Product Manager (Senior Data Scientist), CIJ (Brooklyn, NY or L.A.)


Job title: Product Manager (Senior Data Scientist), CIJ (Brooklyn, NY or L.A.)

Company: Vera Institute

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Job description: Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities.

  • We study problems that impede human dignity and justice.
  • We pilot solutions that are at once transformative and achievable.
  • We engage diverse communities in informed debate.
  • And we harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice.

We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day-from mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement to the unmet needs of people who are vulnerable, marginalized, and harmed by crime and violence. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We hire employees that reflect our values: respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, and race equity. If you want to learn more about life at Vera click .

What You’ll Do:

For over a decade, Vera’s Center on Immigration and Justice (Vera) has created, administered, and refined national immigrant legal defense and orientation programs serving adults and children subjected to immigration detention while facing deportation. As a key part of this work, Vera has constructed data management systems to facilitate the analysis of program data collected through the administration of these legal programs and has worked with multiple administrative datasets to advance our social science research and performance monitoring. This is part of a broader public interest data science Vera’s research unit is building to support our efforts to achieve change at scale.

Vera is preparing several of these legal programs for upcoming changes in structure and deliverables, including new contracts and requirements and potential transition of some of the work to partner organizations. We are seeking a seasoned Product Manager to work in partnership with our senior data science and research staff to:

Determine the optimal data management environment to transition with various programs;

Determine the optimal program data to transition with various programs;

Once made, create, and execute a strategy to implement these determinations;

Following implementation, create and execute a strategy to provide follow-up user support for impacted legal programs.

The Product Manager reports directly to the Director of Transition, with a dotted line to the Director of Immigration Research.

In addition to the qualifications described below, the successful Product Manager:

Works strategically, with the ability to plan a complex process, involving multiple and diverse stakeholders – including program, legal, research, IT, and administrative stakeholders – and on a specific timeline.

Executes effectively, leading and collaborating as appropriate, mindful of important details as well as the overall goals, with sufficient technical skills for the work at hand, and, critically, communicating progress regularly to both technical and non-technical colleagues.

Remains focused on the needs of the core users of the Project: people – lawyers, paralegals, social workers, researchers, administrative staff – who carry out and do the work of the various legal programs.

The Product Manager will spend 100% of their time on the Transition Data Project over the next several years (anticipated through March 2025)

Main responsibilities

Gather context and requirements for the optimal future program data management environment for each impacted legal program.

This core deliverable requires the Product Manager to determine the current state of the data management environment and the set of data management environments that can be absorbed by new legal program partners. This deliverable includes, but is not limited to, the following tasks:

  • Working with research staff to map the components and data flows within each legal program’s current data management system.
  • Identifying current data management system dependencies on Vera IT infrastructure.
  • Identifying current data management system dependencies on vendor partners.
  • Meeting with potential legal partner organizations, or a set of similarly situated organizations, to assess the range of technical capabilities and modes of usage.
  • Arriving at a determination of what types of data management environments potential legal partner organizations are likely to be able to absorb and maintain.

Determine and implement the optimal future program data management environment for each impacted legal program.

This core deliverable requires the Product Manager to determine the optimal data management system to transition with each impacted legal program and to create and execute a strategy to implement that determination. This deliverable includes, but is not limited to, the following tasks:

  • Assessing and prioritizing potential changes to each data management system that are required prior to transition.
  • Creating and executing a plan with Vera staff and vendor partners to implement identified needed changes.
  • Advising on contractual relationship between new legal program partners and retained vendor partners.
  • Creating a hiring plan for each new legal program partner to adequately staff data management expertise.
  • Creating user manuals on each data management system for both technical and non-technical users.
  • Transitioning the optimal data management system to each new legal program partner.

Transition of optimal program data for each impacted legal program.

This core deliverable requires the Product Manager is to determine the optimal program data to transition with each impacted legal program and to create and execute a strategy to implement that determination. This deliverable includes, but is not limited to, the following tasks:

  • Planning and executing a detailed inventory of the program data possessed by each legal program to be transitioned, including documenting relevant contractual, legal, and program characteristics of the data – e.g., date collected, source of collection, present accessibility (some data may be held in deprecated systems), and the degree to which data include personally identifiable information.
  • Consistent with relevant legal and contractual criteria, and working closely with Vera program, research, and legal staff, determining which data are permitted to be transitioned with each impacted legal program.
  • Consistent with both available resources and priority program management needs, determining the optimal amount of data that should be transitioned with each impacted legal program.
  • Transitioning the optimal amount of program data with each impacted legal program.

Follow-up support.

This deliverable requires the Product Manager to create and execute a strategy to provide follow-up support on the data management environment / system and program data transitioned with each impacted legal program. This deliverable includes, but is not limited to, the following tasks:

  • Providing follow-up support to the end users – technical and lay – for each transitioned data management system.
  • Providing follow-up support to the end users – technical and lay – for each set of transitioned program data.
  • Providing additional follow-up support related the Project as appropriate and as resources permit.

What qualifications you will need

Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree in and advanced understanding of a quantitative and/or engineering field (such as data science/analytics, quantitative or computational social sciences, applied mathematics/statistics, physics, operations research, industrial engineering, computer science, etc.), or the equivalent work experience;
  • At least 3 years of relevant work experience in data system management, platform development, analytics, and/or relevant field
  • Proven project management experience
  • A commitment to the vision that data analysis can help drive evidence-based narrative and policy change when deployed strategically in support of social justice campaigns.
  • Fluency in data architecture concepts (data modeling in relational databases & data warehouses, building data ingestion and ETL processes, etc.)
  • Familiarity with the AWS data ecosystem (e.g., S3, ECS, Athena) or similar cloud-based products
  • Knowledge of Agile, SCRUM, or similar data system development framework
  • Working knowledge of common programming and statistical software languages (e.g. Python, R, SQL)
  • Intellectually nimble and adept at working across multiple projects, often at the same time.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate about technical requirements to non-technical stakeholders
  • Strong social and emotional awareness with your team and external partners, and openness to opportunities to learn and grow
  • This position requires a low-level government security clearance to work with certain government administrative datasets. This generally entails a background check, a 3-year residency requirement in the US, and is generally open only to US citizens, with clearances for Lawful Permanent Residents infrequently approved. We acknowledge this government requirement is at odds with Vera’s values around equity and inclusion, particularly as it relates to hiring people who may not be US citizens or with criminal legal system contact.

Preferred:

  • The ideal candidate has familiarity with some or all of the following:
  • version control and collaboration tools like Git and GitHub
  • federal cybersecurity frameworks (e.g. NIST)
  • Linux and bash commands
  • Docker (or other containerized VM technologies)

How to apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Online submission in PDF format (through Vera’s career page) is preferred. No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

ATTN: Human Resources / Product Manager
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

For more information about Vera, please visit

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Job date: Sat, 07 Aug 2021 07:56:38 GMT

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