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Research Director

at Cloudflare

Hybrid, Remote

About Us

At Cloudflare, we are on a mission to help build a better Internet. Today the company runs one of the world’s largest networks that powers millions of websites and other Internet properties for customers ranging from individual bloggers to SMBs to Fortune 500 companies. Cloudflare protects and accelerates any Internet application online without adding hardware, installing software, or changing a line of code. Internet properties powered by Cloudflare all have web traffic routed through its intelligent global network, which gets smarter with every request. As a result, they see significant improvement in performance and a decrease in spam and other attacks. Cloudflare was named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top Company Cultures list and ranked among the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. 

We realize people do not fit into neat boxes. We are looking for curious and empathetic individuals who are committed to developing themselves and learning new skills, and we are ready to help you do that. We cannot complete our mission without building a diverse and inclusive team. We hire the best people based on an evaluation of their potential and support them throughout their time at Cloudflare. Come join us! 

Available Locations: Remote US or Lisbon or Remote Portugal, London or Remote UK, Amsterdam or Remote Netherlands, Munich or Remote Germany

About the Department

Cloudflare Research is involved with building the future of Cloudflare by tackling strategic projects that have a large impact on Cloudflare systems and the Internet at large. Team members independently drive greenfield projects, work closely with Cloudflare product and engineering teams on shared objectives, and build strong collaborations with both external organizations and other organizations within Cloudflare to achieve common goals.

Cloudflare Research embarks upon projects that help shape the future of the Internet at large, and the systems that drive it. We design, develop, and deploy these projects into Cloudflare systems to demonstrate their impact, and to share that knowledge with the wider standards and research communities -- often in collaboration with university or other industry labs. A sample of our recent high-profile works include Constellation AI, Encrypted Client Hello (ECH), Post Quantum Encryption, Cryptographic Attestation of Personhood (CAP), and Addressing Agility. Our current research directions include applied cryptography, privacy, network protocols, network architecture, network performance, AI and ML and distributed systems. 

More information about Cloudflare's approach to research can be found here.

About the Role  

This role involves managing and supporting a team of passionate research engineers who are building innovative technology and conducting scientific research. For this role we welcome experience in any of the domains in which we work, or adjacent domains. Prioritization and planning are key elements as the nature of the team’s research necessarily shifts between putting ideas into practice and onto paper, while ensuring rigorous evaluations of performance, correctness, or impact. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of success driving streams of investigation to completion.

The Research Director helps to design and introduce tools or processes that make our researchers’ lives better. A significant component of this role is to guide team members professional development, as well as supporting their projects’ integration into Cloudflare’s infrastructure so that the research can touch customer and client experiences alike, and help the company reach our ambitious goals.

General Requirements

  • Experience managing R&D teams and managers
  • Proficiency in software development
  • Solid technical foundations, understanding of one or more Cloudflare-relevant areas such as privacy, networking, distributed systems, storage, operating systems, formal methods or machine learning for systems.
  • Excel at planning, working independently and multi-functionally, leading execution across teams to meet commitments, and deliver with predictability
  • Have a track record of leading teams, including hiring, onboarding, and professional development. You inspire your team to reach higher.
  • Have a track record of strong communication and advocacy on behalf of your team.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit and hire top talent
  • Experience implementing tools, processes, internal instrumentation, methodologies, and resolving blockages
  • Comfortable working on teams/projects with tight deadlines and short release cycles
  • Experience working with and getting the best out of engineers and researchers, whether budding or experienced.

Bonus Points

  • A PhD or equivalent graduate research program in Computer Science, Mathematics, or related STEM field 
  • Peer-reviewed publications in, or engagement with, research venues sponsored by the ACM, USENIX, or IEEE.
  • Strong ties to and participation in standards bodies such as IETF, W3C, and others.
  • Proficiency in one or more the following languages - Go, Rust, Typescript, Python, or C, C++
  • Familiarity with Kafka, Postgres, ClickHouse, Kubernetes, Prometheus, and tools such as Cloudflare’s Workers platform
  • Demonstrated excellence in broad-audience technical communication

What Makes Cloudflare Special?

We’re not just a highly ambitious, large-scale technology company. We’re a highly ambitious, large-scale technology company with a soul. Fundamental to our mission to help build a better Internet is protecting the free and open Internet.

Project Galileo: We equip politically and artistically important organizations and journalists with powerful tools to defend themselves against attacks that would otherwise censor their work, technology already used by Cloudflare’s enterprise customers--at no cost.

Athenian Project: We created Athenian Project to ensure that state and local governments have the highest level of protection and reliability for free, so that their constituents have access to election information and voter registration.

Path Forward Partnership: Since 2016, we have partnered with Path Forward, a nonprofit organization, to create 16-week positions for mid-career professionals who want to get back to the workplace after taking time off to care for a child, parent, or loved one. We released to help fix the foundation of the Internet by building a faster, more secure and privacy-centric public DNS resolver. This is available publicly for everyone to use - it is the first consumer-focused service Cloudflare has ever released. Here’s the deal - we don’t store client IP addresses never, ever. We will continue to abide by our privacy commitment and ensure that no user data is sold to advertisers or used to target consumers.

Sound like something you’d like to be a part of? We’d love to hear from you!

This position may require access to information protected under U.S. export control laws, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations. Please note that any offer of employment may be conditioned on your authorization to receive software or technology controlled under these U.S. export laws without sponsorship for an export license.

Cloudflare is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  We are committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all people and place great value in both diversity and inclusiveness.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to their, or any other person's, perceived or actual race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, family care status, or any other basis protected by law. We are an AA/Veterans/Disabled Employer.

Cloudflare provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.  Please tell us if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job. Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, changing the application process, providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment.  If you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job, please contact us via e-mail at or via mail at 101 Townsend St. San Francisco, CA 94107.


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