Senior Program Manager, Design

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What Airbnb is looking for in applicants

Airbnb is a mission-driven company dedicated to helping create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. It takes a unified team committed to our core values to achieve this goal. Airbnb's various functions embody the company's innovative spirit and our fast-moving team is committed to leading as a 21st century company.

Design Operations enables Airbnb’s Design group to run effectively to make products that are usable, lovable, and scalable for our users. Partnering closely with Design, Product Management, Engineering, and business leaders, we drive Airbnb’s priorities through seamless day-to-day operations and strong stakeholder alignment, with an eye towards scale and efficiency. 

The Design Program Managers on this team lead the end-to-end planning, execution, and budgeting of programs to deliver success for our product, hosts, and guests. With a strong appreciation for the practice and process of design, you understand the multiple disciplines that go into a successful product. You bring creativity to the operational aspects of a design team and deal with solving the “how,” freeing up your design lead peers to focus on crafting the “what.”


As a Senior Design Program Manager (DPM), you work closely with our Design Lead(s) and cross-functional partners to drive delivery of quarterly and annual roadmap objectives and ensure that what we promise in our roadmap is what we deliver in our product. You will drive tight alignment of activities across teams through cross-functional planning and strong communication. 

In this role, you are responsible for driving end-to-end scoping, planning, execution, and launch of design programs to deliver success for our product, hosts, and guests. You will also serve as the bridge between critical business functions, aligning stakeholders, providing visibility into the workstreams progress, elevating risks, and shepherding the team through the process of bringing our work to life. You will partner with Design Ops Leadership to provide insight on program progress and raise any red flags that could affect delivery, work closely with other DPMs to share and evolve best practices, and coordinate capacity across design teams.  

  • Initiate, drive, and launch projects by aligning Design, Product Management, and Engineering teams on critical features (via the roadmap) 
  • Manage workstream scope, resourcing, reviews, approvals, timelines, and workflow management
  • Manage team operating rhythm, including communication structures, workflow, project templates, leadership cadence for managing design quality of our product
  • Provide up-to-date visibility into current projects, resource utilization, team performance and product health across your teams
  • Drive integration of the various disciplines within the design org (research, writing, localization, production design)
  • Manage how the design team interfaces with other functions such as product management, engineering, external partners and marketing
  • Uphold standards and best practices, ensure the design process and tools are applied
  • Cultivate, negotiate and manage relationships with external contractors and agencies, including contract execution and financial reporting
  • Identify and predict obstacles, collisions, and risk to projects across multiple teams and seek solutions to eliminate them
  • Develop strong working relationships with business teams to understand goals and priorities across the company
  • Partner with external vendors to augment our design team
  • Partner with our business stakeholders to scope, plan, and identifying resource needs


  • BA/BS with 7+ years Consulting, Program Management, Product Management, Project Management or relevant experience
  • Demonstrated ability to work through ambiguity to detailed solutions. You can take a vague problem, crisply frame the challenge, identify a path forward, and drive an initiative over the finish-line.
  • Track record of managing and shipping impactful design initiatives in a large digital product org
  • Long-term strategic thinking balanced with near-term execution skills. Distinctive problem solving skills
  • Proven ability to build strong relationships and influence business leaders
  • Demonstrable skills and experience in mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution 
  • Demonstrated track record successfully managing ambitious and operationally complex projects with cross-functional teams
  • Experience in structuring and implementing initiatives at scale with design and product teams
  • Background in establishing systems: experience developing processes where little exists, and demonstrated flexibility to get things done.
  • Passionate and enthusiastic about organizational excellence and attention to detail
  • Thrives in ambiguity in a fast-paced, hyper-growth organization

Preferred Qualifications

  • Deep knowledge of and appreciation for the Product Design process
  • Experience with or understanding of cross-functional (Product, Design & Engineering) product-driven organizations and digital agency
  • 3+ years of design consultancy experience working with large scale clients on complex and ambiguous programs 

The starting base pay for this role is between $118,000 and $153,500. The actual base pay is dependent upon many factors, such as: education, experience, and skills. The base pay range is subject to change and may be modified in the future. This role may also be eligible for bonus, equity, benefits, and Employee Travel Credits.


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What is Airbnb looking for?
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