Position Description

Chief Data Officer
Department Executive Office
Location Alexandria, VA
Closing Date 6/27/21
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The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a private, nonprofit corporation headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. IDA’s mission is to answer the most challenging U.S. security and science policy questions with objective analysis leveraging extraordinary scientific, technical, and analytic expertise.  IDA operates three Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC’s). 

The Chief Data Officer is responsible for providing strategic leadership, project management and direction for Data Management at IDA's headquarters; IDA's Systems and Analyses Center (IDA/SAC) FFRDC, and IDA's Science and Technology Policy Institute (IDA/STPI) FFRDC. This initiative will encompass assessing, modernizing, and sustaining IDA’s data systems and data management infrastructure; revising and implementing policies, processes and procedures; integrating existing data systems; and providing opportunities for current and future staff to refresh data-centric skills. 


  • Lead the IDA Headquarters, IDA/SAC, and IDA/STPI, data modernization project, identifying critical tools and systems, prioritizing activities, and implementing IDA’s data strategy.
  • Plan data modernization activities, define project approach, scope, milestones, success criteria, deliverables, risks, contingencies and allocating appropriate resource requirements to ensure project success.
  • Coordinate IDA’s data modernization initiatives with its business modernization initiatives.
  • Lead and sustain a high-performing team of researchers from across the organization.
  • Manage consulting engagement(s) with outside consultant(s) augmenting the data modernization team with outside process assessment/redesign and system implementation expertise.
  • Build and maintain strong, collaborative working relationships with key internal and external stakeholders.
  • Assist the Vice President, Programs in other data-and research-related activities, as needed.


  • Advanced degree (Masters’ degree required, PhD desired) in a physical, social, or engineering science (including operations research, statistics, data science, or an interdisciplinary program that encompasses one of these areas) and ten (10) or more year’s progressively responsible experience in data management, leading process improvements and systems design / implementations, or related work.
  • Experience managing programs/projects with a proven track record of execution and delivery excellence.
  • Experience implementing data management initiatives, process and system improvements, leveraging current technology offerings to modernize, streamline, simplify, automate and integrate data processes.
  • Experience working with FFRDCs, solving problems in a flat, decentralized research environment, using data sharing and collaboration tools (Git, Citavi, SharePoint, etc.), and conducting reproducible research in accordance with FAIR data principles. Experience or aptitude for managing budgets and resources.
  • Experience in work plan development and management.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize commitments, and manage time effectively in a fast-paced, time-sensitive, quality-oriented environment is required.
  • Advanced skills in MS Office (Excel, Project, Visio, PowerPoint, Word).
  • Relevant recent experience in the latest advancements in automation and new technologies and the diligence to apply these to solve research problems.
  • Ability to drive innovative solutions to overcome challenging problems.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and flexibility in guaranteeing that projects are correctly resourced, managed and delivered.
  • Ability to adjust and adapt to the day-to-day changes that transpire in running large projects while still being able to deliver on commitments.
  • Demonstrated leadership capability and coaching skills.
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver high quality, impactful outcomes.
  • Successful completion of a criminal background check is required.
  • U.S. Citizenship is required.


U.S. Citizenship is required
Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance is required
Equal Opportunity Employer

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IDA is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If, because of a medical condition or disability, you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process or in order to perform the essential functions of a position, please send an email to employment@ida.org and let us know the nature of your request and contact information.