Position: Data Scientist – Washington, DC or remote
Reports to: Senior Director of Data Science & Analytics
The Voter Participation Center (VPC) is the nation’s largest non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to registering and mobilizing voters from the New American Majority (NAM) – people of color, unmarried women and young people – who make up the majority of the potential electorate but have been historically underrepresented in political participation and power. Using direct mail, digital and social media outreach, guided by rigorous data science and experimentation, and working closely with a multitude of partner organizations, VPC connects with millions of voters each year, building the foundation for a more representative democracy.
Over 18 years VPC has helped more than 5.7 million people register to vote. In 2020, as COVID-19 shut down most forms of in-person voter contact, VPC helped more than 4.6 million people apply to vote by mail & cast ballots, registered more than 1.6 million people, and assisted millions of voters in voting early and safely to reduce pressures on polling places on Election Day.
VPC programs are flexible, nimble and scalable. VPC is driven by a commitment to constant research, testing, experimentation and evaluation, and thus offers many of the most cost effective, proven, high-impact programs in the civic engagement field.
The Center for Voter Information (CVI) is VPC’s partner organization, and is a separate but affiliated 501(c)4 non-profit that works to engage both the NAM as well as members of the broader electorate who share their values.
Position Overview: VPC and CVI seek a Data Scientist who will be at the forefront of VPC and CVI’s effort to expand its analytics and research capabilities by utilizing the latest data science applications to solve some of the toughest challenges in the civic engagement space. The Data Scientist will take an instrumental role in improving VPC/CVI’s data processing and analytics work, such as evaluating the quality of data sources and tools, applying statistical methods to generate actionable insights, and building machine learning models to improve program effectiveness. The Data Scientist will work on a broad range of statistical, ML, and business intelligence solutions to elevate the impact of VPC/CVI programs. An ideal candidate has deep passion for increasing voter participation among historically underrepresented constituencies, and is a collaborator who thrives in a team environment and takes ownership of the work. They will also actively contribute to improving processes, workflows, and communication. This position reports to the Senior Director of Data Science & Analytics. The Data Scientist is ideally based in Washington, DC although other locations will be considered.
Responsibilities Include, but are not limited to:
- Draw actionable insights from large datasets through effective data visualizations and storytelling
- Evaluate the quality of alternative data sources, model scores, and matching algorithms
- Assist in designing, developing, testing, deploying ML models
- Develop metrics on key program performance drivers and trends
- Develop and maintain documentation for the analytics team’s workflow and code
- Support the adoption of industry best practices for data science and analytics
Skills and Qualifications
The ideal candidate will have:
- 2+ yr of experience and proficiency in:
- Every stage of the data science lifecycle, including data mining, cleaning, exploration, feature engineering, modeling, evaluation, optimization, and visualization
- Machine learning techniques (supervised and unsupervised learning)
- Statistical inferences (e.g. probabilities, hypothesis testing, effect estimate, power analysis, regressions)
- Python and its ML libraries (e.g. Scikit-learn, XGBoost, PyTorch) and visualization libraries (e.g. Seaborn, Plotly, D3.js)
- SQL for data querying and processing
- UNIX shell scripting in Bash/Zsh
- Version control with Git and Github
- Extensive track record of writing clear code that is well-documented
- Demonstrated ability to:
- Learn new techniques and troubleshoot code without support
- Work independently and be a self-starter
- Work effectively in teams
- Manage and prioritize multiple tasks and projects
- Knowledge of unstructured text and natural language processing
- Knowledge of deep learning techniques
- Experience with AWS computing resources and infrastructure
- Experience with data mining using API calls, web scraping, etc.
- Experience with object-oriented programming
- Experience with geospatial models and modern GIS systems (e.g. GeoPandas)
- Understanding of distributed storage and big data computing frameworks (e.g. Cassandra, Hadoop, Spark)
- Experience with randomized control trials, experimental design, and survey research
- Experience with or knowledge of large scale voter registration and civic engagement programs
SALARY & BENEFITS
The salary range for this position is $80,000 – $90,000 annually, commensurate with experience. This position is exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not eligible for overtime pay. Our comprehensive benefits plan includes 100% employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance for employees; generous paid time off; access to retirement plan with 3% employer match, and more.
VPC-CVI is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes people from all backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply. We strongly value the leadership of people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and other traditionally marginalized communities, and encourage candidates from these communities to apply.
We strive to create and maintain a working environment that is inclusive, equitable and welcoming. At VPC-CVI, diversity, equity, and inclusion are directly aligned with the fundamental belief that people are inherently capable but often lack opportunity. We know that a diverse workforce allows us to see problems in more nuanced ways, creating the thought leadership needed to fulfill our mission and reach our goals.