The Post significantly expands its election engineering team, bolstering 2022 coverage

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The Washington Post announces the expansion of the Post’s world-class election engineering team with four new engineers and a data scientist, dramatically enhancing the team’s capabilities that produce compelling, updated data visualizations and pages. live updates to provide timely election results to Post readers.

First launched in 2019, the Election Engineering team has improved The Post’s use of elections and political data, including through the development of The Post’s Election Model. This model, which the Elections team has been building and advancing for three years, captures and contextualizes races in real time on election night.

“These new hires give us even more mathematical firepower behind our live election model, allowing us to more rigorously track votes, dig deeper into election results, and provide readers with crucial information and context about turnout in the midterm elections,” said Jeremy Bowers, engineering director at The Post. “Our team of election engineers is a dynamic and creative group that creates some of the most exciting and innovative live election experiences in the industry. This team expansion will complement our already strong staff and help us deliver impactful new experiences. to our readers this year, and in 2024.”

Joining the team, which includes Bowers, his deputy Anthony Pesce, data science lead Lenny Bronner and engineering leads Brittany Renee Mayes and Dylan Freedman, are:

Jen Haskell joins The Post as lead engineer. Haskell will work at the intersection of data science and platform engineering.

Prior to joining The Post, Haskell worked as a data scientist in healthcare, most recently at Prealize Health where she led the data science team. She has worked extensively on scaling data science and machine learning workflows, building production data pipelines, and performing data analytics. Haskell holds a Ph.D. in political science, and his thesis research used textual data and natural language processing techniques to deepen understanding of congressional speech.

Tyler Fisher joins The Post as lead engineer. Fisher will work on platform engineering.

Fisher joins The Post from News Catalyst, a local news sustainability project he co-founded at Temple University and funded by the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund. At News Catalyst, Fisher co-founded the Tiny News Collective and built the Tiny News Platform, a low-cost CMS solution for collective members. Prior to founding News Catalyst, Fisher worked at Politico and NPR in news apps teams, where he focused on election results, live transcription and visual storytelling.

Chris Zubak-Skees joins The Post as Principal Engineer and will work on the delivery of constituency election results as well as the infrastructure and analytics to support The Post’s reporting on federal campaign finance.

Zubak-Skees joins The Post after a stint as a contract developer, during which he worked on projects for The Post and other news outlets including STAT, ProPublica and FiveThirtyEight. He is a former data editor at the Center for Public Integrity, where he built data pipelines, contributed analytics, and created interactive visuals for investigative projects. He has worked extensively with money in politics and government transparency data, creating tools used by multiple newsrooms. His work has been recognized with the Gerald Loeb, Philip Meyer and Malofiej distinctions.

Dara Gold joins The Post as a senior data scientist and will work on The Post’s live election model.

Prior to joining The Post, Gold was a researcher in computer redistricting. She worked for the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group (MGGG) at Tufts University and was a legal consultant on redistricting after the 2020 census. She co-authored an article on how to make district plans computer-generated Voting Rights Act Compliant, which has been cited in several court opinions and briefs in gerrymandering cases.

Prior to studying rescaling, Gold was a mathematician at the RAND Corporation where she worked on modeling and simulations for a variety of applications. It was also where she first became interested in the application of mathematics to the creation of equitable districts and electoral challenges more generally. Gold has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Boston University and a BS from Georgetown University.

Dana Cassidy joins The Post as a full-time engineer after her summer internship. She will work on the development of front-end features to visualize and display election results.

Cassidy is from Orlando, Florida and recently graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in Journalism and a major in Data and Web Applications. She previously interned at the Miami Herald — where her work contributed to the Herald’s 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News — the Orlando Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post. She also placed first overall in the 2022 Reynolds Journalism Institute National Student Innovation Competition.

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