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The Water Institute is seeking a Data Officer responsible for leading the effort to evolve and implement an enterprise data strategy and for leading the cultural transformation to support it. The focus of this role is the management of data necessary to support research functions including but not limited to geospatial data, numerical model data (inputs and outputs), observation data, and other data sets used to support science-informed decision making. In this role, the Data Officer will oversee a range of data-related functions to ensure the Institute manages its data assets effectively. The Data Officer will serve as the Institute’s data governance expert and work with internal users and external partners and funders.


Data Governance & Management 40%

  • Work with multi-disciplinary research teams to identify data uses and requirements within the Institute.
  • Support the build, optimization, testing/QA, and maintenance of data management products/tools including data ingestion, data mastering, data catalog, and the analytics platforms.
  • Lead the development, as project manager, of projects related with data and model catalogs for both external partners and internal usage.
  • Continuously monitor and assess the quality of data and its readiness for scientific applications, both for internal and external use.
  • Supervise and mentor members of the Analytics, Computing and Technology (ACT) research team, particularly data architects, data engineers, and data managers supporting data operations tasks.
  • Implement Agile methodology principles as appropriate to support iterative delivery and frequent feedback for course corrections.

Strategic Technology Planning – 30%

  • Develop and implement both strategic and tactical data management roadmaps in coordination with other technical staff and stakeholders.
  • Coordinate and manage Institute-wide efforts to develop, implement, and monitor data policies and standards including those for metadata management, data democratization, data visualization, data security, data privacy, data management and data collection.
  • Identify and document best practices for Institute data management and metadata management.
  • Identify and propose existing enterprise data challenges, identify root cause, and propose resolution.
  • Implement Agile methodology principles as appropriate to support iterative delivery and frequent feedback for course corrections.

Internal Stakeholder Engagement 25%

  • Provide direction, guidance, and mentorship to our multi-disciplinary research staff of ecologists, applied geoscientists, engineers, numerical modelers and planning and policy researchers.
  • Champion data literacy, data consistency, and support for data initiatives within the organization.
  • Promote a continuous improvement mindset through education and communication to all business partners.
  • Demonstrate deep knowledge of the data strategy and be viewed as an expert in data management, data governance and data quality.
  • Continuously educate the research teams and the ACT team on data quality concepts and guiding principles.

Other Duties 5%

  • Collaborate using their skillset on projects and internal initiatives.
  • Develop close partnerships with the financial planning and business intelligence analytics team regarding data management, data governance and data quality.


  • Demonstrated experience implementing an enterprise data strategy and participating in the development of an enterprise architecture to support it and experience developing and operationalizing data governance processes and procedures
  • Proven track record using industry-standard data management systems and tools (data ingestion, data mastering, data catalog)
  • Demonstrated ability of positively influencing senior leadership, peers, and vendors. Results oriented “change agent” with the ability to successfully influence with all levels of organizations.
  • Project management skills and experience
  • Data governance experience using similar research data types as the Institute (geospatial data, numerical model data, observation data, etc.).
  • 7 plus years of experience in a complex and fast-paced information technology setting with at least 3 years working as a lead on data strategy initiatives
  • Deep knowledge and experience on TOGAF or COBIT
  • Experience managing external vendors to ensure their work activities are meeting the defined business expectations
  • Excellent communication, collaboration, and teaming skills
  • Ability to address and resolve competing priorities in a rapidly changing environment
  • Bachelor’s degree with a major in Data Science or Information Management or equivalent combination of education and experience


  • An advanced computer science, engineering, or mathematics degree
  • Non-profit experience
  • Certification as Data Management Professional
  • Experience with physics or ecology based numerical modeling
  • 10 plus years of relevant experience with at least 5 years working as a lead on data strategy initiatives