Senior Applications Architect for OpenDP

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Senior Applications Architect for Open DP

Faculty of Arts and Sciences  50319BR

Job Summary

Direct advanced applications development for major and highly complex projects; typically work as part of a team to implement complex business solutions. Define problem(s), design and gain resources to carry our solution(s). Set the strategic direction for the applications development group.


Job Code 

I0760M Applications Mgt VI


Job-Specific Responsibilities

The Institute for Quantitative Social Science in collaboration with the Privacy Tools research group ( at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) seeks a Senior Applications Architect to provide technical leadership to the new OpenDP software project. OpenDP will be a community effort to build an open-source system of tools for enabling privacy-protective analysis of sensitive personal data, centered around a library of algorithms for generating statistical releases with the strong protections of “differential privacy”.  We aim for this platform, OpenDP, to become the standard body of trusted and open-source implementations of differentially private algorithms for statistical analysis and machine learning on sensitive data, and a pathway that rapidly brings the newest algorithmic developments to a wide array of practitioners.
Duties & Responsibilities


Design (in collaboration with the scientific leadership) and lead the implementation of the system architecture

  • Collaborate daily with Harvard PIs and OpenDP constituencies.
  • Architect the OpenDP platform, including secure data storage, data transfer, data model, programming frameworks, and APIs for OpenDP platform 
  • Develop short- and long-term strategies for the OpenDP roadmap.
  • Research relevant emerging technologies.
  • Recommend and approve technology changes, and actively search for vulnerabilities
 Direct application development
  • Direct advanced applications development for a highly complex software project.
  • Participate fully in the software development life cycle.
  • Direct the development and delivery of information security standards, best practices, architecture, processes, and systems to ensure security across the OpenDP platform
  • Collaborate to create a secure cloud architecture. 
Establish and maintain internal/external stakeholder relationships
  • Collect input and review requirements from contributors, oversight committees, data owners and users.
Manage team of developers
  • Build and manage internal software development team; assign review their work.
  • Build an external software development team in the context of developing an open-source community.
  • Mentor developers on the project both internal and external to Harvard.

Typical Core Duties

  • Responsible for effective staff management, including hiring and orientation, training and development, workflow and performance management, and the promotion of an inclusive and innovative work environment
  • Participate fully in software development life cycle
  • Direct and oversee development of technical solutions to deliver business requirements
  • Lead decision-making on major project costs, timetable, resources and technologies
  • Lead long term strategic planning and actively contribute to enterprise wide initiatives
  • Abide by and follow the Harvard University IT technical standards, policies and Code of Conduct

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum of seven years' post-secondary education and/or relevant work experience
  • Supervisory experience

Additional Qualifications

  • Minimum three years’ extensive expertise building multi-tier system architectures, preferably in a data science context.
  • Minimum three years’ experience with security requirements for storing and transferring sensitive data.
  • Minimum three years’ experience working in a research environment preferred.
  • Holds a Masters degree or Ph.D. in computer science or similar experience preferred.
  • Prior exposure to differential privacy is preferred but not required
  • Knowledge of information technology applications, processes, software and equipment
  • Demonstrated team performance skills, service mindset approach, and the ability to act as a trusted advisor

Additional Information

This is a one year term appointment from the date of hire, with the possibility of renewal based on funding and performance.
We are unable to provide visa sponsorship for this position.
All offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.


Job Function

 Information Technology





USA - MA - Cambridge


Department  Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS)

Time Status



00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade


 Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.