Chief Program Officer

Brooklyn, NY but location is flexible

About DataKind

DataKind works to use data science and AI in the service of humanity. We bring together pro bono data scientists with high impact social organizations in collaborative teams to create a more positive change in the world. Since our founding in 2012, DataKind has led over 250 projects, across five international chapters, and galvanized a global network of 20K data science volunteers. Our efforts include helping organizations apply machine learning to their mission, identifying novel ways data can increase their efficiency, and enhancing the overall data science literacy in the social sector.

Based on the positive impact of our work to date, DataKind recently secured a general operating grant totaling ~$20M over five years from The Rockefeller Foundation and the Mastercard Impact Fund - administered by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. This funding partnership reflects a shared commitment to leveraging data science and predictive technologies in the service of humanity. While DataKind remains its own separate organization apart from Rockefeller and Mastercard, both funding entities are incredibly committed to helping us realize our vision and are actively championing DataKind through Board support and access to extended partnership opportunities in key arenas such as global health, rural power, agriculture, and more.

With knowledge gained from the past seven years of work and increased funding in hand, DataKind now finds itself on the precipice of a significant strategic shift in which they will leverage the learnings from their project work towards driving forward key impact practices areas and developing a more robust overall ecosystem of data for good. This shift marks an incredible opportunity to significantly increase DataKind's impact and move even closer towards a vision of a world where everyone tackling the world's toughest humanitarian problems can use data science and AI ethically and capably. For additional context, click here to learn more about DataKind's new strategic direction and click here to learn about DataKind's decision to hire a Chief Program Officer instead of a President.

DataKind has created a new Chief Program Officer (CPO) role to oversee its full spectrum of programmatic work. This involves leading and refining DataKind's existing effort to deliver high-quality data science consulting projects across the globe while also looking forward and driving the next phase of our program efforts through the design and delivery of impact practices. The impact practice work will involve organizing multiple stakeholders - nonprofits, governments, companies, pro bono technologists, and foundations - in order to identify high leverage, cross-sector opportunities for applying data science and machine learning on a global scale. The CPO will be charged with incubating, shaping, and executing different impact practices in service to DataKind's new strategic plan.

Across all of this, the CPO will manage a cross-functional team comprised of program, network, and volunteer teams while also designing and building the new teams and infrastructure needed to deliver on the impact practice side of the work. As a key member of DataKind's Executive team, the CPO will report directly to the CEO/Founder and will work closely with the COO (focused on internal infrastructure e.g., finance, legal, HR, technology, risk management, development, communications, and core operations), and the Board. This is a unique opportunity to effectively create and lead a matrixed department that balances data science skill, pro bono volunteering, replication of DataKind's services to other markets, and product design.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Organizational Strategy & Leadership

  • Engage with the senior leaders (e.g., CEO, COO, Board) on organization-wide strategic planning and lead the refinement of the organization's longer-arc programmatic strategy
  • Directly manage the heads of DataKind's programmatic departments, consisting of product, volunteer management, and chapter network, ensuring effective leadership for DataKind's programs staff, chapter leaders, and 20K-person volunteer base
  • Build and lead the team needed to effectively deliver on DataKind's burgeoning impact practice efforts
  • In partnership with the COO, leverage best-in-class talent practices for staff and volunteers that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion across all dimensions (e.g., recruitment/hiring, coaching/development, compensation, and retention)
  • Serve as a model of DataKind's values and actively work to ensure the vision and values are alive and present in DataKind's programmatic verticals

Programmatic Strategy & Execution

  • In partnership with the Board and CEO, sense and identify the issue areas that will form the next impact practices where DataKind can make the most impact and develop new programs to drive mission impact
  • Drive and oversee the execution of DataKind's impact agenda across the impact practices, volunteer community, partner organizations (nonprofits/corporations/foundations), and global chapter network
  • Drawing on the CEO and other experts, ensure programmatic design/process practices reflect a high degree of quality, consistency, and deep alignment with DataKind's values
  • Organize and manage the Volunteer Community, Chapter Network, and Product, teams against the work of the impact practices, ensuring that each team has the right goals in focus and the ability to navigate the natural tension between the data scientist-centric and social sector-centric sides of the program team
  • Ensure the systems and processes are in place to support DataKind's programmatic efforts and future growth and scaling

Stakeholder Engagement & Partnership Development

  • In consultation with the CEO and Board, put in place the principles and policies that determine "rules of engagement" with different partner types (foundations, corporations, government, nonprofits, etc.)
  • In partnership with the CEO, identify, cultivate, and manage critical relationships and partnerships required for impact practice success
  • Working with the CEO and COO, translate business development opportunities for programs into reality, equipping DataKind with new financial opportunities in the form of additional services that meet market demand

Candidate Requirements

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Experience working in the data science field
  • Understanding of how data science is effectively integrated into the way large organizations do their work and the ability to engage in data science discussions with a high degree of literacy
  • An experienced executive, with a track record of developing and managing leaders
  • Strong strategic thinking skills with the ability to set bold, programmatic vision and direction in the face of complexity and ambiguity
  • Experience building partnerships with large organizations/institutions
  • Track record of success and history of strong relationships in the social sector
  • Understanding of how to create broad-scale, issues-level change (e.g., community health, inclusive growth) and ideally experienced at driving collective impact
  • Experience working in a client-facing environment (e.g., consulting or agency background) a plus
  • Understanding of international development preferred, but not required
  • Deep commitment to DataKind's mission, ethos, and values an absolute must

Compensation & Benefits

Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.


DataKind is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Naturally, we’re an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented groups in tech to apply. DataKind does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected category.