Director, Policy for Digital Identity

Omidyar Network, Washington D.C.


Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and his wife, Pam, established Omidyar Network (ON) based on the belief that every person has the potential to make a difference. Since 2004, we have worked with our partners to create opportunities for people to tap that potential, enabling them to improve their lives and make powerful contributions to their communities. As a philanthropic investment firm, we make both for profit investments and nonprofit grants, identifying likeminded organizations that we support, help them scale, and collaborate to help realize their full potential. Since 2004, we have invested over $1B in for profit investments and non-profit grants.

Digital Identity is ON’s newest area of work. With UN Sustainable Development Goals focusing on ‘legal identity for all’, multiple countries around the world have already begun significant efforts on creating state-issued digital ID systems, as a foundational public good to achieve many other outcomes, ranging from KYC in financial services, to birth registration, to government benefits payments. Simultaneously, the growing need for privacy, personal data protection and informed user consent, are all beginning to become important areas requiring attention to give consumers and citizens more control over their on-line identities, state-issued IDs, and personally identifiable information as they engage with the modern digital
economy and the modern digital state.

In this new focus area, ON expects to play a range of roles across the public and private sectors, including investing in innovations, research, policy. Beyond investing, we expect to work with key stakeholders and play a role in developing a global governance architecture for Digital ID, trust and privacy frameworks, and standards for Digital IDs.



The Director, Policy will play a key role in setting the agenda and engaging with key actors on policy
issues pertaining to digital identity. The Director, Policy will be responsible for assessing and leading
global policy opportunities and working with investees to help them achieve sector level change. This
position will report to the global lead for ON’s Digital ID work, who is based in Bangalore.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Lead ON’s digital ID global policy activities in the field of digital identity and related areas of privacy, especially with respect to governments and multilateral entities
  • Help build the ID team’s thought leadership, network and brand in the digital ID ecosystem – including, but not limited to: legal frameworks, privacy protections, data usage policy, technological and other innovations as they relate to policy, other elements of the identity “stack” (e.g., consent and digital locker services);
  • Represent ON engagement at multi-stakeholder initiatives and other international fora related to digital identity
  • Work with key actors on digital identity to help forge a sensible path forward for state-led identity implementation, under the rubric of SDG 16.9
  • Draw connections between private sector innovators in ON’s Digital ID and other portfolios and broader policy objectives and policy makers to help inform direction and perspectives
  • Write and/or commission policy papers, case studies, blog posts, and articles on topics related to identity, privacy, data protection and other relevant priority areas
  • Bring policy makers and innovators (from ON’s portfolio and elsewhere) together to create mutual exposure and inform policy processes
  • Oversee and commission research relevant to evaluating and refining the ID team’s policy work
  • Explore opportunities for establishing or joining multi-stakeholder initiatives or other fora to anchor global governance, evidence, and policy considerations on digital ID and related topics
  • Collaborate extensively with other funders to strengthen the sector, execute on key policy and research priorities, and encourage coordination among stakeholders to increase impact
  • Take up other responsibilities, as necessary



  • Deep passion for development, digital inclusion, and/or privacy
  • 18+ years of experience in the fields of development, policy, required with some background in emerging markets
  • Demonstrated successes, and track record of policy innovation, especially as related to ID or the broader technology sector
  • Experience representing sector and institutional interests in international settings (e.g. involvement with steering committees of multi-stakeholder initiatives)
  • Familiarity and experience with multilateral entities (World Bank, UN, EU, OECD, ECOWAS, G20, etc.) and engaging them in policy, program design, and research
  • Demonstrated affinity for, and comfort with, technology-based solutions and the complexity involved in their governance
  • Strong relationships with leaders and experts in the fields of digital identity, privacy, technology
  • Strong familiarity with driving policy change, establishing principles and frameworks, and developing consensus amongst stakeholders across public, private, multilateral, civil society, and other sectors
  • Excellent and clear written and oral communication skills required
  • Writing or commissioning/editing experience, as well as fluency with influence mapping and/or political economy analysis, preferred
  • Strong strategic mindset and proven ability to innovate, collaborate and translate strategy into action
  • Success in developing and maintaining institutional, political, and personal relationships
  • Ability to travel as necessary (up to 30 percent)
  • Demonstrated experience handling multiple assignments simultaneously
  • Flexibility and initiative to work both independently, and as part of a team
  • Master's degree in public policy, MBA, or equivalent required

About Omidyar Network

WHO WE ARE At Omidyar Network, we start from a fundamental belief: People are inherently capable, but they often lack opportunity. We believe if we invest in people, through opportunity, they will create positive returns for themselves, their families, and the world at large. We also believe that businesses can be a powerful force for good. Pierre Omidyar experienced this firsthand as the founder of eBay. Just as eBay created the opportunity for millions of people to start their own businesses, we believe market forces can be a potent driver for positive social change. That’s why we invest in both for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations, whose complementary roles can advance entire sectors. Starting from the premise that people are basically good, Pierre created a platform that gave everyone equal access to information, opportunity, and the tools to pursue their goals. Omidyar Network invests in entrepreneurs who share our commitment to advancing social good at the pace and scale the world needs today. We are focused on five key areas we believe are building blocks for prosperous, stable, and open societies: Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights. We take calculated risks in the earliest stages of innovation, helping to transform promising ideas into successful ventures. As an active impact investor, we offer more than just financial support. We provide vital human capital capabilities, from serving on boards to consulting on strategy, coaching executives to recruiting new talent. We connect promising investees to entrepreneurial visionaries with business know-how. We also leverage the tremendous capacity of Web and mobile technologies to go beyond incremental improvement and make a significant, widespread impact. Understanding the scale and importance of this work, we don’t undertake the challenge alone. The most powerful force for change lies in our connection with others: business, government, nonprofits, and individual partners. Together, we can use our resources to transform scarcity into abundance and put enduring opportunity within reach of more people worldwide.

Want to learn more about Omidyar Network? Visit Omidyar Network's website.