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Forward Deployed Engineer






$84,000 to $105,039

/ Yearly


Nov 22, 2022

Position: Forward-Deployed Engineer

Job Type: Full-Time

Department: Technology, Security & Intelligence

Reports to: Senior Forward Deployed Engineer

FLSA Status: Exempt

Date Issued: November 2022

Location: Washington, DC

The Mission

Polaris is leading a data-driven social justice movement to fight sex and labor trafficking at the massive scale of the problem – 25 million people worldwide deprived of the freedom to choose how they live and work. 

For more than a decade, Polaris has assisted thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, helped ensure countless traffickers were held accountable and built the largest known U.S. data set on actual trafficking experiences. With the guidance of survivors, we use that data to improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how communities, businesses and governments can prevent human trafficking by transforming the underlying inequities and oppression that make it possible.

About the Opportunity:

Polaris’s Technology, Security & Intelligence (TSI) team is looking to hire a Forward-Deployed Engineer, early in their career, to help combat the problem of human trafficking at scale. The TSI team has created a new philosophy and methodology, called Mission Engineering , that combines three qualities: a set of advanced technical and engineering skills, a multidisciplinary problem-solving approach, and a survivor-centered, trauma-informed perspective.

Engineers at Polaris work on a wide range of impactful and challenging projects. They develop cutting-edge software products for innovative programs such as the National Human Trafficking Hotline, the Financial Intelligence Unit, and the National Survivor Study. They build first-class technical infrastructure to support our AI and cybersecurity work. They help shape the future of tech policy issues like disinformation and web3.

The Forward-Deployed Engineer will join a collaborative team of software engineers and technologists and will have a chance to sharpen their programming and technical skills, learn about human trafficking from leaders in the movement, and make a direct impact on victims and survivors on day one.


  • Embed with Polaris’s leaders to understand user needs and organizational strategy and collaboratively develop creative solutions;
  • Work with other engineers to build high-quality technical solutions in a timely manner;
  • Support the mission by supporting technical support and fixing bugs;
  • Improve the TSI team operations by building efficient developer processes and documentation;
  • Contribute new and innovative ideas to the organization;
  •  Commitment to the National Human Trafficking Hotline mission and Polaris values ; 
  • Other duties assigned by supervisor.

 This job description provides a summary of the major duties and responsibilities performed by individuals in this position. Incumbents may be asked to perform other tasks not specifically written in this job


Required Qualifications

  • Deep passion! Mad skills! Low ego! 
  • Bachelor’s degree plus year practical work experience in Engineering background, preferred in fields such as computer science, mathematics, software engineering, physics, or data science or work equivalency of 5 years of progressive experience in the aforementioned fields; 
  • A highly analytical mindset and eagerness to learn how to solve a wide range of technical problems involving survivor engagement, artificial intelligence, data science, fintech, cryptography, cybersecurity, and network architecture;
  • Experience or interest in solving social problems on racial, gender, and economic justice;
  • Ability to collaborate effectively in teams of technical and non-technical individuals, and comfortable working in a rapidly changing environment with dynamic objectives and iteration with users;
  • Proficiency with one or more programming languages, such as Python, Java, TypeScript/JavaScript, or similar. Specialized experience across the tech stack (i.e. React or AWS) a plus; and
  • A low-ego, trauma-informed, principled ethos to treat victims and survivors with respect and dignity.

 Working Conditions 

  • Typical office setting 

Physical Requirements (can change with position) 

  • Prolonged sitting, chiefly at a computer terminal; 
  • Occasional bending, stooping and stretching; 
  • Requires eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate a computer, telephone, calculator, and other office equipment; and 
  • Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to record, prepare, and communicate in writing, in person and by phone. 

Organization Background 

VALUES: Polaris is grounded in a set of values and organizational beliefs and strives to model and embody these values in all that it does. 

We work with humility and a spirit of service. We serve a mission that is bigger than ourselves, and we recognize that we cannot do this work alone. We foster a caring community of mutual support, and we actively pursue collaborations and partnerships to expand our reach. 

Victims’ and survivors’ experiences ground our efforts. We honor the dignity, agency, and resilience of victims and survivors of slavery, both past and present. We serve, work alongside, and stand in solidarity with those who have been most affected by modern slavery. We strive for inclusion and equity. We engage different perspectives to inform our decisions, actions, and positions. 

We create opportunities that empower individuals of diverse backgrounds and circumstances. We acknowledge the structural inequities that lead to human trafficking and modern slavery, which drives us to create just and equitable solutions. 

We approach our work with courage. We promote a culture of inquiry, innovation, risk-taking, and continuous learning. We are resilient and evolve when faced with obstacles or failure. We recognize that what is typical or traditional is not always optimal. 

We create positive impact and achieve results. We leverage and cultivate the strengths of our staff, and we work with discipline, integrity, and a commitment to excellence. We embrace a measurement culture to track our progress. We view impact holistically, considering multiple sectors and the effects on individuals’ lives, as we pursue systemic and social change to eradicate modern slavery. 

DIVERSITY STATEMENT: Polaris designs and implements data-driven strategies to prevent and disrupt human trafficking, and restore freedom to survivors. Achieving this ambitious goal requires both trafficking-specific systemic interventions and broader cultural and structural shifts that reduce the inequities that lead to human trafficking. While Polaris alone cannot build a more diverse, just, equitable, and inclusive society, both the success of our work and our organizational values require modeling in the workplace the change we want to see in the world. This means cultivating a workforce, organizational culture, and priorities that respect and celebrate a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team made up of individuals with different identities, lived experiences, and backgrounds. Within both our team and across every part of our work, we strive to integrate and elevate the full range of survivor voices. This is a living commitment. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are values to be manifested daily, in the work we do, the decisions we make, and the way that we treat each other and the people we seek to serve. This means creating space where staff can be included, heard, valued, and set up for success, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, best selves to work. We will not check boxes and consider it done. We will push new innovations and different ways of thinking, and treasure the community built and strengthened by each of our contributions. 

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District Of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia

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