Director of SDSN TReNDS

Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Sep 03

Position description

SDSN Association was set up in March 2014 as an independent 501 3 (c) organization to support the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The SDSN mobilizes research, academia, the private sector, and civil society to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and implement the Paris Climate Agreement. 

The SDSN Secretariat has offices in New York and Paris hosted by SDSN Association and SDSN Association Paris, respectively.

The SDSN Association is recruiting for the position of Director, SDSN TReNDS. TReNDS is the SDSN’s Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics. The position will be line managed by the Vice President of the SDSN for the Americas, working closely with the President of the SDSN. However, the position will retain some academic and managerial independence, with the substantive portfolio overseen by the Co-Chairs of SDSN TReNDS and the broad TReNDS membership. 

The position is based in New York and will require international travel. The right to work in the USA is essential. SDSN is committed to diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from a broad range of individuals. 


About TReNDS:

An initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Networkthe Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS)mobilizes technical and policy-oriented solutions to advance the data revolution for sustainable development. Our network of experts from across the global scientific, development, public, and private sector data communities work to strengthen the data ecosystem by advancing the use of more frequent, high-quality data to guide and spur progress and helping to ensure that the data revolution is grounded in strong expertise and evidence to achieve its promise of sustainable development for all. Our mission is to:

  • Develop timely, multi-sectoral, policy-relevant research to strengthen local, national, and global statistical systems, focused on themes such as governance, new technologies, SDG monitoring, financing, and data collaboration, thereby helping to ensure countries’ data collection and production strategies capitalize on emerging good practice and partnerships. 
  • Test new approaches to data management, sharing, and use through pilot projects and partnerships in countries worldwide, documenting both process and progress, to curate applied, cutting-edge approaches that are highly replicable, as well as to encourage a more open dialogue on data-related innovations, collaborations, and their sustainability. 
  • Continue to serve as a leading data-oriented think-tank and advisory group, working to facilitate connections between local and global data scientists and innovators, to support countries, projects, and programs with technical expertise, and to produce resources which help to empower and capacitate both local academics and governments representatives on how to navigate and harness new data sources and technologies for social good. 



As Director of TReNDS, you will: 

  • Manage and oversee the majority of SDSN’s data work, including substantive reports and other written content, TReNDS’ 6 projects, large-scale data events, and so on. 
  • Manage a team of 5 permanent staff, plus interns and contractors. 
  • Represent TReNDS at public events and maintain social media presence.
  • Generate original written content and demonstrate thought-leadership, in articles, blogs, and longer outputs. 
  • Act as the final reviewer and substantive editor of all outputs being released on behalf of TReNDS. 
  • Develop and execute the annual program strategy, once approved by the co-chairs and Membership. 
  • Manage annual TReNDS meetings and propose revisions to membership and key partnerships.
  • Participate in SDSN-wide management processes.
  • Be expected to fundraise to support the SDSN TReNDS’ core activities and Secretariat staff, as well managing relationships with TReNDS’ existing donors, including the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, GIZ, The Gates Foundation, and others.


  • Minimum 10 years of experience in development, climate change, or related sustainable development fields
  • A substantive interest in data for sustainable development, including issues relating to data governance, privacy, ethics, as well as an interest in curating new sources of data to support policy-makers. 
  • Proven track record in policy and/or associated research.
  • Entrepreneurial, resourceful, and service-oriented.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills.
  • Proven records for building and maintaining partnerships.
  • Experience with fundraising from foundations and governments 


  • Although the position of Director, TReNDS, is offered full time there is some scope for a part-time arrangement of a minimum of 3 days per week, subject to negotiation. 
  • As an SDSN Association employee you will be eligible for the full range of SDSN-Association benefits, including medical coverage, a retirement scheme, and employment insurance. 

Application instructions

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