Senior Manager, Center of Excellence

Brooklyn, NY but location is flexible

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

Reporting to the Director of Product, the Senior Manager will work cross-functionally within DataKind to ensure that all projects are executed with the highest quality standards, whether completed by staff members or our volunteer base across the globe. The Center of Excellence is a newly-created team that will drive innovation and improvement as well as create structures that encourage all members of DataKind to measure, experiment, and share learnings with one another.

The Senior Manager will build and maintain a best-in-class playbook for the organization, outlining the engagement strategy for all data projects across the organization, including our chapters. This playbook will not only allow the organization to scale its work over the coming years, it will also serve as the blueprint for the ways in which all teams at DataKind support data projects. The Senior Manager will be responsible for generating regular reports that will promote transparent and shared results around organizational goals, rather than individual departmental metrics. The creation and/or dissemination of shared resources will allow us to surface what’s working best in one region so it can be used more broadly and make the delivery of a positive volunteer experience more consistent. 

This is an ideal role for someone with a solutions mindset who has had experience working with a volunteer or multi-site workforce and enjoys codifying practices and coaching/training others.

What You’ll Do

The Senior Manager will be responsible for the following, in addition to any other project as assigned by their manager:

DataKind Systems & Process Codification

  • On an ongoing systematic basis for all engagements, ensuring that all current and future systems, processes, success measures, data dissemination, best practices, and collaborators are documented in or are in line with playbook standards.
  • Developing Salesforce reporting that allows DataKind to understand program activities, troubleshoot issues, and establish benchmarks across the network.
  • Devising and implementing an audit system whereby all projects and communications are assessed for quality, consistency, and compliance to DataKind standards.


  • Devising replicable, culturally competent, and engaging trainings that will be delivered synchronously and asynchronously.
  • Partnering with the Global Volunteers team to develop a training curriculum for new chapter leaders around the globe.

Who You Are

  • You excel at systematizing and cataloging best practices. You have skillfully implemented innovative, disciplined, and continuously improving processes and systems (such as a playbook), garnering cross-functional staff support and use in the past.
  • You are a self-starter and get stuff done. 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 able to work independently with some guidance from your manager.
  • You are an engaging coach and trainer. You understand how to develop and facilitate trainings that build the skills and brand knowledge to consistently implement the DataKind process for volunteers globally.
  • You are a skilled project manager and communicator. You love the challenge of synthesizing and executing big picture ideas and have strong strategic thinking and project execution abilities. You are a formidable writer, able to adopt different voices, and may have experience working directly or indirectly in a communications capacity.
  • You bring people together. You know how to build buy-in from a variety of stakeholders, ensuring they have shared ownership over decisions and deliverables. You have time-tested strategies in your toolkit to support effective decision-making processes and have developed proven internal management systems that drive consistent results.
  • You are values-aligned. You share DataKind’s values of humility, transparency, diversity, equity, inclusion, thoughtfulness, expertise, and approachability.

How You’ll be Measured

At the end of year one, the Senior Manager will have:

  • Created, distributed, and started managing an internal playbook, which will include templates on how to develop, launch, and manage DataKind’s impact practice: DataCorps, DataDives, and community-based events like DataJams and meet-ups, as well as branded collateral.
  • Created and implemented systematic trainings on the playbook for volunteer chapters.
  • Created an internal auditing process of data engagements, serving as the vetting process for quality, impact, and efficiency based on playbook standards.


  • A bachelor’s degree with five to seven years of work experience; at least three years of experience in complex project management across multiple time zones/continents/countries.
  • Experience managing, training, coaching, and working with a global volunteer or multi-site workforce strongly preferred; background in curriculum and instruction ideal.
  • Knowledge and understanding of data science and its applications, and strong ability to discuss it among project teams and recommend related resources.
  • Experience using Salesforce or other CRM systems a plus.

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: 


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.