Unlocking Local Data Fellow

Beeck Center’s Digital Service Collaborative

The Beeck Center strongly encourages all people to apply (please circulate widely), especially those who hold the following intersecting identities: Black, Native or Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQIA+, non-binary, poor or working class, persons living with disabilities, neurodivergent, young, undocumented, speak English as a second language, and others with lived experience in overlooked and/or underestimated communities.

If you have any questions about this fellowship’s objectives, requirements, and/or language used in this job description, please email Vandhana Ravi at vr381@georgetown.edu. If you have questions about what it’s like to be a fellow at the Beeck Center, visit the Fellowship FAQ page.

City residents best know their communities and the problems they face. When empowered, they can readily identify solutions that, if they existed, could improve life for them and their neighbors. Additionally, city governments have data that could turbocharge those solutions, but most residents don’t know where to find that data or how to use it. Conversely, government data leaders know their data well — including how it might help solve problems — but typically do not engage community residents in co-creation or problem-solving. Instead, they identify datasets they believe are valuable, open that data, and hope it will be used — often resulting in low utilization. 

The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University, through the Digital Service Collaborative, is hiring a full-time fellow to lead a project that will support communities by co-creating tools that run on open data to solve problems. Especially as COVID-19 causes governments to rethink priorities and ways of working, we believe that co-creating data-driven solutions to address community problems — with a focus on equity and trust-building — will give cities new skills and tools for problem-solving with limited resources. This work is in partnership with the Centre for Public Impact, a not-for-profit that works with governments, public servants, and other changemakers to reimagine government.


The fellow will work to design and execute an action-oriented research project to:

  • Launch and manage a six-month design sprint (inspired by The Opportunity Project model) where community leaders will work alongside city government partners and private sector technologists to develop tools that put data in the hands of communities to enable their recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Plan and manage virtual demo days where tools and platforms developed by participating cities are shared with the general public and other interested cities that can replicate and scale the solutions.
  • Document program insights and solutions created and associated development costs for a microsite that will feature program content and an open-source toolkit that other cities can use to replicate solutions.

Scope of work

This project will be designed in partnership with Cori Zarek and Taylor Campbell, the Director and Deputy Director of the Beeck Center’s Data + Digital portfolio. The fellow will also work closely with the team at the Centre for Public Impact, including Dan Vogel and Josh Sorin.  

Outputs and deliverables will be determined between the Beeck Center, Centre for Public Impact, and the fellow based on recommendations made after initial landscaping. Those deliverables are likely to include:

  • Products: Leading the launch of minimum viable products that address a pressing issue related to COVID-19 in 3-5 cities 
  • Capability Building: Designing programs and partnerships for local government practitioners to build core capabilities in open data and human-centered design.
  • Documentation: Developing and disseminating an open-source toolkit for other cities to learn from and replicate the work done by the Knight cities through this program. 

The fellow will be responsible for:

  • Designing the sprint process, methods, and outputs in partnership with the Beeck Center and Centre for Public Impact
  • Leading coordination with the city government partners, civic organization partners, and company partners who will participate in the sprint
  • Coaching the partners on leveraging open data to achieve civic goals
  • Advising partners as they develop prototype tools, and testing those tools up through the demo day
  • Coordinating and executing the virtual demo day event
  • Documenting the process so other cities can replicate and scale this model

This will also include:

  • Anticipating and managing risks, including methodological and ethical risks and organizational and logistical challenges 
  • Ensuring the collection and proper management of sufficient and appropriate data for analysis 
  • Selecting, working with, and managing student analysts hired to support the project
  • Drafting and editing content in partnership with the Beeck Center and the Centre for Public Impact
  • Communicating with key Beeck Center and Centre for Public Impact staff around updates, coordination points, and reporting expectations.

The Beeck Center will be responsible for:

  • Supporting the fellow as they design the sprint, coordinate with partners, and carry out the project
  • Logistical and administrative support for project organization and events
  • Hiring student analyst support to assist the fellow
  • Publishing research outputs and deliverables from the Beeck Center at Georgetown University and, as appropriate, with the Centre for Public Impact
  • Facilitating broader Georgetown University coordination efforts as part of the larger Initiative for Technology and Society

Fellow Qualifications 

The following qualifications are required:

  • Expertise in open data, including designing technology tools or platforms powered by open data
  • Experience working in or with local government and an understanding of their data needs and opportunities.
  • Experience working in general government digital service, data, design, technology and/or innovation
  • Seeking out or being the representative public voice or advocate for the co-creation of data solutions between local government and the communities they serve.
  • Experience managing, delegating to, and mentoring junior-level support staff
  • Experience working with students and a commitment to promote their contributions and uplift their skills
  • Experience building relationships and initiate activities across stakeholder organizations and  individuals

In addition, the following qualifications are desirable:

  • Experience in community organizing and development.
  • Experience with human-centered design or user research
  • Demonstrated ability to produce research outputs in multiple formats and to tailor writing to multiple audiences 

Salary, Benefits, and Employment Term

The fellow role is a nine-month appointment at Georgetown University. The stipend band for this fellowship is $80,000-$100,000, commensurate with experience, and includes full benefits. The fellowship period is for nine months from the start date, which is expected to begin September 2020, and the stipend will be paid monthly. There is no guarantee of continued employment beyond the nine-month appointment.

Needs Assistance

If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please click here for more information, or contact the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (IDEAA) at 202-687-4798 or ideaa@georgetown.edu.

Need some assistance with the application process? Please call 202-687-2500. For more information about the suite of benefits, professional development and community involvement opportunities that make up Georgetown’s commitment to its employees, please visit the Georgetown Works website.

EEO Statement

The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.