IO/PRF: Multilateral Moneyball: Using Data Analysis to Advance U.S. Interests in International Organizations

April 1, 2015


Date: 06/13/2014 Description: Great Seal. - State Dept Image
Date: 02/27/2014 Description: Virtual Fellows Program logo. - State Dept Image


This project seeks a Virtual Fellow to serve with the Office of Policy, Regional and Functional Organizations , Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO/PRF) as Multilateral Moneyball Analyst.

Fellow Location: The Fellow will serve virtually. Relocation is not required.

Project Name: Multilateral Moneyball: Using Data Analysis to Advance U.S. Interests in International Organizations

Project Description: “Multilateral Moneyball,” is the Bureau of International Organization Affairs’ signature research and data analysis initiative. Moneyball augments U.S. Government understanding of different countries’ voting behaviors in multilateral institutions (e.g., the United Nations) and proposes data-driven strategies to advance U.S. positions. We bring together data scientists, political scientists, and statisticians from academia and the Department of State to design and conduct focused data-driven research projects. Over the past two years, Moneyball examined voting patterns in various global and regional groups. Projects for the 2015-2016 year include predictive modeling of voting behavior, text & sentiment analysis, and creation of compelling data visualization products.

Potential Fellow Taskings:

  • Employing data-driven research to assist diplomatic positioning in advance of select international negotiations.
  • Executing data-driven research that extends current work, including sentiment analysis.
  • Making recommendations to senior policy makers on ways to advance U.S. positions in multilateral fora, based on data-based analyses.

Background : IO/PRF provides strategic policy guidance on cross-cutting issues involving the UN and regional and functional organizations, as well as ad hoc multilateral groupings. It is responsible for ensuring policy coherence and coordination in U.S. engagement in the multilateral system as a whole, including at regional and sub-regional organizations as well as multilateral organizations based on shared interests.

Program Requirements :The precepts of the Virtual Fellows Program call for Fellows to have a high degree of administrative, professional, or technical knowledge/experience and a minimum of five years of professional experience that is directly applicable to the assigned task.

Project-specific Knowledge, Skills, or Abilities :

  • Strong background in data analytics;
  • Expertise in natural language processing, i.e., text and sentiment analysis;
  • Familiarity with open-source data analytics tools such as R, Python/nltk, and Octave.

Clearance:  The Fellow must be a U.S. citizen and must receive a Public Trust determination prior to starting his/her service. The Virtual Fellows Program staff will work with the accepted candidate to obtain the Public Trust determination. (Note: A candidate is NOT required to have a Public Trust determination prior to applying for this project.)

Remuneration: The Virtual Fellow will be appointed to the federal civil service as an intermittent, unpaid consultant. The Department assumes no responsibility for providing any salary or benefits to the Fellow in connection with participation in the Program.