Head of Engineering, Data Lab

World Resources Institute
Washington, D.C
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
How to Apply
Please apply through the WRI portal: https://jobs.jobvite.com/wri/job/oUKbhfwQ
Where to Apply

Job Summary:

Reporting to the Director of WRI’s Data Lab, you will manage and mentor WRI’s growing staff of software and data engineers in order to create an effective, motivated team that consistently delivers on strategic objectives. You will work closely with the Head of Product to guide the technical approach to new projects and initiatives, and will oversee the development and maintenance of shared components (both frontend and backend) for the manipulation and visualization of complex, geospatial data.

You will ultimately own the strategic vision and roadmap for the shared infrastructure that powers the Data Lab’s many impactful data platforms, such as Global Forest Watch and Resource Watch. In this role, you will have the opportunity to be at the helm of a quickly growing team doing critical work to enable WRI to leverage technology for real-world impact.

Job Responsibilities:

Building Shared Infrastructure
Work with your team of software and data engineers to design and implement performant, future-proof, and cost-effective systems for processing and managing complex geospatial data
Proactively engage with teams building data platforms across WRI’s programs and international offices to understand their current and future infrastructure needs
Work closely with the Head of Product to expand the capabilities of existing technology infrastructure to serve the needs of projects across WRI
Prepare technical requirements and architecture design documentation for new infrastructure investments
Technology Strategy & Product Guidance
Advise technology projects across the institute on engineering and software best practices, including developing guidance and policies for preferred tech stacks
Work with Product Managers to help in-flight projects select appropriate technologies, architectures, and development approaches
Provide leadership in emerging technologies and recommend adoption of new approaches where appropriate
Instill best practices in software development, testing, and documentation across the institute
Staff Management and Mentoring
Manage a growing team of software engineers which serves WRI’s programs, centers, and international offices
Prioritize and adjust your team’s roadmap as needed
Work with WRI’s Human Resources department to continuously improve career paths and mentorship opportunities for technical staff to ensure staff retention and job satisfaction
Job Qualifications:

Master’s degree in a a relevant field; relevant work experience in lieu of degree
Minimum of 8 years of experience architecting and building cloud-based software; minimum of 2 years of experience managing teams of technical staff
Deep familiarity with AWS and best practices for APIs and cloud-native architecture
Passion for learning and staying on top of the latest relevant technologies
Excellent communicator with the ability to explain highly technical concepts to a non-technical audience
Ability to deal with high degrees of complexity, ambiguity, and changes of focus
Aptitude for coaching and mentoring software engineering staff across the multiple teams
Experience advising diverse projects on architectural best practices

Experience with open source geospatial processing software, such as GDAL and GeoTrellis
Experience developing web APIs in Python and/or Node.js using frameworks like FastAPI, Flask, or Koa
Experience working with and overseeing technology projects with external vendors
How to Apply:

Please submit a resume with cover letter. Resume and cover letter must be submitted in English to be considered. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Program Overview:

The Data Lab team works across WRI’s programs, centers and international offices to help harness the full power of the data revolution and use modern technology to solve today’s most pressing sustainability issues. The Data Lab was created to support WRI’s work conducting high quality, data-driven research that informs target audiences and helps achieve concrete outcomes in support of our mission. We are one of the few nongovernmental organizations with central staff dedicated to creating a strong learning culture and ensuring research excellence across programs and international offices. The Data Lab also upholds WRI’s rigorous data standards and commitment to open data and knowledge-sharing. It is located within Research, Data & Innovation (RDI), a team responsible for setting and overseeing consistent quality standards for our research and knowledge products.

WRI Overview:

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills, and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence, and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years, and our operating budget is now $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.