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Data Science Client Services Division Manager


Portland,  Oregon
GIS Coordinator

Position summary

If you're a data expert and energetic people- and service-oriented manager with a commitment to public service this job may be what you are looking for. Metro's on the cutting edge of using data and analytics to inform decisions about the future of greater Portland. The data science client services manager leads a talented team of data and map specialists who are passionate about turning complex spatial and image-based data into useful information by analyzing demographics, making maps, creating data-driven software applications in Metro's "do-it-yourself" platforms (ESRI's AGOL and Portal), and more.
Metro is dedicated to a better future for greater Portland. With a portfolio that spans land and transportation, garbage and recycling, arts and events venues, parks and nature and the Oregon Zoo, Metro's work generates economic and cultural opportunity, protects nature and wildlife, and helps create a great place people want to call home.
As the leader of the client services team you would bring Metro's mission to life in tangible ways that serve Metro's business lines and community, business and government partners. Recent projects include everything from processing aerial imagery to locating Oregon White Oak trees for native species preservation, mapping and quantifying the location and amount of food scraps generated in the metro area, and understanding how urban lands have developed over time to providing maps for the Metro's Parks Master Plan and creating a dashboard that displays the racial makeup of Metro's staff across its various departments.
You would also be part of a Metro department with a reputation for driving innovation. Building on years at the forefront of land-based information systems, today client services staff are leading the effort to advance equity with qualitative and quantitative data and collaborating with a cross-department team to add machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to Metro's toolkit.
The client services manager plays three key roles:

  • Marketing the Research Center and managing client relationships in and
    outside of Metro
  • Leading people and supporting staff development
  • Managing business development and projects

To be successful in this position you will be:

•  a seasoned promoter and project manager ready to serve clients in and outside of Metro.
The successful candidate will be as adept at managing projects (including budgets and schedules), strategic planning and business development as they are with promoting Research Center services, making connections and nurturing productive relationships with internal and external stakeholders. We're looking for a client advocate and a quick study who knows how to capture client needs and frame business requirements for analytic products and new software applications.

•  a people person who knows how to motivate and develop talented staff and collaborate with co-managers
The successful candidate will be skilled at supporting collaborative teamwork and assigning and balancing workloads. The client services team includes people with backgrounds in geography, urban planning, data management, transportation planning, and data science.

Reporting to the Research Center Director, the client services manager plays a key role on the Research Center's management team. The management team includes the enterprise services manager, in charge of the data and custom software applications team; the modeling services manager, whose team is focused on long-range transport and land use forecasting; and the Director, who sets overall strategy.

•  a strategic thinker and practical innovator.
The client services manager will need to be constantly on the lookout for new and better analytic methods and service delivery practices to support Metro's business lines and equity strategy. The client services division plays a leading role in the Research Center's efforts to build Metro's capacity for high-quality, equity-related data and analytics.

About Metro
Metro brings people together to shape the future of greater Portland and provides parks, venues, and services that work best across cities and counties. Led by an elected council, this unique government ensures that Oregonians have a voice in land and transportation planning, water and wildlife conservation, garbage and recycling decisions, and arts and event venue management. Metro destinations include the Oregon Zoo, Oregon Convention Center, Portland Expo Center, Portland'5 Centers for the Arts, and Blue Lake and Oxbow regional parks.
Diversity, equity and inclusion
Metro is committed to hiring and supporting staff who reflect the diversity of our communities, and to creating welcoming workplaces. We know diverse voices make the region better and help us fulfill our public mission. Learn more at
Application requirements
1) Electronic application, 2) resume, 3) cover letter describing your qualifications as they relate to the duties of this position, and 4) written responses to the supplemental questions.

Essential Job Duties

An employee in this position typically performs a full range of duties at a level of complexity represented by the following types of responsibilities. However, these examples do not include all the tasks an employee in this position may be expected to perform.

