Director of Data Science & Analytics at ACLU

February 22, 2018
New York, NY
Job Type


For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than one million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.


The Product & Technology Department (P-Tech) of the National office in New York City is seeking applicants for the full-time position of Director of Data Science.

The Director of Data Science & Analytics is responsible for leading an in-house Data Science team and championing a data-driven strategy to help the nationwide ACLU organization reach its programmatic goals and support its advocacy, fundraising and communications initiatives. This includes but is not limited to realizing the data needs of the organizations, working with engineering to build an infrastructure to support data needs, identifying and monitoring key initiatives through a robust data platform, using data-driven techniques to foster new innovation within the ACLU and ensuring alignment across teams based on their individual data needs.

Through role definition, recruitment and development of a team, the Director will establish a highly successful Data Science team which will educate the broader ACLU organization by communicating the vision, opportunities and value of using data-driven methodologies.

The right candidate will have an inquisitive approach to understanding the power and limitations of data, and will bring an innovative but measured sensibility to how the organization should be building secure data infrastructure and using data-driven techniques to grow and identify new opportunities. They should have a strong familiarity with existing data tools, platforms and testing frameworks in order to represent that point of view internally at the ACLU. The person in the role will join the Product & Technology Department in New York, reporting to the Chief Technology Officer.


The Director of Data Science & Analytics will be responsible for:

  • Serving as the organization’s key subject matter expert for analytical approaches necessary to growing business impact, data-related tools & platforms and data best practices (A/B testing, modeling, etc).
  • Creating a data science strategy that pushes the ACLU’s overall mission and strategic direction forward. This includes establishing the key metrics to broaden impact as well as scoping, defining and implementing strategies to hit those metrics.
  • Defining the structure and architecture of the ACLU’s overall analytics platform including various ACLU data sources provided by existing advocacy, fundraising, and communication platforms.
  • Developing an analytics infrastructure capable of supporting current and future quantitative needs of the ACLU. This includes defining the structure and architecture of various ACLU data sources and working with ACLU Product & Engineering teams and associated vendors to ensure new data is collected, evaluated, and verified with an eye towards data integrity.
  • Evangelizing data best practices in stakeholder teams like Communications, Political Advocacy, Fundraising, and Business Support. This includes partnering with stakeholder analysts in order to educate them with regards to data science best practices and to define the right questions, propose recommendations, and communicate results.
  • Lead the evaluation, selection, contracting, and development of data analysis products, dashboard and reporting tools, and other data visualization solutions used by staff at both the national office and at the ACLU’s 53 state affiliate offices.
  • Maintaining current knowledge of the broader data science landscape, including being comfortable with popular non-profit and campaign data platforms, services, tools and public data sets.
  • Demonstrating a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, socio-economic circumstance, and record of arrest or conviction.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.


  • Minimum 5-7 years of data-driven industry, campaign, or non-profit experience of which at minimum, 2 years is spent in a leadership role managing Data Scientists and Analysts.
  • Master’s degree in Statistics, Data Science, Mathematics, Computer Science or related quantitative field preferred.
  • Strong experience with modern data analysis tools and platforms.
  • Experience with non-profit fundraising or campaign data preferred.
  • Proficiency with Python and R, or similar analytics and programming languages.
  • Experience with statistical methods, machine learning techniques, and prolific A/B testing in service of real-world business challenges.
  • Familiarity with relational modeling, database applications and integrations, ETL tools, client/server solutions, and modern query languages preferred.
  • Excellent programming and problem solving skills.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills (writing, verbal and presentation).
  • Passion for civil liberties and civil rights, especially regarding privacy and the fight against discrimination.


The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.


Please send a cover letter and resume to  Reference [INTE-38/PTEC-19ACLU-W] in subject line. Please note that this is not the general ACLU email address. This email address is specific to the Product & Technology department. In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”

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