Rarefied talent in data science, data technology, and analytics

Data Engineer

Southern Poverty Law Center

Job Description

SPLC’s Intelligence Project is internationally known for tracking, exposing and countering the activities of hate groups and other domestic extremists.


We are looking to add a Data Engineer to our newly created Data Lab within the Intelligence Project. The mission of the Data Lab is to use cutting-edge techniques from data science and digital research to understand how threat actors abuse the online landscape to spread propaganda, fundraise, recruit new members, and coordinate activities.


The Data Engineer will help us organize and clean our extensive library of existing data sources, grow our understanding of how hate and extremist groups operate by collecting and analyzing new and novel data sets, and develop new data-driven methods to track and expose how hate and extremism exists in online and offline spaces. This mid-level position is part of an energetic, multi-disciplinary team and reports to the Deputy Director of Data Analytics and OSINT.


Primary Job Functions:


  • Work alongside intelligence analysts, research analysts, data scientists, and investigative reporters to increase our understanding of the hate and extremist landscape using data;
  • Identify, collect, clean, and analyze new and existing data sets that can help us create actionable intelligence;
  • Build modern data pipelines to allow new and existing data sources to be used more effectively by a variety of technical and non-technical staff in the Intelligence Project;
  • Collaborate with editorial and research staff to explore and analyze data in order to discover patterns and trends;
  • Contribute actively to the development of the newly created Intelligence Project Data Lab; and
  • Other duties as assigned.


Supervisory Reports:            None


Interacts with:                       Intelligence Department, Information Technology Department, and vendors.


Qualifications –


Education and Related work experience:


A minimum of three (3) years of Data Engineering experience to include:

  • Intermediate working knowledge and experience with Python including for data collection, data cleaning, basic data analysis;
  • Intermediate working knowledge and experience with RDBMS and SQL, including database design and tuning SQL queries;
  • Intermediate working knowledge and experience with NoSQL and other non-relational datastores;
  • Intermediate working knowledge and experience with collection and storage of unstructured content including video, image, and audio files;
  • Experience collecting data through a variety of means including RESTful APIs, headless browser automation, and/or website scraping;
  • Basic experience with descriptive statistics, text mining, social network analysis and other analytical techniques;
  • Experience in Cloud Data Engineering technologies including data storage and processing, for example Azure or AWS;
  • Working knowledge of how to build or deploy Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards or other data visualization tools for use by technical and non-technical audiences; and
  • High school diploma or GED.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Proven track record in conducting data-driven research and large-scale data collection;
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills;
  • Ability to solve problems independently;
  • Goal-oriented, takes initiative;
  • Team player with strong interpersonal skills;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • Desire to put your technical and analytical skills to work solving tough socio-technical problems;
  • Ability to work with sensitive content, including graphic images, videos, and text;
  • Commitment to the ideals of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; and
  • Commitment to fostering an anti-racist work culture and to anti-racist principles and learning.



This is an exempt role and the minimum starting salary is $92,033.00 annually. Salary is based on length of service at SPLC.

Work Designation:

This role has the following work designation options: 

  • Distant Remote:  Will work remotely and are not expected to work in the states in which the SPLC has an office or in an SPLC office. They may be required to attend occasional meetings or activities in the states in which the SPLC has an office or elsewhere.
  • Local Remote:  Will work remotely but is expected to attend work-related activities that occur at the SPLC offices or in the states in which the SPLC operates.
  • Telework:  Will work at an SPLC office at least three days per week and may work two days per week from an alternative work location.


Other Special Considerations:

This job is performed under general office conditions and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions.

This position is represented by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild.


The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.

An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction.


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