| May 29, 2024

Senior Director of Data in Social Impact

Guest Author


Website Emerson Collective


Emerson Collective blends philanthropy and targeted investments to generate and sustain groundbreaking initiatives. Our partners range from artists to scientists, educators to technologists across the United States and around the world.  We have a community of change-makers, diverse and disparate in backgrounds with a core belief that we should not accept the world as it is.

As with the whole of Emerson Collective, what matters most is that we work with people who are not only the very best at what they do, but also the kindest.

The Opportunity

The Technology team at Emerson Collective (EC) consists of software engineers, data scientists, and product managers spanning new product development, engineering, data science, and information technology. Our mission is to use technology and data to amplify the impact of the Collective and our partners to accelerate change – to do that, we often build products, in collaboration with partners in the field. We look for opportunities to make change using technology. And we act as advisors for the Collective and our partners.

The Senior Director of Data Science is a trusted partner with experience as an analytical problem solver and champion of data-driven approaches. In the role, you will collaborate with engineers and data professionals to foster the use of data science, advanced analytics, machine learning, and other techniques to amplify solutions in EC’s issue areas. This senior leadership position requires a deep understanding of data science capabilities, ethics, data governance, and how to use data to support the social sector.


Role and Responsibilities

  • Strategic leadership: In partnership with our team, develop, lead, and oversee a strategic vision for data. This includes the use of modeling, engineering, and ML opportunities to support EC initiatives and issue areas. You will advise and drive the responsible use of technology to create meaningful data insights that contribute to our objective and key results (OKRs) in alignment with the budget.
  • Coach a high-performing and focused team: Manage and inspire data professionals and consultants to ensure success. Support Technology teammates to create valuable data solutions and cultivate a data-driven culture.
  • Oversee data infrastructure and governance: Work with our Head of Engineering to build and maintain a robust data infrastructure, including data warehouses, analytics platforms, and data security protocols. Establish and administer data governance policies to ensure data quality, accuracy, and ethical use.
  • Develop data insights and solutions: Work with colleagues and the Technology team to identify, collect, analyze, and launch data outputs such as analyses, visualizations, and products that deliver maximum value.
  • Evangelize human-centered technology: Foster a culture of continuous learning and knowledge sharing on emerging trends in data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and related technologies.


Qualifications, Skills, and Requirements

  • 10+ years of experience as a data scientist and/or data engineer working with technical teams on data solutions for social issues.
  • 3+ years of experience in relevant technical leadership and people management including performance management goal setting, coaching, development, and engagement.
  • Passionate, knowledgeable, and eager to continue learning and building data infrastructure and applying data in social sector projects.
  • Insatiable desire and belief that tech and data can contribute to positive change with the perseverance to guide innovation in the field.
  • Proven experience developing and deploying ethical and responsible data outputs adhering to data quality, security, privacy, and governance standards. This includes understanding, building, and leveraging AI/ML technologies.
    Proficient with a wide spectrum of database, data warehouse, and data lake technologies.
  • Experience with our relevant tools and platforms including JavaScript, Python, SQL, HTML, CSS, React, Docker, Kubernetes, AWS, Heroku, Airflow, Django, Airtable, GitHub, etc.
  • Strong verbal and written ability to communicate and present concisely and persuasively to technical and non-technical audiences at every level; within EC, at the executive level, and with external partners.
  • Detail-oriented with outstanding organizational skills and demonstrates the ability to balance multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Background in data or machine learning engineering, or a similar field is highly desirable.
  • Familiarity and flexibility with working across multiple time zones.
  • Willing to travel as needed.



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