Deputy Director, Data Analytics and Information Technology Solutions

William & Mary
  • Location
    Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Oct 31

Position description

The Global Research Institute (GRI) empowers teams of William & Mary students and faculty to make a difference in the world. We are a multidisciplinary hub that applies scholarly research to real world problems, investing in outstanding student and faculty scholars to catalyze new insights and cultivate the next generation of global leaders. Based in the Office of the Provost, GRI supports a whole of university approach to advance W&M by developing ideas, convening partners, creating and analyzing data, and inventing new methods. The Institute’s approach to incubate and scale and applied research helps researchers push research frontiers and produce insights that matter at W&M and beyond. At any time, under the auspices of the Institute there are several research projects, most grant-funded, with the largest being AidData. 

AidData produces novel data, tools, and research that answers the question: who is funding, what, where, for whom, and to what effect around the world? AidData has an explicit focus on data and research that meets high academic standards but is also accessible and relevant for a broad audience of international relations practitioners, policymakers, journalists, and scholars. AidData’s work is made possible by generous financial support of international organizations such as the World Bank and United Nations, private philanthropies such as the Hewlett and Gates Foundations, and government agencies such as the US Department of State and USAID.


Position Summary

AidData’s Deputy Director of Data Analytics and Information Technology Solutions to support its Policy Analysis Unit (PAU), will oversee the design, creation, and deployment of customized technical solutions that solve problems, deliver insights, improve efficiency, and add value to externally sponsored research and data products. They will draw upon a deep understanding of agile software development and human-centered design principles, as well as advanced knowledge of multiple programming languages, tools, and libraries to advise in-house research teams and build solutions that meet highly varied external funders’ and end users’ needs. They will collaborate with AidData staff and faculty to analyze internal data collection, analysis, storage, and visualization processes to identify workflow pain points or interpret requirements, assess the merits of possible data and technology solutions, and recommend the most appropriate options that are fit-for-purpose in each circumstance. The Deputy Director will be responsible for helping the PAU monitor, learn, and innovate in how we acquire, create, process, store, analyze, visualize and communicate complex data on development/foreign policy inputs, outputs, and outcomes. S/he will also advise and support the Director in building new unit-level competencies in machine learning, automation, and big data processing.


Required Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in computer science or other related discipline or an equivalent combination of training, education and/or experience indicating possession of the preceding knowledge, skills and abilities.


  • Considerable knowledge of data engineering capabilities and data science lifecycle; developing data and analytics solutions, data management, and statistical modeling.
  • Knowledge of full life-cycle development, with strong planning and project management skills and the ability to work a project through to completion.
  • Significant years of experience in gathering requirements as well as designing, implementing, testing and deploying various types of data analytical programs and solutions.
  • Significant years of experience in a variety of programming languages (such as Java, Node.js, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python, SQL)
  • Significant years of experience with relational and NoSQL databases, such as PostgreSQL, MongoDB including database design and data-driven programming.
  • Advanced ability and demonstrated expertise to analyze complex problems, advise research teams and funders on technology options, and provide customized solutions.
  • Extensive experience with server administration, Unix and Windows and application deployment.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with Data Governance and Functional working teams and participate in the creation and effective usage of W&M wide data assets.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with IT resources on infrastructure and data warehouse solutions.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively in a demanding and complex work environment, to carry out assignments in a timely manner, take initiative, apply discretion, and adapt to changing situations and priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to work closely with research and program teams to evaluate current systems and make decisions about future programming and development.
  • Demonstrated skills in utilizing new tools and languages.
  • Demonstrated skills in automating data collection, analysis, and visualization processes.
  • Demonstrated ability to utilize exceptional planning and organizational skills and ability to manage multiple projects while sustaining daily operations.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with special expertise in technical writing, with a diverse population of constituencies in private and public sectors including researchers, clients, partners, data users, and staff.


Preferred Qualifications

Master’s or other advanced degree from an accredited institution in computer science or other related discipline. 


  • Extensive years of experience with natural language processing, machine learning and web scraping.
  • Hands-on experience in managing processes and workflows operating in a high-performance computing environment.
  • Experience with geospatial software and techniques, as well as knowledge of how best to introduce these things into existing research workflows.
  • Experience with search algorithms, like ElasticSearch.
  • Experience with version control systems and software (e.g. GitHub, SVN).
  • Experience working closely with project management teams to evaluate current systems and make recommendations on improvements.
  • Experience collaborating with server administrators on infrastructure and data warehouse solutions.
  • Familiarity and exposure to work associated with traditional and non-traditional sources of data on international development and foreign policy topics (e.g., development finance, public diplomacy, civic space and governance).
  • Experience managing, training, or mentoring software developers (students or staff) and research professionals in the development and application of data and technology solutions.
  • Experience in producing high-quality dashboards, software applications, and other technology solutions for policy audiences under tight time and budget constraints.

Application instructions

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