Director of Product

The Houston Local News Initiative (“HLNI”) is growing our team of passionate people on a mission to advance democracy in our communities and strengthen the lives of all Houstonians one story at a time. HLNI is launching soon as an independent, non-profit digital news operation that will cover a broad range of topics serving the Greater Houston community. HLNI is initially supported by a coalition of three of Houston’s leading philanthropies including Arnold Ventures, The Houston Endowment, and the Kinder Foundation along with the Knight Foundation and the American Journalism Project.

At HLNI, we are expanding our team to include a Director of Product. The Director of Product will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer as a strategic thought partner and force multiplier to improve user experience. The Director of Product is responsible for developing and maintaining our initial products: an email newsletter and a mobile first website in service of our target audiences and in alignment with our mission and organizational goals. To this end, the Director of Product will oversee the development of product research strategies and relevant business datasets to help guide decision making and resource deployment.

We will consider applications on an ongoing basis, but we encourage those who are interested to apply ASAP.

The Role
What You'll Do
  • Build and execute upon a product roadmap beginning with a newsletter and mobile first website and expanding to meet our needs as we grow.
  • Recruit and manage a team that includes user research, design, and a full stack engineer. Initially, manage the relationship with an outsourced engineering team.
  • Develop and implement a metrics driven strategy to improve product and audience experience. 
  • Leverage analytics and user feedback to iterate product development and inform goal-setting.
  • Translate product needs into requirements and to drive consensus within departments, ultimately promoting the achievement of the product goals.
  • Report on and promote the product by advocating for its value and benefits at executive briefings, marketing events, within the internal team, and with all relevant stakeholders.
Who you are

As our lead product manager, you are an avid consumer of news and information across platforms and understand how to create experiences that reach and engage target audiences. You follow trends and technology updates. You are hungry to know our audience and gather new and deeper insights. You are committed to our mission to advance democracy and improve the lives of all Houstonians.

  • You have five + years of experience in Tech Product Development, ideally within media and start-ups. You have experience across the product lifecycle — from discovery and user research to development and delivery.
  • You are highly collaborative, and lead by listening.You build trust with direct reports, peers and stakeholders. You care about individuals’ professional development and lead individuals to grow.
  • You develop requirements that balance user needs with technological and resource constraints, and manage teams to deliver against those requirements on time. You communicate and collaborate with stakeholders across editorial, revenue and product teams to conceptualize, prototype, test and build end-to-end experiences across products and platforms.
Our Values

EXCELLENCE: We wake up every day with the intent to be the best at what we do. We hustle. We have grit. When we make mistakes, we’ll learn from them.

INCLUSION: We aren’t all the same, and those differences are what make us better. We’ll respect each person’s uniqueness. Perspective, context and life experiences help us to tell the story.

AMBITION: We will be bold and creative, open to all ideas big or small. We really mean it.

FUN: We are not making widgets, although there is nothing wrong with widgets. We tell stories - and stories are often fun, so we believe in having lots of fun.

COLLABORATION: We are all in this together. We may not always agree, but we will listen to each other and communicate candidly and respectfully.


Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation commensurate with experience.
  • 401(k)
  • Healthcare 100% premium paid for employee and 50% for dependents
  • 20 vacation days
  • Ten sick days
  • Generous paid maternity leave 
  • Hybrid work policy (initially we all work together to build culture)
  • Stipend for development / learning

We’re committed to building an inclusive organization that represents the people and communities we serve. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, veterans, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities.

Apply using the form below