The Pandemic Prevention Institute will close the gap between pathogen detection and response—from nations to neighborhoods. The Institute will build an equitable, representative network of data systems that respects sovereignty, upholds the highest ethical standards, and empowers decision-makers to respond efficiently and effectively to pathogen threats. We will ensure that early warnings sound when needed and local actors are empowered to take appropriate steps before it is too late. Embracing a combination of technological innovation, capacity building, and multi-sector collaboration, the Institute and its partners will transform the world’s ability to capture signals and provide rapid response. Ultimately, our success will be measured in the lives and livelihoods we save.
The Rockefeller Foundation is seeking a founding Scientific Director to advance our understanding of epidemics and translate research into action. This role will work with Institute leadership to shape, develop and coordinate integrative research into how data-driven modeling can end current and prevent future pandemics. In this capacity, the Institute’s Scientific Director will build a research program that leverages mathematical and computational modeling, machine learning, and data science to identify the eco-evolutionary, demographic, and environmental drivers of pathogen emergence, persistence, and spread. The Director will build a scientific research team but will also collaborate with cross-functional teams of internal and external software developers, user experience researchers and designers, and data scientists to translate research into action-oriented products.
We expect that this position will be filled by a well-established quantitative epidemiologist with experience advancing nascent research programs. The Director will supervise one-health focused research across a range of human pathogens. In this role, the Director will conduct research, lead a team of scientists, and communicate findings through scholarly venues, e.g., peer-reviewed publications, conferences, pre-prints/white papers. In addition, the Director will contribute to the Institute’s public outreach and educational missions. While the Director will collaborate with Institute leadership on obtaining external funding, the position and their team are fully funded, permanent roles.
We are currently fully remote, but when it is safe to return to in-person work, this position will be based in the Washington, D.C. office.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities
● Support the Institute in developing an interdisciplinary research program centered on quantitative epidemiology. You will hire a team of researchers, set the research agenda, and collaboratively ensure findings are communicated effectively and translated into action.
● Manage a scientific research team. You will interact with a wide variety of collaborators and stakeholders and work closely with the Director of Data Strategy & Products, Data Engineering Director, and Managing Director of Pathogen Surveillance to define, prototype, and productize tools that support public health decision making.
● Lead end-to-end research, including data gathering, processing, analysis, modeling, visualization, publication, and presentations.
● Supporting our external, global partners/networks to deliver on joint events, research, and scientific discovery.
● Advising our science communication efforts, ensuring that the voice of the Institute is always scientifically rigorous.
● Work with Institute leadership to secure external funding and advise on partnerships.
● Communicate key data trends and findings to help internal and external stakeholders make decisions related to outbreak preparedness and response.
Education, Experience and Skills
● Doctorate in a quantitative discipline (e.g., computational biology, mathematical epidemiology, network science, computer science, statistics).
● 5+ years of experience post PhD advancing an integrative research program focused on infectious diseases.
● 10+ years of experience in quantitative epidemiology (broadly defined).
● Experience leading a research group and building a research program.
● Documented ability to communicate research findings through established and emerging venues. Your communication experience will ideally include presenting scientific work to non-scientific audiences, journalists, policy-makers, etc..
● Interest or experience working in the nonprofit sector and strong interest in public health and how it is impacted by data science and technology.
● Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to engage effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders and collaborators both domestically and internationally.
● Experience telling stories with data in both written and presentation formats. Interest in publishing for a global audience.
● Entrepreneurial mindset. Must be a proactive self-starter
● Shared values and dedication to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Qualifications and Competencies
- Project Management: Ability to work-backwards from set goals and understand critical path dependencies, establish and manage different workstreams, draw from a diverse set of tools and approaches to manage progress and mitigate risks, and adapt when circumstances change.
- Execution: A strong sense of urgency and the ability to work with multiple stakeholders to drive towards milestones. Stays focused on priorities in the midst of many competing demands. Able to quickly develop “plan B” when original plans hit roadblocks.
- Strategy: Strategic mindset with ability to identify and prioritize what’s important in any project, demonstrates innovative and creative approaches to work, ability to organize chaos into coherent plan.
- Communication: Able to translate complex topics into simple language. Can participate appropriately in executive settings and tailor briefs to a range of internal clients. Can represent the Foundation in a wide range of settings.
- Leadership: An entrepreneurial sense of ownership over individual work and a sense of accountability to ensure the entire team succeeds. Comfortable with ambiguity and can move forward in the midst of changing circumstances.
- Teamwork: Flexible in playing whatever role is necessary for team success. Demonstrate inclusiveness in encouraging participation from everyone to generate the best ideas and results. Can leverage the entire team – reports, peers, and managers – to achieve results.
- Entrepreneurship: Proactive in crafting new ideas and creatively solving problems. Able to creatively secure and mobilize the resources required for a project’s success.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: You are committed to the mission of the Foundation, to inclusion, equity and diversity in every aspect of your work, and to challenging conventional wisdom through evidence, reason, and amplifying dissenting, unconventional, and marginalized voices.
As an organization, we focus on six values to advance our culture and to continue our success. We are dedicated to being Transparent, Optimistic, Accountable, Collaborative, Trusted and Equitable. We operate from a strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in everything that we do. It’s not only the right thing to do – we couldn’t make an impact without the diverse perspectives and experiences of our team members. We expect all employees at the Foundation to contribute by developing their unique perspective and talent, and to challenge conventional wisdom through evidence and reason, and by amplifying marginalized voices.
The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and to compliance with all federal, state, and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. To this end, the Foundation ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, lawful alien status, physical, mental, and medical disability, veteran status, or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces.
The Rockefeller Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.