About the Opportunity

DataKind’s success ultimately comes down to the quality, timeliness, and effectiveness of our volunteer data science projects. Our Technical Lead will be responsible for overseeing a portfolio of volunteer-led projects using cutting-edge technology to help high-performing organizations worldwide make an even greater impact. In this highly visible and high impact role, you’ll manage a set of long-term DataCorps projects from start to finish, staffing teams of talented pro bono data scientists with the right skills to get the work done, and building strong relationships with our nonprofit partners, ensuring everyone has a great experience in the process. We anticipate this person to spend roughly 60% of their time on project support (project management, scoping, and other activities that support others in performing data science work) and 40% on executing data science work oneself.

The Technical Lead will report to the Senior Data Scientist and will work closely with other staff, pro bono data scientists and our Community and Network team.

What You’ll Do The Technical Lead will be responsible for the following in addition to any other project assigned by the manager:

Manage a variety of projects in DataKind’s flagship program, the DataCorps.

  • Scope potential projects, contributing to scope statements and developing project plans.
  • Write and oversee project briefs for DataCorps project portfolio and managing scope creep.
  • Prepare projects for a seamless launch with volunteers and non-profit project partners, including but not limited to coordinating contracts with and collecting data from our partners, as well as making sure that tech and communications systems are in place for teams.
  • Vet and select a diverse group of volunteers for project teams, with an eye towards individual qualifications and overall team composition.
  • Plan and execute project kick-off meetings, overseeing client and volunteer check-ins and end of phase presentations.
  • Consistently communicate and manage expectations of partner organizations and volunteers throughout the entire project lifecycle.
  • Ensure the technical quality of volunteer-led DataCorps projects.
  • Ensure volunteers have a great experience on our projects, celebrating their efforts and work throughout the project.
  • Be willing to work a flexible schedule to meet on some nights or weekends with your volunteer teams or to run DataKind events.

Create data science for social good

  • Conceive of creative, and appropriate, applications of data science to amplify the impact of our project partners (i.e. turning a vague business challenge into a crisp data problem.)
  • Conduct data audits where you will dive into complicated, messy datasets and verify that the data supports the technical solution being pursued.
  • Prototype and document data science solutions for project partners in the initial scoping process.
  • Own a small portfolio of internal data science projects from start to finish, being able and ready to step in on projects as needed to provide support.
  • Stay up-to-date with emerging data science solutions.
  • Monitor quality of DataCorps project output, both in terms of algorithmic and statistical output as well as code quality and best practices.
  • Set up cloud infrastructure for volunteer teams.

Be a key cross-functional collaborator

  • Collaborate with the Business Development team to document project and portfolio successes, contribute to all grant reporting, and keep funding partners aware of project outcomes.
  • Share insights and feedback with the Director of Global Volunteers to identify top volunteers for projects and subsequently recognize their efforts.
  • Work closely with the Communications team to amplify and celebrate the work of the DataKind community.
  • Contribute learnings to the Product team so we can update our process and our product and continuously improve.

How You’ll be Measured At the end of year one, the Technical Lead will have accomplished the following:

  • Led scoping on 5-10 projects through to the completion of a Project Brief and successfully co-managed 3-5 DataCorps projects from recruitment to handoff.
  • Expertly applied your data science skills to at least three data science projects - either ones you have owned completely or through technical support provided to volunteer teams.
  • Fostered strong relationships with external partners that have led to at least three collaborators expressing interest in continued DataKind engagement.
  • Prepared DataKind project outputs for professional presentation and delivered technically sound, community invigorating presentations at both internal and external venues.
  • Successfully completed and documented all phases of active project activities through the DataKind Project Playbook.


  • At least 3 years of work experience, preferably including experience in a nonprofit or start-up context.
  • Fluency in data science technology stack including R/Python, SQL, Postgres, AWS, and their brethren.
  • Deep experience in machine learning/AI with confidence in applying, tuning and evaluating a wide variety of AI algorithms, from logistic regression and random forests to deep learning.
  • Comfort and skill in communicating highly technical information to semi- and non-technical audiences.
  • Proven track record of successfully managing full lifecycle tech/AI projects.
  • Experience managing technical teams and deliverables in the volunteer, non-profit or tech spaces (or perhaps all three.)
  • Comfort and skill in translating a problem into technical requirements and ability to recognize when a solution might be an algorithm, a database, an application, a retrospective analysis, or none of the above.
  • Ability to motivate people to collaborate towards a shared goal, to keep them engaged throughout the process, and to intervene as needed to make sure balls don’t get dropped.
  • Demonstrated customer service orientation that will allow you to represent DataKind well to our volunteers and partners alike.

Why Work with DataKind At DataKind, we 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 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 an outstanding health plan. We pay 100% of medical, vision, and dental benefits for employees and contribute partially for spouse and dependent coverage.
  • 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.

Salary: Not Listed

Location: Brooklyn, NY but open to a remote location for thr right candidate

See more and apply here