Executive Director, Data Driven Social Science Initiative

Job description

Executive Director, Data Driven Social Science Initiative


Job ID: 2020-12074
Type: Full-Time
# of Openings: 1
Category: Institutional Research and Planning

Princeton University


Reporting to the Faculty Director of the Data-Driven Social Science Initiative (DDSSI) and working closely with deans, chairs, faculty, and senior administrators within Princeton’s social sciences, the executive director will take a leading role in the development of Princeton University’s Data Driven Social Sciences Initiative. The executive director will serve as the public face of the DDSS in building a durable, sustainable, state-of-the-art infrastructure—including computing resources, processes, guidelines, administrative and legal support, secure data analysis environments, etc.—to encourage and support the use of data in academic and scholarly research at Princeton.

The executive director will lead the initiative, identifying challenges, garnering information and resources, and developing a strategic framework for future planning. The executive director will collaborate with a wide range of campus partners—including faculty in the social sciences, the offices of the Provost, Dean for Research, Information Technology, General Counsel, Finance and Treasury—to articulate and expand the initiative’s vision, long-term goals, short-term objectives, and measurements for success.



Specific Duties Include:

  • Develop, maintain, and advance a strategic agenda for the initiative.
  • Canvas the national and international academic environments for specific institutional models that Princeton should emulate or avoid; remain abreast of trends in data-centric research in higher education.
  • Widely solicit Princeton’s social sciences faculty for information regarding the challenges faced when working with data with a focus on a) how faculty currently use data, b) what problems are encountered, c) what work-around solutions have been developed, and d) what an ideal solution might look like.
  • Identify area-specific challenges in terms of data acquisition, analysis, curation, sharing, searching, storage, transfer, querying and develop.
  • Identify and address process-bottlenecks in the acquisition, analysis, sharing, storage, and transfer of data sets.
  • Identify specific infrastructure needs for supporting social science data acquisition and analysis.
  • Identify specific infrastructure needs for supporting social science field experiments.
  • Design and implement a communications strategy (website, e-newsletter, online symposia, etc.) to engage social science faculty and university partners.
  • Communicate directly with government agencies, corporations, and non-profits to aid faculty and researchers in the establishment of data-sharing agreements; together with the office of the Dean for Research, Office of the General Counsel, and Princeton Library, streamline and facilitate the technology and infrastructure related to these processes.
  • Form partnerships with other institutions, associations, and groups to ensure that Princeton is actively employing best-practices with data stewardship and governance.
  • Advise on technology, privacy, and security requirements for the use of data sets on campus.
  • Proactively identify opportunities for the University to effectively use data, where applications could be of interest to social science scholars.
  • Serve as an internal consultant to faculty in the social sciences who are interested in expanding the use of data in their research.



Essential Qualifications:

A PhD in a pertinent field strongly preferred.

At least ten years of relevant and progressively responsible work experience is required.

Enterprising, resourceful, and highly entrepreneurial work style; ability to actively expand the scope of an initiative like the DDSSI.

Demonstrated familiarity with the goals, nature, and process of academic, data-intensive research, especially using data relevant to the social sciences.

Demonstrated understanding of issues and challenges relating to data governance, privacy, and security.

Experience with high-performance computing infrastructure.

Experience acquiring, securing, and managing data feeds and APIs.

Excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills; ability to work productively and efficiently in a dynamic environment with a high degree of ambiguity and limited structure; ability to interact and function in a cross-disciplinary academic environment.

Proven ability to work independently and achieve goals; strong personal initiative; highly self-motivated; active listening skills to develop and maintain relationships and build trust and credibility with a diverse set of stakeholders.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience at a Tier 1 research institution.

Demonstrated expertise in founding and managing start-up organizations within academic settings, particularly those that support faculty research and related enterprises.

Experience leading strategic planning exercises and developing strategic frameworks.

Experience acquiring, securing, and managing data sets in the support of academic research.

Experience managing a team of data scientists and/or software engineers.

Experience with enterprise software used for design, management and control of large-scale databases

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW





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Job No:
Posted: 12/21/2020
Application Due: 2/19/2021
Work Type: Full Time