We're Hiring! GIS and Data Visualization Researcher

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national nonprofit working to empower communities by striking at the roots of monopoly power. Our Community Broadband Networks program focuses on local approaches to ensure everyone has high-quality Internet access. This program is a diverse and growing team that makes a difference – our analyses are frequently featured in national news media and sought out by policymakers.

ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks program seeks a GIS and Data Visualization Specialist. We are looking for candidates that have a passion for using their skills as part of a team focused on justice and equity for all. Our mission is focused on a range of digital equity challenges but this position will also offer opportunities to work on larger ILSR projects and goals.


  • Create informative broadband coverage maps using public and internal databases, including the infamous FCC Form 477
  • Compile statistics related to Internet access across datasets
  • Creatively develop visual resources to educate policymakers and activists on issues around Internet access
  • Support ongoing research for longer reports and projects
  • Support research for our allies and partners, often working with BIPOC communities


  • Strong writing, research, and communications skills
  • Graduate-level coursework in or professional experience working with spatial datasets or mapping efforts
  • Ability to combine both spatial datasets and nonspatial datasets to create user-facing products or as intermediary steps in research projects
  • Proficiency with statistics and GIS applications, experience cleaning data
  • Background knowledge of public policy and/or economics (preferred, but not required)
  • Creative thinking – graphics, videos, audio, maps, etc.
  • Ability to work independently and juggle multiple tasks
  • Enthusiasm for policy work to improve Internet access for everyone, but an appreciation of how uneven broadband access disproportionately harms historically marginalized communities

You do not need to know much about broadband policy or telecommunications when you start. Our team is well-versed in helping colleagues rapidly learn the intricacies around broadband policy. This is not a new position – our team has had a GIS specialist for several years, and we look forward to continuing this work. Though many on the team are in Minnesota, our team is geographically diverse. This position may support other ILSR programs with data analysis and mapping and, as is common with smaller organizations, may require some time to help with administrative tasks from time to time.

If you’re excited about this position, but feel you don’t meet 100 percent of the requirements, please apply — lived experiences can’t always be reflected in resumes. We take cover letters seriously. ILSR welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, including but not limited to BIPOC, women, those with disabilities, non-binary or gender-non conforming, veterans and formerly incarcerated individuals. ILSR is committed to providing employees with a welcoming work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions are made without regard to age, race, color, religion or belief, gender identification, family or parental status.


Position includes employer-paid health plan, retirement match, generous vacation, and a dynamic workforce of dedicated and friendly policy wonks trying to make the world a better place. Salary will likely be between $45,000 and $60,000, based on experience and cost of living, in the first year with opportunities for advancement.


Please use the subject line “Mapping and Data Research Application” when sending your materials to hiring@ilsr.org. Include a cover letter, résumé, and example of a map or data visualization product. In the cover letter, please tell us where you learned about this opening. Applications are due Thursday, September 30, 2021 but we will begin considering applicants before the deadline. Feel free to apply after that. Never hurts to try. Please do.