given country.


    DIAL's Mobile Network Integration Program will reduce the barrier for service providers by incentivizing aggregators to enter new markets and/or making it easier for them to work with aggregators in current markets. We do this by promoting common service and technical standards as well as trialing viable business models that benefit all.

    DIAL is seeking a Technical Lead to help support the definition of a common set of CMS service offerings (to be done in conjunction with the team) and then to lead the development and promotion of open technical standards (in the form of common API specifications) that support these common service offerings together with the aggregator and service provider ecosystem.  The Technical Lead will report to the Program Director.  The standards development process will be: driven from a clear understanding of aggregator customer needs, transparent, and open to participation of any and all interested parties. 



    • Design and implement an inclusive standards process by convening aggregator businesses, clients of aggregator services, and other interested parties including MNOs and platform developers/vendors; jointly developing functional and technical requirements; researching and adopting applicable existing standards; extending existing standards and developing new ones to fill gaps
    • Organize and facilitate standards working sessions—both online and in person
    • Manage the standards creation process to timely deliverables (initial standards and revisions)
    • Distribute grants to catalyze the development of open source reference implementations of key standards
    • Work with the Program Director to oversee selection and distribution of grants in support of standards implementation in target countries

    Selection Criteria

    • A track record of successful design and deployment of large scale voice, SMS and USSD services, ideally driven by API-driven platform products
    • Extensive experience with core mobile service related protocols such as VoIP protocols, SMPP, and vendor proprietary protocols
    • Work experience within a MNO and/or cloud platform as a service provider ideal
    • 5+ experience in emerging markets
    • 5+ years software development experience
    • 2-3 years managing software and/or technology vendors
    • Track record of active participation in technical standards development
    • Experience with agile software development methodologies, open-source technology and communities, and user-centered design methodologies
    • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse set of stakeholders, with diverse motivations, to achieve consensus, and still deliver actionable outcomes
    • Entrepreneurial, with a talent for creative problem solving, perseverance, flexibility and resilience. Able to thrive in environments of ambiguity and enjoys being a thought partner on new ventures.
      Fun, friendly and excited to collaborate with teams
    • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress.
    • Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively and thoughtfully across a diverse set of partners and audiences across multiple geographies and sectors


    This is a unique full-time direct-hire opportunity to work at the cutting edge of technology and international development. This team is based in Washington, DC, and applicants should demonstrate a willingness to commit to, and enthusiasm for traveling to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) up to 50% of the time. The team will consider applicants living outside of the DC area who are interested in relocating to join the team, as well as individuals interested in working remotely from high-tech hubs including Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, or Portland.

    Benefits & Compensation

    For full-time, benefit eligible employees, UNF offers an excellent range of benefits, including:

    • A choice of two health plans through CareFirst (PPO or HDHP with HSA),
    • dental insurance,
    • vision discounts,
    • flexible spending accounts,
    • 403b retirement savings plan with a generous matching contribution,
    • group term and supplemental life insurance,
    • short-term disability,
    • long-term disability,
    • health club discounts,
    • commuter benefits, and
    • employee assistance program. 

    Additionally, all benefit eligible employees have 12 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, 3 personal days, and 8 weeks of parental leave.


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