Senior Data Scientist at Nat'l Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Washington DC

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is hiring a senior data scientist to join their Science & Evaluation team to support the use of data in assessing progress toward their conservation goals. This position requires a creative approach to problem solving and a “very strong foundation in topics such as spatial and non-spatial database design, data analysis and statistics.” The position is based at their headquarters in Washington, DC and requires travel.

They are looking for a PhD or Master’s with experience in experimental design, database design, and data analytics. Experience with conservation outcome definition and/or program effectiveness at a natural resources group desired. Skills with spatial data and programs (ArcGIS), database management, and languages for statistical analyses (R, Python, …) required.

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The Senior Data Scientist is responsible for working with the Foundation’s staff and Board of Directors, federal agencies and other conservation partners to develop and implement spatial and non-spatial database systems to support outcome-based monitoring strategy for the Foundation’s conservation programs. The database(s) will be seamlessly integrated into the Foundation’s IT system and processes to support conservation data management and analysis to support establishment of conservation goals, assessment of progress towards goals as well as programmatic assessments, spatial planning and organizational learning. The Senior Data Scientist will serve as a catalyst within the Foundation to create new combinations of people, processes, methodologies, and ideas that will lead to breakthrough approaches to collect, manage and analyze high quality program and science data to describe conservation trends affecting NFWF programs and to help those programs deliver statistically rigorous measurable outcomes. S/he will work closely with science and program staff to develop and implement standardized protocols to measure and monitor our impact and to foster organizational learning in accordance with the Foundation’s vision and strategic plan.


The Senior Data Scientist role will require a creative approach to problem solving and a very strong foundation in topics such as spatial and non-spatial database design, data analysis and statistics. Through engagement with staff and key partners, s/he will develop biodiversity and conservation database(s), manage data from diverse sources, perform data analysis, contribute to development of measurable outcomes, and design monitoring plans as a core component of NFWF grant making. Primary responsibilities include:

  • Lead conservation data analytics for NFWF. This includes background research, needs assessment, spatial and non-spatial data compilation, integrity and analysis related to species, ecosystems, threats, and opportunities.
  • Lead the development and refinement of grant mapping and assessment tools.
  • Lead a cross-program GIS and mapping team to build NFWF’s GIS capacity.
  • Oversee production of maps and other data visualization products that effectively communicate the results of spatial and non-spatial analyses.
  • Collaborate with the Science & Evaluation team, Director of Program Operations, the conservation programs staff and the Chief Conservation Officer to contribute the Foundation’s conservation framework and goals.
  • Collaborate with NFWF’s IT department on the design/refinement of IT and grant-making systems for capturing, managing and reporting project and program-scale conservation data for use in NFWF’s scorecard tool.
  • Collaborate with the communications team to disseminate results and lessons learned from NFWF initiatives to through various media, as appropriate.
  • Assist in the preparation of reports, briefing materials, and recommendations to support decision making by the Foundation’s Board.
  • As appropriate, coordinate/manage outside consultants.


  • Support the development of public and private partnerships to secure operational and programmatic funding for this Program in coordination with the Vice President, Science and Evaluation, Chief Conservation Officer, Development and Government Relations Staff, and Partnership Offices.
  • Present NFWF’s strategic planning processes and products to external audiences, including prospective funding partners.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Vice President, Science and Evaluation.


  • PhD or Master’s degree or demonstrated equivalent experience. Five years professional experience in a combination of experimental design, database design, data analytics, conservation outcome definition, or program effectiveness is required. It is desirable that this experience be in a natural resource-oriented organization.
  • Proficiency with ESRI ArcGIS and database development and management (Access, Tableau, SharePoint, or others), strong quantitative/statistical skills and proficiency with modelling and statistical software (R, Python, or others) is required. Ability to use programming as a tool desirable.
  • Attention to detail and ability to organize and prioritize work and meet deadlines.
  • Strong interpersonal, speaking and writing skills.
  • Willingness to travel.

Compensation is commensurate with experience. Position is located in Washington, DC