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GIS Manager

University of Washington

Seattle,  Washington

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” for six consecutive years.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to deliver to the world timely, relevant, and scientifically valid evidence to improve health policy and practice. IHME carries out its mission through a range of projects within different research areas including: the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; Future Health Scenarios; Costs and Cost Effectiveness; Resource Tracking; and Impact Evaluations. Our vision is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base so all people live long lives in full health.
IHME is committed to providing the evidence base necessary to help solve the world’s most important health problems. This requires creativity and innovation, which is cultivated by an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment that respects and appreciates differences, embraces collaboration, and invites the voices of all IHME team members.

IHME has an outstanding opportunity for a GIS Manager. The main purpose of this position is to provide support to IHME’s analytic work by leading the creation and management of shape files and central covariates that are used in small area modeling, routine display of IHME estimates, and in a variety of maps and related visual displays that make the results easy to understand and encourage uptake by a variety of audiences.

The GIS Manager must develop an understanding of data and mapping needs of small area analyses and related research areas and establish standards for the management and use of shape files. The position calls for dexterity working with complex databases and the ability to assess, transform, and utilize quantitative data using multiple coding languages (R, ArcGIS, and/or common GIS software skills are required). Position is contingent upon project funding availability.

Responsibilities include:

Research command

  • Become familiar with the research area of small area analysis, the related data, and the needs IHME has for portraying results in a variety of maps for a variety of users.
  • Understand the specific formatting needs and technology for rasterized covariates in the IHME modelling framework

Management & Planning

  • Lead the creation of shape files (points, polygons, and rasters) used in small area estimation modeling, unique geography modeling, routine display of IHME estimates, and map creation.
  • Oversee the creation and documentation of efficient, effective, and replicable methods for extracting data, writing and implementing code, organizing data sources, managing data quality, and explaining the results in the maps and related visual displays.
  • Oversee the production of covariates on required schedule at the most detailed level.
  • Work collaboratively to develop GIS best practices, protocols, and processes.
  • Establish standards and build tool-kits for teams generating maps using IHME shape files.
  • Create new GIS common library functions to standardize frequently needed tasks.
  • Work with engineering resources to design and build databases and libraries to manage versions of shape files and their relationship to other IHME assets like location sets.


  • Manage GIS Specialists and Analysts GIS Specialists and Analysts GIS Specialists and Analysts to include: hiring and training, assigning work hours, managing workflow, priority setting, contributing to professional growth and performance assessment, resolving complaints, and initiating disciplinary action for supervisees.
  • Ensure the team delivers to the highest standards of the organization.
  • Ensure the team works effectively with other groups at IHME - promote cross-organization teamwork.
  • Advise on short and long term team structure including providing input on recruitments.
  • Identify and foster opportunities to advance?individuals’ knowledge and abilities.
  • Assess and map project?deliverables to resource needs.?
  • Perform additional duties as assigned.

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.


Bachelor’s Degree in GIS or related field and five years’ experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Additional Requirements:

  • Significant coding experience in R, Python or common GIS software (ArcGIS etc.) required.
  • Experience with map generation for a presentation or publication environment.
  • Experience supervising and coaching staff, and directing prioritizing and monitoring projects and tasks.
  • Previous experience with handling point, polygon, and raster datasets for spatial analyses and visualization. Experience with remotely sensed data.
  • Must have demonstrated facility with analytic tasks and ability to participate productively in interdisciplinary research teams.
  • Strong quantitative aptitude, desire to learn new skills and information, and ability to interpret complex analytic quantitative information.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


  • Master’s degree in GIS or related field


  • Weekend and evening work sometimes required.
  • Office is located in Seattle, Washington. This position is eligible to work fully remote; work schedule required to overlap 50% of IHME Office hours between 8am - 6pm Pacific Time.

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