DataKind is looking for a Director, Technology!
This is an onsite opportunity located in DataKind’s Brooklyn, NY headquarters.
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, DataKind teams talented pro bono experts from academia and industry with visionary change makers to collaboratively design innovative solutions to tough social challenges. They 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.
- They are 20,000 strong: DataKind volunteers hail from almost every country across the world, representing a community of technologists and social change makers who believe in using data science and AI for a stronger planet and a more just and prosperous world.
- They have served 300+ projects around the world: From using satellite imagery to measure crop yields to automating the fight against hate speech online, their volunteer community has shown up to support a range of humanitarian needs.
- People are at the center of their process: The most advanced machine learning algorithms are useless if they’re not designed for real peoples’ problems. DataKind celebrates human centered design principles that focus on the “why,” the “for whom,” and the “should we” long before they ever get going on the “what.”
- “AI for Good” will only succeed if it’s “AI for All”: They will continue their work until all people and all communities can use digital technology for the outcomes they want to see. They support not just the tech communities of today, but anyone in any community who wants to lead in how data technologies serve their needs fairly.
The Next Phase
DataKind has 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, they have always known that they 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, they 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, DataKind has been granted $20M to make this vision a reality, and are looking for people to join them 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 its 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’ll also be responsible for building and managing DataKind’s 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 the DataKind 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 DataKind to usher legal agreements through the approval process and help staff adhere to contractual terms.
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 DataKind 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).
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.
Who You Are
- You’re 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’re 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’re 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.
Why Work with DataKind
At DataKind, they believe that people are the most important asset to delivering on their mission to collaboratively design data-driven, innovative solutions to tough social challenges. Working with them 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. They pay 100% of medical, vision and dental benefits for employees and contribute partially for spouse/kids/family members.
- Support to plan for your future. They offer a 401(k) match up to 5%.
- Opportunities to learn and grow. Each year, they budget for each staff person to have ongoing professional development support.
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.