Over the summer, DataKind more than doubled in full-time staff. Say hello to our three newest employees!
Dave Goodsmith, Program Leader
I'm the new Program Leader here at DataKind and my job is to lead the DataCorps teams who are working on long term projects with partner NGOs. I've spent the past decade evaluating how quantitative science can be applied to eradicate the most extreme forms of needless human suffering. DataKind's mission - to use "Data in the Service of Humanity" - matches my own. While in business school I was lucky enough to attend a DataKind DataDive and feel for the first time the social and ethical power a roomful of data nerds can generate when guided by experts from the social sector. When the opportunity to join DataKind's founders arose, there was no "choose", only "do."
I'm emotionally driven by the statistics (not a paradox) showing persistent lack of access to basic human rights due to poverty, despite growing global wealth. While 'solving global poverty' can seem daunting, I've inspired by the innate selflessness of everyone I've met in the DataKind community. I've been touched by how 'doing good' tops each individual's priority list -- this goes for people in all walks of life, economic situations, countries of origin, and cultures. I've been lucky enough to be given the opportunity in life to spend time 'trying to help', and hope to provide this opportunity to others. Through some amazing organizations I've volunteered with -- including NetImpact, RESULTS, the International Rescue Committee, and Incentives for Global Health -- I've learned that optimism is the probabilistically correct response to the challenges of global inequity.
When I'm not working, I'm being inspired by my daughter's brilliance with the mod-lever on her korg (she's a bit over 1 year, but a savant with portamento I tell you). She has accelerated my need to write a children's book about the p-value. Nerds: Want to help?
Julia Marden, Community Manager
Hi all! I just joined DataKind at the end of July and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be here. I got my start in community organizing with groups like Democracy for America, Rock the Vote, and the National Wildlife Federation, but until recently I was only peripherally aware of the power of data.
A couple years ago, I went back to school to get my masters degree from Pratt’s School of Information and Library Science (any data librarians or curators in the house!?), dove headfirst into the world of data, and learned about DataKind. For me, data science is the missing piece in our common desire to make the world better; good data science and good data literacy is just what we need to make smarter and more informed decisions.
Now that I’m here in the DataKind offices (which you can visit!) I’ll be helping to plan events, grow our chapters, support our amazing volunteers, and learning how to be a better data scientist.
What draws you to data science? What change do you wish to be in the world? Have you ever noticed how strange ‘data science’ looks when you type it too many times in one blog post? Let’s chat! As your new community manager, you’ll find me at Meetups, tweeting from @DataKind and @juliaem, and hopefully on a few other platforms coming soon! I can’t wait to meet you all.
Pete Darche, Data Engineer
Ahoy! I'm incredibly excited to be writing my second DataKind introduction post (especially given that this time I write not as a lowly intern but rather as a full-blown Data Engineer). If you read the previous post you would know that I'm technophile interested in all manner of data-driven do-goodery who came to DataKind via NYU's Interactive Telecommunications program, where I worked mostly on using self-tracking tools and personal data to help people better understand their social and environmental impact. You'd also know that prior to ITP I taught elementary school in the South Bronx and Bed Stuy. If you didn't, well, that's the gist, so now you know!
Though officially titled Data Engineer, I'm more of a jack-of-all-data-related-trades, working on everything from internal data-related tasks to DataCorps projects (the latter name just didn't roll of the tongue as nicely). So, if we need to programmatically generate reports about code written at a DataDive or create additional visualizations for a DataCorps project, I'll be the man for the job. With so many amazing projects in the pipeline, I'm extremely excited to get down to business helping volunteers and NGOs use data to make the world a better place.
Finally, I can geek-out about tech, programming, data, public policy, social innovation, education, philosophy, etc. in perpetuity, so if you're similarly interested, come find me at one of our events! Also, my internet nom de guerre is almost always ‘pdarche’, so if you’re searching for me in a given corner of the internet, i’m most likely locatable using that handle.
We've got a lot of new stuff planned for the fall. Care to join us? We're hiring!