  • Establishes and nurtures client and partner relationships to ensure that:
    • the Research Center has a comprehensive understanding of client needs,
    • clients understand the Research Center's capabilities and services,
    • clients trust the Research Center to deliver high-quality work on time and on budget and to work quickly and transparently with clients to negotiate and revise scope, schedule and budget to mutual satisfaction.
  • Manages technical staff in their daily work and for long-term staff retention.
    • Assigns tasks and conducts performance appraisals.
    • Provides day-to-day support and coaching.
    • Provides training and professional development so staff perform effectively, value their work at Metro, and enjoy coming to work.
  • Works with Research Center staff, community stakeholders, and Metro's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program to build a Metro-wide equity-related analytic strategy to inform:
    • better relationships with historically underserved communities,
    • data acquisition to help understand planning and programming impacts on communities of color,
    • improved equity-related quantitative analytic methods,
    • how Metro can use qualitative and quantitative data to advance equity.
  • Serves as project manager on selected, larger-scale Research Center initiatives; demonstrates best project management practices; and coaches staff on how to be good project managers. 
  • Develops new business by making potential clients aware of the division's capabilities.
  • Works with the Research Center management team to ensure effective sharing and coordination of staff, services, and support within the Research Center (the RC has many cross-division work teams and efforts). 
  • Supports staff and the Research Center Director by maintaining strategic awareness of equity analytics, spatial data, data science, and data visualization fields; brings important developments to the attention of staff and the Director.
  • Supports the Research Center Director in maintaining awareness of external events, outside interests, and political processes that affect the work of the Research Center.
  • Collaborates with staff to create and oversee implementation of analysis methods and quality control/quality assurance practices.
  • Collaborates with the Director and division managers to catalyze innovation, set long-range strategy, and identify research initiatives for the Client Services Division and the Research Center.
  • Manages the division budget, monitors project delivery, manages contracts, RFPs, inter-governmental agreements, etc.
  • Models and reinforces Metro's values of public service, excellence, teamwork, respect, innovation, and sustainability.

This position is classified as a Manager II (click to read the full classification) and is not represented by a union. Classification descriptions typically are written broadly and do not include the specific duties and responsibilities of the positions.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in a field with a connection to management, analytics, or customer service.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience leading, mentoring, and coaching people.
  • Minimum 2 years of project management experience in an analytic field.
  • Or any combination of experience and education that provides the necessary skills knowledge and ability to perform assigned tasks.


  • Management-level knowledge of at least one quantitative analytic discipline. This could be spatial data analysis or any field that has a comparable level of quantitative methodology.
  • Awareness of best practices in equity-related data acquisition and equity analysis methods.
  • Awareness of best practices in integrating qualitative techniques with quantitative methods.

Knowledge, skills and abilities

The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated capacity to accomplish the following types of activities:
Client and staff relations

  • Maintain trusting relationships with clients, partners, and staff by being honest, responsive, adaptable, and assertive.
  • Foster a working environment of open communication and responsive, high-quality customer service.
  • Advocate for staff and help them understand how Metro values them.
  • Inspire collaboration and creativity among team members.
  • Initiate and cultivate successful relationships and collaboration with multiple organizations and/or community-based partners.


  • Effectively manage staff and other resources by making wise task assignments, setting feasible schedules, allocating resources carefully, re-balancing workload as needed, and being deeply aware of the capabilities of staff and other Research Center divisions.
  • Form and hold a big-picture understanding of how the Research Center's Client Services Division fits in to Metro.
  • Constantly look for ways to innovate and improve work processes.
  • Develop and manage a budget in a public sector environment, especially project status and expenditures.
  • Apply project management tools and techniques to maximize efficiency and project delivery success.
  • Collaborate with other department managers and the department director to set policy, make strategic plans, and monitor progress.
  • Comply with regulations and laws applicable to area of assignment
  • Research, analyze, and communicate effectively both orally and in writing to a variety of audiences.

Professional development and coaching

  • Practice ongoing evaluation techniques that make expectations and skill development needs clear to staff.
  • Facilitate staff identification and achievement of professional development goals.
  • Give staff timely, specific, and helpful feedback frequently and honestly.


  • Able to communicate verbally in a fast-paced environment and help groups of diverse individuals hear each other, reach consensus, and decide actions and roles.
  • Write and edit web content, reports, research proposals, and reviews.
  • Design and deliver presentations on analytic findings and administrative topics.

Analytic skills

  • Sufficient familiarity with spatial data analytics to manage and support staff.
  • Ability to use project management software.
  • Ability to evaluate new technologies and data to make informed procurement recommendations.
  • Understanding of ESRI and open-source spatial data software tools (including desktop and server products that support enterprise data and tool development) is desirable but not required.

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