Skip to content

Vice President, Core Data Engineering

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

Northwestern Mutual (NM) has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for over 161 years. Through a distinctive, whole-picture planning approach including both insurance and investments, we empower people to be financially confident. We combine the expertise of our financial professionals with a personalized digital experience and leading-edge technology to best serve our clients. 


Data is a critical driver of this approach, and a cornerstone for how NM engages with its customers. To help guide the effort, NM’s Chief Data Officer (CDO) is seeking a highly strategic, analytical, organized, and motivated Vice President, Core Data to lead a team of 100+ across multiple engineering areas: Core Data Services, Core Data Integration, and Data Analytics Engineering. By providing single threaded leadership across these operational and analytical engineering domains, you will lead a cohesive engineering approach to data at NM. 


Core Data Services and Core Data Integration ensure that data flows through low latency operational systems. These core operational data systems also expose data as APIs to user facing applications. The ongoing reliable performance of these systems is critically important.


Data Analytics Engineering leads the development of NM’s Unified Data Platform, a governed self-service data platform that facilitates the aggregation of data from throughout the company into a trusted, centralized cloud data store. From there, this unified data is activated throughout the enterprise in a variety of ways, including data science platforms that your teams manage, BI tools, and other applications.


To fulfill the vision of Core Data and its platforms, you and your leaders will collaborate with teams that span a wide variety of groups, including Software Engineers, Data Scientists, Data Analysts, and Business Analysts. These colleagues are the customers of your platforms and partnership with them will be key to unlocking the value of NM’s data through operational systems, insights, and operationalized machine learning.

A key to this leader’s success will be his or her continuous strong partnership with peer VPs within Core Data & Analytics.


Your responsibilities include but are not limited to:  

·         Help create a cohesive culture that embodies our department’s core values: Accountability, Grit, Impact, Integrity, Teamwork

·         Lead multiple teams of Services Data Engineers focused on exposing data as performant and reliable APIs. 

·         Help hire and lead teams of engineers in the development of data pipelines that facilitate the transformation and aggregation of data from throughout NM’s systems into an enterprise data lake 

·         Build and evolve NM’s data science/ML platforms, with a focus on rapid iteration and operational deployment of predictive models 

·         Evaluate and help make the call on technical solutions, architecture, and platforms 

·         Accelerate NM’s ability to ingest and aggregate data from external data sources, consolidate with internal data, and leverage to drive insights 

·         Help architect BI solutions that accommodate a de-centralized business analytics organization. 

·         Develop an organizational structure and operating model in which data engineers thrive in cross-functional teams (with analytics engineers, analysts, data scientists, etc) that are embedded and dedicated to business and product areas 

·         In collaboration with the CDO, lead strategic planning, roadmap development, and operational planning for your teams 



You will know you are successful if…  

·         The Operations and Analytics parts of NM’s data technology ecosystem work together in a cohesive and harmonious way 

·         NM’s data analytics platforms make step function advancements under your leadership, with major delivery milestones in 2021 and beyond 

·         The value of NM’s data is unlocked through both descriptive enterprise reporting and operationalized predictive analytics 

·         You successfully collaborate with your peers to deliver solutions that successfully combine new platforms and older systems 

·         Your stakeholders are delighted by the excellence, impact, and delivery-focused mindset of your team 



Required Skills:  

·         12+ years in Data and/or Services Engineering, with 5+ years leading teams 

·         Deep public cloud experience (AWS preferred) is a must 

·         Deep experience building, scaling and deploying high traffic APIs 

·         Expert in leading teams that implement both streaming (e.g. Kafka, Kinesis) and batch (e.g. Airflow, AWS Glu, Informatica) data transport technologies 

·         Deep expertise in Cloud Data Warehouse technology (e.g. Redshift, Snowflake) and/or managing an enterprise data lake 

·         Expert in implementing an operating Business Intelligence platform solution and creating self-service solutions with robust metadata layers that empower a dispersed community of business analysts 

·         Performs work independently as well as a team influencer and team contributor 

·         Exhibits superior analytical, evaluative, and problem-solving abilities 

·         Very comfortable with ambiguity and enjoys creating structure out of chaos 

·         Experience with Agile/Scrum development methodology 

·         Delivers excellent verbal and written communication to include expression of facts and ideas, interpretation of information and the ability to make clear and convincing presentation 

·         Ability to navigate the levels of audiences and articulate ideas to both technical and non-technical audiences 

·         Sets and manage priorities judiciously 

·         Maintains strong self-motivation and team motivation through high degrees of collaboration 


Desired Background:  

·         Experience deploying, and operating machine learning pipelines 

·         Experience working in a hybrid (on-prem and cloud) infrastructure environment

This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

Grow your career with a best-in-class company that puts our client’s interests at the center of all we do. Get started now! 

We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.