VP, Data Science & Engineering
at Wikimedia Foundation
Software DeveloperFull TimeAnywhere
The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking an experienced executive to serve as VP, Data Science & Engineering for our Technology department. At the Wikimedia Foundation, we operate the world’s largest collaborative project: a top ten website, reaching a billion people globally every month, while incorporating the values of privacy, transparency and community that are so important to our users. Reporting to the Chief Technology Officer, the VP, Data Science & Engineering is a key member of the Foundation’s leadership team and an active participant in the strategic decision making framing the work of the technology department, the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia movement.This role is responsible for planning and executing an integrated multi-year data science and engineering strategy spanning our work in artificial intelligence, machine learning, search, natural language processing and analytics. This strategy will interlock with and support the larger organization and movement strategy in service of our vision of enabling every human being to share freely in the sum of human knowledge.Working closely with other Technology and Product teams, as well as our community of contributors and readers, you’ll lead a team of dedicated directors, engineering managers, software engineers, data engineers, and data scientists who are shaping the next generation of data usage, analysis and access across all Wikimedia projects.Some examples of our teams work in the realm of data science and data engineering can be found on our blog, including deeper info on our work in improving edit workflows with machine learning, our use of Kafka and Hadoop or our analysis of analysis of people falling into the “Wikipedia rabbit hole”. As of late we have been thinking on how to best identify traffic anomalies that might indicate outages or, possibly, censorship.  

You are responsible for:

  • Leading the technical and engineering efforts of a global team of engineers, data scientists and managers focused on our efforts in productionizing artificial intelligence, data science, analytics, machine learning and natural language processing models as well as data operations. These efforts currently encompass three teams: Search Platform, Analytics and Scoring Platform (Machine Learning Engineering)
  • Working closely with our Research, Architecture, Security, Site Reliability and Platform teams to define our next generation of data architecture, search, machine learning and analytics infrastructure
  • Creating scalable engineering management processes and prioritization rubrics
  • Developing the strategy, plan, vision, and the cross-functional teams to create a holistic data strategy for Wikimedia Foundation taking into account our fundamental values of transparency, privacy, and collaboration and in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders and community members.
  • Ensure data is available, reliable, consistent, accessible, secure, and available in a timely manner for external and internal stakeholders and in accordance with our privacy policy.
  • Negotiating shared goals, roadmaps and dependencies with finance, product, legal and communication departments
  • Contributing to our culture by managing, coaching and developing our engineering and data teams
  • Illustrating your success in making your mark on the world by collaboratively measuring and adapting our data strategy within the technology department and the broader Foundation
  • Managing up to 5 direct reports with a total team size of 20

Skills and Experience:

  • Deep experience in leading data science, machine learning, search or data engineering teams that is able to separate the hype in the artificial intelligence space from the reality of delivering production ready data systems
  • 5+ years senior engineering leadership experience
  • Demonstrated ability to balance competing interests in a complex technical and social environment
  • Proven success at all stages of the engineering process and product lifecycle, leading to significant, measurable impact.
  • Previous hands-on experience in production big data and machine learning environments at scale
  • Experience building and supporting diverse, international and distributed teams
  • Outstanding oral and written English language communications

Qualities that are important to us:

  • You take a solutions-focused approach to challenging data and technical problems
  • A passion for people development, team culture and the management of ideas
  • You have a desire to show the world how data can be done while honoring the user’s right to privacy

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • Experience with modern machine learning, search and natural language processing platforms
  • A track record of open source participation
  • Fluency or familiarity with languages in addition to English
  • Spent time having lived or worked outside your country of origin
  • Experience as a member of a volunteer community
The Wikimedia Foundation is... ...the nonprofit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.U.S.

Benefits & Perks*

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people
*Eligible non-US benefits are specific to location and dependent on employer of record
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