Director, Technology

Brooklyn, NY

About DataKind

DataKind is a global nonprofit dedicated to harnessing the power of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) in the service of humanity. Named one of Fast Company's 2017 top 10 innovative nonprofits, we team talented pro bono experts from academia and industry with visionary changemakers to collaboratively design innovative solutions to tough social challenges. We help social organizations apply their data to predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms, and AI needs in a way that both increases impact and is sensitive to the ethical considerations they have. 

  • We are 20,000+ strong: DataKind volunteers hail from almost every country across the world, representing a community of technologists and social changemakers who believe in using data science and AI for a stronger planet and a more just and prosperous world.
  • We have served 300+ projects around the world: From using satellite imagery to measure crop yields to automating the fight against hate speech online, our volunteer community has shown up to support a range of humanitarian needs.
  • People are at the center of our process: The most advanced machine learning algorithms are useless if they’re not designed for real peoples’ problems. We celebrate human centered design principles that focus on the “why,” the “for whom,” and the “should we” long before we ever get going on the “what”.
  • “AI for Good” will only succeed if it’s “AI for All”: We will continue our work until all people and all communities can use digital technology for the outcomes they want to see. We support not just the technology communities of today, but anyone in any community who wants to lead in how data technologies serve their needs fairly.

Our Next Phase

We have been honored to work with social change organizations around the world to do over 300 projects these past eight years. Those projects have resulted in more effective NGOs, more funding for social change organizations, and more awareness of the power (and pitfalls) of data science and AI in the social sector. However, we have always known we will not be able to combat all of the world’s looming challenges on the backs of individual, uncoordinated, short-term projects alone. Thanks to generous long-term support from The Rockefeller Foundation and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, we are now focusing the DataKind network on issue areas, such as improving health outcomes through community health workers or increasing financial inclusion. Over a period of five years we’ve been granted $20M to make this vision a reality, and are looking for people to join us in this journey. You can read more about the new strategy here.

About the Opportunity

The Director, Technology plays a key leadership role at DataKind and for our chapters around the world. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, you’ll work collaboratively with the heads of Communications, Product, Business Development, and Global Volunteers to spearhead technology initiatives to support operations, project delivery and optimization, development of DataKind’s website and data backend, and eventually advise on the release of software products to the public. You will also be responsible for building and managing our tech team, consisting of staff, contractors, and volunteers, as well as creating and implementing best-in-class systems and processes related to data security.

What You’ll Do

The Director, Technology is responsible for the following in addition to any other project as assigned by their manager:

Devise DataKind’s technology strategy

  • Develop and oversee technology goals and metrics and coordinate development roadmap, budget, and timelines.
  • In concert with senior leaders, develop and implement a new website leveraging our branding strategy.
  • Ensure technical activities are in strategic alignment with the product and business goals.
  • Implement consistent tracking, management, and analysis of data on projects and portfolios in support of the Product team.
  • Identify creative product opportunities from project experiences across DataKind.
  • Identify or develop a volunteer management system in collaboration with the Director, Global Volunteers.
  • Leverage Salesforce to create a contract management system that allows us to usher legal agreements through the approval process and help staff adhere to contractual terms.

Build and lead the Technology team

  • Recruit and develop a team of world-class technologists.
  • Build healthy collaboration across a mix of full-time, contract, and volunteer team members.

Streamline and maintain technical services and support for staff and volunteers

  • Maintain regulatory, data security, and cybersecurity requirements set by funders, partners, and the jurisdictions in which DataKind operates.
  • Update and manage the DataKind helpdesk, providing rapid response technology support to our staff and volunteer leaders.
  • Ensure that volunteer data scientists have a seamless experience completing their projects with data, services, and project management tools readily available (e.g. AWS, Slack, Asana, and any custom software needs).

Who You Are 

  • You are a human-centered technologist. You know that technology is nothing without the people it serves. While passionate about the power of computing, you always work in partnership with your users, whether it’s someone in the office or across the world, developing your ability to anticipate their needs. You’re thoughtful about the way your systems can empower and enrich, as well as how they might inadvertently harm.
  • You architect for easy maintenance. Sure, you’ve got engineering chops, but you’re always thinking of others now and in the future. You design simple systems that solve real needs without creating a bunch of new ones. You stay in touch with the latest techniques and technologies so you can identify the most useful tools for the job and anticipate what’s on the horizon.
  • You are a proven coach. You’re excellent at getting the best out of people and appreciate the job of recruiting and mentoring technology talent. You’ve led and built technology teams and know how to get them to work as one.
  • You get stuff done. You thoughtfully translate strategic planning into concrete results, especially in the short-term. Whether it’s on your own, or through staff, contractors, or volunteers, your experience, transparency, and organization allow you to get the nuts and bolts in place in record time, always with support and input from the rest of the organization.
  • You are values-aligned. You share DataKind’s values of humility, transparency, diversity, equity, inclusion, thoughtfulness, expertise, and approachability. At DataKind, they deliberately live values that contradict the negative stereotypes of technologists, and so do you.

How You’ll be Measured

At the end of year one, the Director of Technology will have:

  • Streamlined and maintained technical services and support for staff and volunteers to include the release of a volunteer management system.
  • Reimagined and implemented a new and streamlined website, corresponding hosting platform, and supporting code.
  • Partnered with teams across the organization to enable the production and regular maintenance of a company dashboard and Salesforce reporting.
  • Adapted Salesforce to provide a contract management system.
  • Made major progress in ensuring first-in-class data security systems and protocols across both internal DataKind teams as well as volunteer groups in the field.

Qualifications

  • At least eight years working on technical operations and software engineering with at least three years in engineering management, preferably at a growing non-profit with a remote team.
  • Experience developing a technology vision and strategy in conversation with senior leadership and other stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated track record of enhancing, implementing, and enforcing processes to increase operational efficiency. Principled in generating and maintaining software and systems documentation.
  • Prior success leading software development, deployment, and operations under significant schedule and budget constraints.
  • Familiarity with operational security concepts, modern data science toolkits, platforms, and services, and GDPR and other regulations.
  • Preferably experienced in coding and leveraging code from open source locations, and proficiency with any of the following: AWS, Github, WordPress, Python, Postgres, SQL, and Salesforce.
  • A Bachelor's degree strongly preferred.

Why Work with DataKind

At DataKind, we believe that people are the most important asset to delivering on our mission to collaboratively design data-driven, innovative solutions to tough social challenges. Working with us means that you will have:

  • Flexibility in your working schedule. This includes things like working from home, leaving early to care for kids, coming in late to walk your dog, etc. This also means that you have unlimited PTO.
  • Access to a generous health plan. We pay 100% of medical, vision, and dental benefits for employees and contribute partially for spouse/kids/family members.
  • Support to plan for your future. We offer a 401(k) match up to 5%.
  • Opportunities to learn and grow. Each year, we budget for each staff person to have ongoing professional development support.

To Apply

This search is being managed by Axis Talent Partners, a boutique executive search and talent strategy firm which partners with social justice-focused organizations. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter detailing their interest in our mission and qualifications for the position to:  https://axistalentpartners.applytojob.com/apply/

 

DataKind is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Naturally, we’re an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages 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.
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