Director of Data Science

Location: Remote / Africa, preferred in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa
Reports to: Chief Data and Technology Officer
Hours per week (average): 40
Overtime status: Exempt

Who we are: is building a better future with data, and is looking for creative, results-driven professionals passionate about the potential of data and technology to achieve social impact to join our team.

Launched in January 2020 and building on an initial five-year, $50M commitment from The Rockefeller Foundation and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, envisions a world that uses the power of data science to help solve society’s greatest challenges and improve lives across the globe. As a platform for partnerships, works alongside social impact organizations, philanthropy, technology firms, and academia to build the field of data science for social impact.

About this role:

We are recruiting for the role of Director of Data Science who will report directly to Chief Data and Technology Officer; and will be responsible for implementing this strategic pivot to maximize interoperability, portability, and consistency within and across the different domains (health, climate, and financial inclusion) as well as the integration of digital public goods into a global ecosystem that is powered by a centralized collaboration platform.

The ideal candidate will manage a team to support this work and should be adept in combining tactical and strategic work to architect a consistent framework for coordinating a variety of data systems (both internal and external), integration, analytics, stewardship, reporting, and governance. Additionally, the ideal candidate must be able to influence without ownership, which they will do by demonstrating technical and strategic competence, being personally accessible, being a good listener, and having great business acumen as appropriate to the audience and issues at stake.

This position is a full-time remote role based in Africa. Relocation assistance is not available for this position. Must be able and willing to travel internationally.

What you’ll do

  • Infuse data science as a practice across the relevant functions of our data value chain (generate, create, analyze, and visualize) and bring about that strategic vision of the future.
  • Develop and implement a scalable approach to cascade data science into our curriculum development, pedagogical strategies, and digital learning, and support the digital exhaust from Epiverse (tools, digital public goods, and community engagements, etc.).
  • Provide technical consultancy for the design and development of a collaboration platform (backend, underlying architecture, data management, governance, data stewardship., etc) to realize a catalog of tools and datasets in the ecosystem of interoperable digital public goods.
  • Develop and implement the requisite translational skills for realizing the non-canonical data science attributes of the data for social impact practitioners.
  • Support the design and implementation of digital platform intelligence – recommendation models, and matchmaking through relevant analytical models (Bayesian, Probability, Neural Networks, Gaussian, etc.).
  • Evaluate methods and approaches (Privacy preservation, Reusable templates, Blockchain, etc.) for implementing horizontal and cross-domain data technologies to create a seamless flow between the collaboration platform and connected DPGs like Epiverse.
  • Develop, motivate, mentor, and manage a high-performing team of data scientists to drive results.
  • Oversee the data analytics efforts by leveraging a variety of traditional and modern analytics approaches (descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, prescriptive, and generative AI) to deliver data science solutions and enabling decision-making via compelling data visualizations.
  • Work with a variety of stakeholders to determine the most impactful use cases to implement quick short-term wins for users while building infrastructure toward the long-term strategic vision.
  • Evaluate the use of Machine learning approaches, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence as well as existing IT infrastructure including Data Science Workbenches to drive analytical value and deliver timely, actionable insights.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s or Ph.D. degree in a quantitative field (e.g., Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Information Science, Physics, etc.)
  • 10+ years of progressive relevant work experience (for PhD candidates) or 13+ years of progressive relevant work experience (for those with Masters’ degree)
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead/manage and mentor staff
  • Ability to work collaboratively and collegially in a team environment Deep expertise in traditional and advanced data science techniques and tools, including machine learning (supervised/unsupervised learning), and statistical analyses
  • Deep and diverse knowledge of theoretical and computational methods in statistics, computer science, dynamical systems, economics, mathematics, and modeling
  • Experience architecting data integrations and running data flows to support complex data initiatives
  • Proficient in the use of relational database systems (MS SQL, SQL Lite, MySQL), comfortable with Oracle, Postgres, as well as good understanding how the DB engine works
  • Knowledge of one or more columnar data stores (AWS Redshift, Google Bigquery, Snowflake, etc.). Experience managing both OLTP and OLAP workloads
  • Knowledge of enterprise warehousing principals and privacy frameworks such as GDPR
  • Knowledge of one or several programming languages (Python, R, etc.)
  • Knowledge of cloud technologies (Google Cloud Platform, AWS, Azure, etc.)
  • Knowledge of current state and future trends in data management, architecture, IoT connectivity, data integration, data warehouse, and cloud
  • Demonstrated understanding of current state and emerging trends in data analytics (machine learning, artificial intelligence, decision science, etc.)
  • Experience with one or more machine learning and NLP frameworks such as Scikit Learn, PyTorch, Tensor Flow Spark, NLTK, CNTK
  • Experience with ML interpretability packages (Eli5, SHAP, LIME, TensorFlow Explain, etc.)
  • Experience with data visualization software and techniques (Power BI, Tableau, Seaborn, ggplot, D3.js)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience successfully building and managing a collaborative and diverse team; strong interpersonal, problem solving and mentoring skills. 5 + years supervisory or leadership experience.
  • An effective written and oral communicator able to bridge different thematic domains (health, climate, and financial inclusion) and their overlaps.
  • Excellent influencing and networking skills paired with stakeholder management experience in a matrixed global environment.
  • A demonstrated commitment to’s IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) values.
  • Demonstrated success in advocacy for and implementation of enterprise-wide projects.
  • A strong drive to meet and exceed goals, even under adverse circumstances, and is willing to take ownership of problems and make decisions to move forward.
  • Ability to translate complex data insights into actionable business recommendations.
  • Strong project management and technical leadership skills with an enthusiasm for working in an interdisciplinary team environment across time zones.
  • Experience in building and leading center of excellence in analytical insights, leading best practices of data presentation irrespective of tool and technologies. values facilitating an equitable standard of living across the regions in which it operates. This is a full-time remote position located in Africa with preference in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Senegal, Rwanda, and South Africa. Details of actual compensation will be discussed during the interview process to ensure compensation is approached comprehensively and equitability.

To center the safety and well-being of its employees, New Venture Fund requires that any employee who is required to conduct in-person activities for their job must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within four weeks of their start date. This position may require candidates to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Accommodations may be sought and approved in accordance with the law by contacting human resources at

Hiring Statement, the Data Science for Social Impact Collaborative is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.

Interested applicants, please reach out to