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Center for Strategic & International Studies Published: November 2, 2020
Washington, DC, Washington, DC
Job Type


Job summary

The iDeas Lab, the award-winning creative and digital production department at CSIS, seeks a highly motivated and creative self-starter to join our dynamic and fast-paced environment as a Developer to start immediately.

The iDeas Lab enhances CSIS's policy research and analysis with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and video. You can see some of our latest at or The developer will work closely with the department on creative projects that tell compelling public policy stories, including dynamic data visualizations, interactive features, long-form media-rich digital reports, websites, and rich media packages, with an eye towards emerging platforms. You will work in a creative environment with other developers and designers who are eager to bring information to life on the web, partnering with some of the most respected foreign policy experts and researchers.

This is an ideal opportunity for someone with solid coding skills who is eager to bring complex policy issues to life using digital platforms and a drive to enhance their skill-set. The ideal candidate has excellent creative, technical, communication, project management, and problem solving skills, and is innovative and agile, with a passion for bridging the intersection between design, technology, and public policy. The candidate will have independent self-direction, coupled with an aptitude for collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team. Additionally, the candidate will have strong ability to multi-task in a fast-paced and innovative environment while meeting tight deadlines. The successful candidate will be eager to improve and keep growing their skills and knowledge and contribute to CSIS’s vision of telling dynamic knowledge-driven public policy stories.

Essential duties and responsibilities

• Develop, implement, and learn new methods of creating websites, media-rich and immersive digital reports, interactive visualizations & maps, and other types of digital products
o Create custom websites and functionalities
o Work with web designers to turn mockups into clean, well-documented code
• Handle projects from start to finish, project representation is an important aspect of this role
• Lead all ranges and stages of development projects, including overseeing other relevant iLab staff, managing processes, and leading communications and project management within the team as well as with program partners
• Work closely with research programs and department staff to develop digital projects to suit stated goals and needs, and navigating program relationships and preferences/needs — communicating effectively with non-technical stakeholders is critical
• Serve as a knowledgeable mentor and sounding board to junior colleagues as it relates to digital products
• Maintain and improve current websites and projects
• Support with content management and technology maintenance
• Establish and lead development guidelines, standards, and processes
• Other duties and projects as needed

Knowledge, education, and experience

• B.A./B.S/A.B. in relevant field or other relevant experience, including bootcamp training or freelance work;
• Minimum two years of relevant experience
• Excellent creative & technical skills, and strong proficiency and experience in writing clean, accessible HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
• Strong proficiency with Git and Sass.
• Proficiency with WordPress, React, Vue, and/or D3.js
o It is not necessary to be proficient in all of these, but these are frequently used technologies used in the iLab.
• Familiarity with & capable of setting up build tools and processes to expedite projects (eg. Webpack, TravisCi, ESLint, etc.)
• Demonstrated experience working collaboratively with other developers (eg. Conducting code reviews, pair programming, open source contributions, etc.)
• Zest for challenging assignments, with an eye toward creative and innovative solutions
• Strong organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills; including effectively presenting information to non-technical partners, operating in a fast-paced environment and managing competing priorities
• Strong attention to detail, initiative, and follow through skills
• Strong interest in global affairs and public policy is a plus
• Sound judgement, maturity, and discretion

Some technologies we use at the ideas lab

• HTML5, CSS3/SASS, JavaScript, PHP
• JS libraries and frameworks like React, Vue, Highcharts, D3, and jQuery
• Content management systems (WordPress, Forestry)
• Static Site Generators like Jekyll and 11ty
• Build tools like Gulp, Webpack, and Parcel
• Mapping tools like Mapbox, Carto, and Leaflet
• GitHub
• Figma

You don’t need to be proficient in all of these, but you should know a section of them, and be able to and interested in learning others.

How to apply

If this sounds like you, submit a cover letter, resume, and links to a portfolio website or GitHub to the CSIS website at Finalists will be asked for references.

Physical requirements and work conditions

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.