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Job of the Week: Chief Data Officer, NASA

chief data officer nasa job of the week

NASA’s X-59 is lowered into the test fixture as it prepares to undergo structural stress tests at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is looking for a Chief Data Officer (CDO) to lead the agency’s data strategy, including enterprise-wide governance and utilization of information as an asset, via data processing, analysis, data mining, information trading, and other means, a new job posting reveals.

We are making the NASA Chief Data Officer role The Stack’s latest Job of the Week (dream big and apply; these high-profile roles often get far fewer quality applications than you might think – one recent exceptionally visible CIO role at a major multinational agency attracted fewer than 100 applications, we understand – and of the 136 applicants so far, only 12 are from the C-Suite, publicly visible LinkedIn data shows).

This one is for our federal government US readers however: Applicants will need to be “current civil service employees on career, career conditional, or NASA term appointments with conversion eligibility.”

NASA CDO role: What you need to know

Not part of the job description. Image credit: NASA

The NASA CDO role comes with a salary of up to $202,000 and a fairly monstrous application process.

Applications close on February 20, 2023.

The CDO will serve as a “key advisor and member of the OCIO (Office of the Chief Information Officer) senior leadership team” and be responsible for reviewing  the “impact of the IT infrastructure of the Agency on data asset accessibility to improve infrastructure to reduce barriers that inhibit secure data asset accessibility.”

They will also be responsible for leading “development of the NASA Data Strategy along with associated policies, guidelines, best practices and implementation approach to enable NASA’s digital transformation, aligned with NASA’s IT Strategy and federal data strategies” and spearheading “agency efforts to manage data and data assets by establishing effective procedures, standards, and controls… data strategy, data processing/analysis, and information trading to improve IT infrastructure” (full job description here.)

See also: NASA warned on IT security over insider threat risk

As NASA noted in summer 2022: “Until recently, something has been missing in NASA’s digital transformation effort: agency-wide coordination. NASA leadership wants to share best practices in digital solutions, avoid duplication and gaps, ensure interoperability, and encourage cooperation among all stakeholders. In the spring of 2019,  NASA leadership approved an agency digital transformation strategy, with the Office of Chief Technologist leading coordination in partnership with the Office of Chief Information Officer

“Key elements of the strategy include digitally transforming NASA’s data use, collaboration, model-based work, administrative processes, application of artificial intelligence, and workforce and culture…”

The agency noted in a previous blog: “A limited ability to adopt or train on new technology, siloed systems, and restrictive data policies stand in the way of NASA’s imperative ability to prepare for a digital-forward future. Organizations not readily embracing digital-first mindsets or “automate everything” mantras will no longer be compatible with the future, much less the work or workforce. Without taking steps toward digital business, NASA risks losing reductions, resources, and ultimately relevance: digital business reaps reductions realized through cost saving on appropriately managing/refreshing IT investments and automating across organizational processes and digitalization frames resources to more effectively utilize and allocate while eliminating waste.”

Expect a challenge, but a rewarding one. 

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