Manager, Online Data Tools & Visualizations

World Resources Institute
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Aug 02

Position description

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 six 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 and sustainable cities.

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 $100 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of nearly 700 people with work spanning 50 countries. We have offices in BrazilChinaEuropeIndiaIndonesiaMexico and the United States


WRI is seeking a manager and innovator who is excited to turn climate data into climate actions through powerful online tools. The position will lead a team of data researchers in the development on these tools, and will be done in close collaboration with national governments and partner organizations, such as Google, leading NGOs, and other research organizations

You should be a data leader who envisions creative visualizations and online platforms that are primarily user-driven. You innovate, build partnership and have an infectious enthusiasm that helps to motivate our team and colleagues. You work well with others, know your strengths and can identify theirs.

To help manage and implement WRI’s flagship climate data platform, and ideal candidate should have abilities in:

  • Turning general ideas into well-focused data platforms;
  • Delivering complex data, analysis and visualizations products;
  • Managing a project independently, including staff, scoping, design, implementation, testing and delivery; and
  • Exhibiting interpersonal and consensus finding skills.

A typical working week in the position can include:

  • Developing wireframes for external review and discussing them with colleagues;
  • Brainstorming ideas and define steps to identify priorities;
  • Documenting functional and data scope to discuss with partners;
  • Meeting with junior staff to guide them in their data research and analysis; and
  • Reporting on progress to funders and partners.

The manager will work in a team of four data analysts and managers as well as numerous external partners. The candidate will play an integral role in co-leading WRI’s climate data team (see the existing CAIT Climate Data Explorer as an example).

In particular this position will focus on building tools for a new partnership including countries, organizational partners and WRI to help nations implement their climate action plans (known as NDCs).

The candidate will lead the development to the key global platform for climate action. This platform will include new analysis and visualizations as well as linking to existing data and tools from WRI and other key research partners. An example module that will be integrated in the platform is the Emission Scenario Portal, developed in collaboration with Google showcasing future emission pathways towards de-carbonization. This effort aims to help national decision-makers and stakeholders to identify pathways to reach (or exceed) their emission reduction targets and to make relevant policy decisions.

The position requires experience to plan and implement tools that are similar in complexity than the CAIT Climate Data Explorer. The work includes working with partner to develop scopes and UX designs, guide the research and development processes, and ensure timely implementation of the tools though vendors. The position will work together with senior and

management staff to coordinate across the variety of data tools and ensure full engagement of WRI programs and external stakeholders.


The main areas of responsibility will include the following:

Project Management & Tool Development (70% of time required)

Manage the whole process of tool development, including the development of scope, use case, font-end designs, data analysis planning, user testing and delivery with some of the task being carried out by external vendors * Manage junior level research assistants that will implement research on relevant data * Work with external vendors to support the implementation of large scale data visualization tools and ensure timely, high quality delivery of tools.

  • Organize stakeholder interviews to assess demand and use cases of a the online tools.
  • Lead the preparation of scoping documents, working plans and wireframes, ensuring quality deliverables on time.
  • Plan the outreach for the online tools together with the central communications teams.
  • Coordinate partnerships with external organizations that will help to develop the tools.
  • Monitor and manage project performance against budget, scope progress according to planned milestones, expenses and revenue, and internal and donor reporting.
  • Assist in developing overall initiative strategy and prioritizing of research and project activities.
  • Lead the presentation of new products at workshops and other internal and external events.
  • Coordinate with WRI colleagues across programs and countries.
  • Support the project lead with fundraising and donor stewardship, and engage directly with foundation and government funders.

Research & Knowledge: (30% of time required)

  • Guide and support junior staff to do high quality data research.
  • Lead the development of an actionable database of climate policy relevant datasets, including historical emissions, projected emissions, NDC analysis, policy databases, climate finance, and SDG-NDC synergies.
  • Oversee the development of an emissions database, collecting and structuring climate modeling data on de-carbonization pathways to be presented in a user-friendly manner on a data platform, and developing a protocol for ongoing maintenance and updating of the platform.
  • Coordinate with other organizations on research efforts and guide their staff for the creation of a common database.
  • Guide the development of new data sets and analysis, for example a new high quality global emissions data set.
  • Authoring or co-authoring knowledge and outreach products (e.g., reports, briefs, data products, blogs).
  • Participate in internal and external peer review processes for publications and papers.
  • Develop project proposals and concept notes

Additionally, in keeping with WRI’s commitment to gender equity across our programs, the manager will contribute to the identification of relevant gender issues, as determined through a gender analysis, and ensure adequate and effective attention to these issues in project and partner development, budgeting and management.


Required Qualifications:

  • Masters in related field in Environmental Science, Computer Science, Sustainability Science, International Relations, and Economics or related.
  • Minimum 3-5 years of full-time work experience with online data tools, data analysis or data visualizations, with some project management experience.
  • Understanding of the planning and development process of online tools similar to WRI's CAIT Climate Data Explorer.
  • Demonstrated skills in the design and development of online data tools with strong data visualization components.
  • Knowledge of data analysis and processing of quantitative and qualitative data sets.
  • Ability to work with partners and assess the need of stakeholder groups.
  • Ability to connect research results to measurable external change.
  • Prior supervision and mentorship of one or more junior staff.
  • Exceptionally good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Detail-oriented and organized thinker who can juggle multiple, competing priorities.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Understanding of the international climate policy space, for example UNFCCC processes, mitigation policies and climate action.
  • Knowledge of Integrated Assessment Models; global environmental modeling and data preferred * Web development and data visualization, e.g. d3.js, Drupal or others.
  • Experience with external communications and/or donor management.
  • Ability to travel when needed

Final candidates will be required to take a writing/analytical test.

Finalists will need to submit 2 writing samples. 

Salary and Benefits: Salary is commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous, comprehensive benefits package.

Application instructions

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