View Our Website View All Jobs

Data Engineer

Are you excited by the idea of managing the data and technical infrastructure of a dynamic research project that has global impact on companies’ respect for digital rights? Do you thrive in environments where there is a range of workstreams, from development, to data analysis and visualization? If so, Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) encourages you to apply as a Data Engineer, to support our team in improving and scaling our work with a strong technical foundation.

Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) is a program at New America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute based in Washington, D.C. Since 2015, RDR has ranked the world’s most powerful digital platforms and telecommunications companies on their policies and practices affecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy in its annual RDR Corporate Accountability Index. RDR staff work from Washington, D.C.; Berlin; Budapest; and other locations.

Job Description

Working with a team of researchers around the globe, RDR has developed a custom data infrastructure to conduct the research and collect, score, and analyze data. In this contracted position of Data Engineer, your primary responsibility will be to ensure that the infrastructure is set up and running smoothly throughout the research process. You will also be able to explore and introduce new features to improve usability and efficiency, especially focusing on the final research outputs, where we are looking to improve our process by ensuring that the RDR team can easily sort, segment and analyze final research outputs in a user-friendly database interface. Depending on interest and skills, there will also be opportunities to experiment with new methods of data analysis and visualization.

In addition, as a Data Engineer with Ranking Digital Rights, you will continue the development of an RDR Index Open Source Evaluation Kit, which will enable other organizations to apply our open source research infrastructure to conduct research adaptations based on the RDR methodology.


  • Maintain and improve our existing technical infrastructure (data management environment; websites; repositories, databases), ensuring long-term maintainability, interoperability, information security, backups, and a healthy balance of ownership costs and third-party dependence.
  • Maintain, extend, and document the research data infrastructure using an existing repository (Javascript), to enable the internal research team as well as other stakeholders to apply the RDR Index methodology in standardized, scalable ways.
  • Support external adoption and use of RDR data, current and historical
  • Support the conception of grant proposals for technical projects and/or for RDR technical infrastructure, as needed
  • Collaborate with the research team, communications team, and other senior staff to inform the technology strategy and workplans.
  • Conduct technical trainings with the staff, as time allows or circumstances require.


  • Proficiency in HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • Experience in data analysis with R or Python
  • Experience with SQL database management, ideally with Metabase or equivalent
  • Experience building and/or working with spreadsheet systems, ideally with Google Apps Script
  • Experience working with Wordpress
  • Experience publishing code and actively engaging with teams on Github
  • Good interpersonal skills (both to work with internal teams and external companies/partners)
  • Strong time management skills and proven ability to meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated interest in digital rights work
  • Experience working for a non-profit


The contracted position will be 3 days per week. Compensation will be $3000-$4200 monthly, based on experience.


RDR operates as a distributed team across multiple time zones. We will consider applications from candidates based anywhere but prefer candidates who can overlap with a 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. day UTC -5 (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) for at least four hours a day. A strong, reliable internet connection is a must.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a resume and a cover letter that explains your interest in the position and why you believe you are well-suited for the role. Also, include a link to an example of your relevant work that best represents the competencies outlined here. For instance, you could share a link to a website you developed, a research project for whom you worked on the research infrastructure, a github repository for a tool meant to be used more broadly. Please include a brief description of the work and how it relates to this position. The deadline to submit your application is June 1, 2021.

Please submit your application materials through the New America portal. Note: Applications not submitted through the portal will not be considered. If you have trouble submitting your application through the portal, please contact Kelly Ross at

Please No Phone Calls, No Emails

New America is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization thereby creating a culture that allows us to better serve our clientele, our employees and our communities. We value and encourage the contributions of our employees and strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and drive outstanding results. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination.

Read More

Apply for this position

Apply with Indeed
We've received your resume. Click here to update it.
Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, or .rtf (limit 5MB) or Paste resume

Paste your resume here or Attach resume file

To comply with government Equal Employment Opportunity and/or Affirmative Action reporting regulations, we are requesting (but NOT requiring) that you enter this personal data. This information will not be used in connection with any employment decisions, and will be used solely as permitted by state and federal law. Your voluntary cooperation would be appreciated. Learn more.