API Product Manager

Information Technology Washington, District of Columbia


Job Summary

This is an opportunity to join the World Resources Institute, one of the world’s leading global mission-driven environmental organizations. As the lead Technical Project Manager, you will oversee the critical APIs and services that power a family of open data platforms designed to empower people with information for a more sustainable future. You will join a growing team of staff committed to turning data into action for people and planet. You will manage the Resource Watch API and the shared, open-source data infrastructure underlying our innovative data platforms: Resource Watch, Global Forest Watch, Aqueduct and others. Reporting to our Vice President for Science and Research, you will help projects understand their engineering needs at a leading organization in technology for good, working with our data, design, and engineering teams to develop solutions to the planet’s most pressing challenges. The ability to be located at WRI’s Global office in Washington DC is preferred but remote work will be considered for exceptional candidates.


  • Lead the development of the Resource Watch API and related infrastructure and services
  • Develop a vision and roadmap for the services behind WRI’s data platforms, to ensure that they are robust, reliable, and enable product teams to meet the needs of our users
  • Coordinate regular meetings of product managers across WRI to assess needs and priorities for the Resource Watch API
  • Communicate requirements between internal clients and vendors
  • Manage API and services budget; balance resource allocation based on projects’ needs and relative contributions to the overall budget
  • Manage vendor contracts for the Resource Watch API. Develop contract scopes of work and ensure delivery in agreed timeframes
  • Managing relevant cloud services accounts Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services)
  • Advise projects on vendor selection and contribute to technical portions of proposals, as needed
  • Advise projects on engineering requirements and trade-offs


  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant, full-time work experience
  • Master's degree required (or two+ years of additional work experience)
  • Demonstrated experience managing technical product in production and balancing requirements between stakeholders
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Deep knowledge of back-end web engineering, and design and deployment of RESTful services
  • Client-oriented, risk-management approach to engineering
  • Familiarity with web GIS (Esri, CARTO etc.) and cloud services (AWS, GCP etc.)
  • Passion for continued learning and improvement

How to Apply 

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

Program Overview

This opportunity is part of WRI’s Science and Research team, which manages the review of WRI research products and leads WRI’s information into action initiative to promote excellence in WRI’s open data initiatives. Part of a team of highly motivated individuals, including members of WRI’s senior leadership, this role will manage the backend development of Resource Watch, an online, open, collaborative platform of actionable data, as well as coordinating across WRI’s existing data platforms that share its infrastructure.

Over the past several years, WRI has built multiple interactive data platforms to make environmental and social data accessible to decision makers, and has consolidated the infrastructure supporting these data platforms into a single API. This infrastructure, called the Resource Watch API, is the set web services and the servers they run on that handle many tasks behind our web applications, such as storing and hosting metadata, performing user management and authentication, communicating with 3rd party services such as CARTO, ArcGIS, and Google Earth Engine, as well as any other custom services our web applications require.

WRI Overview 

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, watersustainable cities, and the ocean. 

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect. 

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact. 

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $100 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 800+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices inAfrica, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexicoand theUnited States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.   

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.  

The World Resources Institute (http://www.wri.org) is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.