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Data Engineer - CIJ (NYC)

Who we are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities. 

  • We study problems that impede human dignity and justice. 
  • We pilot solutions that are at once transformative and achievable. 
  • We engage diverse communities in informed debate. 
  • And we harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice. 

We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement to the unmet needs of people who are vulnerable, marginalized, and harmed by crime and violence. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We hire employees that reflect our values: respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, and race equity.  If you want to learn more about life at Vera click here.

What you'll do

The Data Engineer will be responsible for building out the data infrastructure that will enable the Center on Immigration and Justice’s (CIJ) research team to effect change through data-informed insights, research, and interventions. They will iteratively progress toward the implementation of an ideal solution while accommodating the demands of an applied research setting by creating and supporting systems and processes for collecting, compiling, manipulating, and analyzing data.

The Data Engineer's responsibilities includes but are not limited to:

  1. Create and support systems and processes for collecting, compiling, manipulating, and analyzing data to support CIJ’s program & research
    • Work with immigration research and program management staff to identify & solve for difficult data ingestion, migration, management, and integration challenges
    • Design data models & set up data environments to support reporting & analysis
    • Build and test data ingestion, migration, and ETL processes
    • Automate processes and schedule jobs within the data environment
    • Write documentation of systems & processes for collaboration within CIJ’s research and programs
  2. Ensure data ecosystems are security compliant and properly integrated with Vera’s IT systems where applicable
    • Work closely with IT to ensure compliance & integration of systems
  3. Other technical program & research support as assigned

What qualifications you will need

The Data Engineer candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • 2-3 years of full-time experience in a data engineering capacity
  • Experience collaborating directly with data scientists and data analysts who develop analyses in any combination of R, Python, SQL, Tableau, Stata, etc. preferred
  • Prior experience designing and developing data models, building out and testing ETL data pipelines, and automating scheduled workflows using SQL & Python
  • Fluency in collaborating with Git & Github, with dedication to using these tools to conduct peer code reviews and uphold coding standards
  • High comfort level with ingesting messy source datasets that are prone to manual data entry errors and integrating these into a live database
  • Ability to build repeatable and well-documented processes and tools that can be used by other research & analytics team members, regardless of the languages they use to perform their analyses
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including ability to present and teach the use of data infrastructure to a range of audiences in a variety of formats, and work effectively on a large team to advance shared priorities.
  • Strong social and emotional awareness with your team and external partners.
  • Experience with Linux and bash scripting highly preferred
  • Experience with Docker and deploying Docker images highly preferred
  • Experience with automating bespoke tasks (e.g. basic web scraping, using 3rd party APIs) highly preferred
  • Familiarity with government security compliance standards is a plus
  • Working knowledge of AWS data product ecosystem is a plus
  • This position may require low-level government security clearance in the future to handle secure data. However, this is not a current requirement for hiring. 

The Nitty – Gritty

  • This is a full-time position located at Vera’s Brooklyn, New York office
  • Salary is competitive plus excellent benefits

How to apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Online submission in PDF format (through Vera’s career page) is preferred.  No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.  

ATTN: Human Resources / Data Engineer
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.


Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. 

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission. 

For more information about Vera, please visit

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