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Co-Director of Data and Policy

State of New Jersey

State of New Jersey

New Jersey, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2023

Co-Director of Data and Policy

The New Jersey Office of Innovation is seeking a skilled and experienced professional to help lead our Data and Policy Team to leverage data and evidence to positively impact residents’ lives. The Data and Policy Team was created to strengthen the capacity of the New Jersey Office of Innovation and the broader State government to use data, evidence, and performance evaluation to measure and improve digital services, policies, and programs. We are currently developing tools to help teams use data to improve the impact of digital products and services on under-resourced communities, analyzing data on the use of government websites to enhance service delivery, conducting policy research on emerging topics such as AI regulation, and designing and implementing A/B tests to improve the performance of online tools and public engagement.

As Co-Director, you will play a central role in developing and advancing the team’s strategy, but you will also serve as an individual contributor - no task is too big or too small. You will develop internal team processes and project acquisition strategies, manage staff and projects, and drive the prioritization of team activities. You will also directly lead on projects related to performance measurement, data analysis, data visualization, impact evaluation, and evidence-based policy research. You will work closely with other directors to understand the data and policy needs of projects within the Office of Innovation, such as improving digital delivery of benefits and services to residents, making it easier to start, operate and grow businesses, and providing timely and clear information about government programs.

This role will report directly to the Office of Innovation’s Chief of Staff.

About the Office of Innovation

The New Jersey State Office of Innovation improves the lives of New Jerseyans by solving public problems differently. Our work spans numerous issue and policy areas, and is focused on making an impact in the lives of the New Jerseyans that we serve. Our work has decreased the amount of time it takes to apply for Unemployment Insurance, made it easier to start, operate, and grow a business in the Garden State, and connected millions of New Jerseyans to government programs, services, and benefits. Our team members wear many hats, contributing to both the execution of core projects and the evolution of the Office of Innovation. We use data and modern research, design, and development methods to inform our decision making, and we collaborate with stakeholders within and outside of government to understand and solve challenges.

As a part of the team, your responsibilities may include:

Leadership and Direction:

  • Drive evidence-based decision-making and shape organizational strategies through the application of performance metrics, data analytics, and impact evaluation.
  • Lead the team in envisioning and implementing data-driven solutions that address complex challenges, demonstrating creative and strategic leadership.
  • Use strong project management skills to execute data initiatives efficiently.
  • Inspire a collaborative and innovative work environment within the Data and Policy team.
  • Develop internal team processes and budgets, manage staff and projects, and drive the prioritization of team activities.

Stakeholder Engagement and Collaboration:

  • Collaborate with internal stakeholders, including executive leadership, department heads, and IT teams to align data initiatives with organizational objectives and understand data needs.
  • Cultivate robust partnerships with external stakeholders, including innovators in other government jurisdictions, academics, and other thought leaders.
  • Advocate for best practices in data governance and policy development, including data access and data sharing agreements in government contexts.
  • Provide guidance and support to stakeholders within the Office of Innovation and across New Jersey government as a subject matter expert on data and policy matters.
  • Effectively communicate data strategies, policies, and initiatives to both technical and non-technical audiences.

Performance Management and Evaluation:

  • Develop and implement performance management frameworks to evaluate the impact of policies and digital services.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to set performance metrics and KPIs for various projects.
  • Regularly review and evaluate the performance of implemented policies, recommending improvements based on data insights.

Data Policy and Governance

  • Champion data sharing and data linkage efforts to enable comprehensive data-driven decision-making and problem-solving.
  • Advocate for responsible data governance practices, ensuring data privacy and security in all data initiatives.
  • Stay updated with global and national data privacy regulations and ensure compliance in all data-driven projects.

Data Analysis, Modeling, and Visualization:

  • Use strong programming skills to conduct data analysis projects, extracting meaningful insights from diverse datasets.
  • Drive the development of data visualizations and data dashboards to effectively communicate analysis results and facilitate data exploration.
  • Apply data analysis and statistical modeling expertise to identify trends and patterns that inform policy development.
  • Do what’s needed for the team
  • Execute additional duties and responsibilities to advance the Office of Innovation’s mission and work

Preferred Technical Experience, Skills and Abilities:

Applicants will be assessed based on a demonstrated ability to accomplish the above-discussed responsibilities. We are seeking individuals with the following experience, expertise, skills, and abilities:

  • Seven or more years of applicable experience, related to data management, data governance, and policy development, with a focus on performance metrics, data analytics, and/or impact evaluation. Experience in diverse settings, including both public and private sector contexts is preferred.
  • Strong understanding of data governance frameworks, data management principles, data architecture, data integration strategies, data privacy regulations, and evidence-based policy research.
  • Prior success in managing and collaborating closely with cross-functional teams.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with the ability to translate complex concepts into actionable insights.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail, with the ability to identify and troubleshoot technical issues effectively.
  • Project management capabilities and the ability to work independently or collaboratively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Passion for improving government performance and serving residents.
  • Commitment to ethical data practices.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Graduate-level training in public policy, data science, statistics, economics, applied mathematics, and/or business is strongly preferred, but not required.

Join our team and be at the forefront of shaping data-driven policies and programs that positively impact the lives of New Jerseyans. Apply now and take a leadership role in driving our organization’s data strategy and innovation.

Compensation: Up to approximately $100,000 (depending on experience) + full benefits

The New Jersey Office of Innovation is proud to be an equal opportunity employer

We are deeply committed to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness and seek to create a pluralistic community for all.

We strongly encourage people of color, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, women, LGBTQI+ people, those with disabilities, and Veterans to apply. We are committed to building a team that is reflective of New Jersey’s incredible diversity.

We do not discriminate against any candidate because of color, race, age, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, membership in an employee organization, pregnancy, marital status, status as a parent, ancestry, national origin, disability (physical or mental), family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, retaliation, or other non-merit based factors.


You must be authorized to work in the United States. Candidates may be required to pass a background check and complete additional steps as part of the application and onboarding process. You will be considered an “at-will” employee, meaning both employer and employee have the right to terminate employment with or without cause or notice.