Head of Defense Ventures

Apply Now

The Defense Ventures Team

Shift’s Defense Ventures team is on a four-year mission to create the best in class industry immersion upskilling experience for employees of the U.S. Military. Our program creates innovative learning experiences that place members of the Department of Defense, in the midst of their career, into leading venture capital and technology businesses across Silicon Valley and the United States. We are using these experiences to develop a talent platform that will allow us to assess, select, and track emerging innovators through the program and beyond.


Shift develops career advancement programs for current and former members of the US military. You will join a team of innovators, builders and operators who are defining new products and services, working together to define the value proposition and bring them to market.

We will be looking to develop, manage and oversee the scaling of the Defense Ventures Program (DVP), our flagship industry immersion program. The DVP provides meaningful opportunities for mid-career employees of the Department of Defense to broaden their experiences within Venture Capital and technology startups across the United States. Given the popularity of the program and our traction with our current government customers, we expect the program to grow significantly over the next year.

If you are someone who has an understanding and experience of running a revenue generation business within a startup, and is looking for a growth opportunity to maintain and oversee a dynamic and expanding program, we want to talk to you!

Key Responsibilities:

  • Deliver an amazing customer experience. Excellence and customer engagement is at the heart of this program, and you will be the leader of a best in class professional development program. The Defense Ventures Program selects Fellows whom we believe to be future leaders and innovators and pairs them with leading venture capital and technology startups across the United States. Our customer experience includes experiential, academic and social interactions supported by technology.  The experience of the Fellows, and our host organizations, has to be excellent and inspirational.
  • Leverage your expertise to deliver an amazing customer experience and execute on that experience strategy and roadmap of initiatives for 2021 and beyond across the Fellowship to meet growth goals.
  • Cultivate and manage a community platform that allows members and alumni to connect, engage and thrive.
  • Manage and maintain relationships with the AFWERX Program Office (who oversees our program for the US Air Force) and Industry Hosts.
  • Review application, operations and host experience to maintain high quality of the immersion program and adhere to the ethical standards of conduct for a government contractor.
  • Ensure that the current technology ecosystem is supporting meaningful interactions among our hosts and participants (our knowledge management systems, learning management systems, and social collaboration and connection platforms).
  • Seamless Business Operations: You are building a sustainable and repeatable program office that is able to scale cohorts while enhancing the customer experience for Fellows and Hosts.
  • Performance: Ensure the program is performing as expected and delivering outcomes; Establish and set success KPIs to be tracked through working with our R&D, product and engineering teams to instrument the DVP platform to inform our assessment, evaluation and matching technologies.
  • Platform Development: Working with our R&D, product and engineering teams to integrate improvements to our assessment and matching technologies into application experience.
  • Budget: Maintain a P&L on the people, technologies and associated costs associated with the program.
  • Management: Lead and manage the Defense Ventures team, make hiring decisions, deliver performance plans and feedback for career growth in lines with program deliverables.
  • Revenue: Deliver on Contract Milestones in a timely and well received manner; Ensure the Government is invoiced for completed work on the program.
  • Growth: Increase the number of Quality Fellowship Applicants, Increase the number of Participating Host Companies, increase our ability to capture and evaluate performance data during and following the program
  • Culture: Enable an atmosphere of quality, excellence, and collaboration within the Defense Ventures team and within our program’s community.

  • Communicate our Brand. Over the last year, the Defense Ventures Program has created a lot of buzz in the tech community and across the DoD as an exclusive career broadening opportunity for innovators in the US military, but it’s been largely based on personal experiences. Our Brand must elevate the stories of those human connections to drive and grow partnerships, engagement, and collaboration with our Fellows, their home commands, and our corporate hosts. The focus of our identity is agility, learning, and community.
  • Create awareness, aspiration and engagement for future military participants, host companies, and future government partner organizations.
  • Work with our VP of Growth and CEO to support an US government leadership engagement strategy.
  • Ensure that the learnings, values and outcomes are told across our key audiences (hosts, fellows, government program officers).
  • Maintain a steady and active information flow with our government program manager about the operational status of the program.

Qualified candidates should have/be:

  • Demonstrated experience (at least 7 years) in managing and delivering service-related operations, client service, rigorous academic co-curricular programs, or membership-driven communities.
  • Familiarity in developing and running notable learning and development programs as well as talent assessment, or recruiting and admissions.
  • Experience in developing and delivering technology supported customer experiences.
  • Experience with federal business practices and/or venture capital preferred.
  • Proven ability to strategically and tactically evaluate and implement sophisticated programs and initiatives.
  • Highly responsible, self-motivated, and able to thrive and meet deadlines in an energetic, fast-paced and sometimes non-linear environment.
  • Strong business consulting acumen, including dynamic problem solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Inspirational and reliable leader that raises the performance of others across all levels of the organization.
  • A self-confident, extroverted style that engages and positively impacts individuals and groups .
  • A change agent that possesses the ability to address challenging situations.
  • A promoter and champion of diversity initiatives.

About Shift

Founded in 2016 and based in San Francisco, California, Shift is a career advancement company for current and former members of the U.S. Military to discover careers, acquire and demonstrate new skills, and embark upon new job experiences at the best companies in the United States.  From active duty service members in the midst of their military career to veterans who have made the transition to civilian life, Shift’s community platform allows its members to engage in career development services that keep them competitive in the current and future economy. Shift’s talent acquisition services provide our corporate partners with a talent pipeline of diverse, non-traditional, experienced and prepared candidates. Shift is a veteran-founded small business backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Expa, and Structure Capital.

Perks + Benefits

We offer competitive and comprehensive packages. Our benefits offering includes 401k, medical, dental, and vision insurance. Employees have the option to choose from a range of PPO and HMO plans. We also offer pre-tax commuter benefits, pre-tax FSA and Dependent Care FSA plans, as well as flexible PTO, and ten paid holidays. There are additional perks and benefits, which we are happy to tell you more about!

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

Apply Now

Apply for this position