Director, Data Science

The Director, Data Science will lead Zest’s ML team to deliver technically excellent, highly predictive models to drive Zest’s businesses. The Director, Data Science will also communicate and champion Zest’s underwriting technologies to external constituencies including conferences, press, and potential clients.

In this role you will:

  • Lead a team of 10+ data scientists in developing high-quality, robust predictive algorithms.
  • Recruit, motivate, and develop the best data scientist talent in the world.
  • Define Zest’s modeling strategy and manage pipeline for internal and external modeling efforts.
  • Translate unstructured business problems into well-defined machine learning projects.
  • Help develop robust, scalable infrastructure for real-time predictions.
  • Collaborate with a cross-functional team of Engineers, Product Managers, and Business Analysts to identify and manage high leverage opportunities for modeling work.
  • Represent ZestFinance in calls, meetings, conferences to advance Zest’s position as the world’s leading ML team.
  • Visibly drive innovation by incorporating new modeling capabilities and/or pioneering data sources.
  • Develop and evangelize best practices for scoping, building, validating, and monitoring modeling projects.


We are looking for:

  • Graduate Degree in Math, Computer Science, Statistics, or a related quantitative field.
  • Prior experience in FinTech or related fields (preferred).
  • Expert command of statistical analysis, algorithm development, and state-of-the-art tools and methodologies for data science.
  • 8+ years creating predictive models using advance machine learning techniques.
  • 3+ years managing a team of data scientists.
  • Expert command of SQL and R or Python as applied to data science.
  • Experience with Hadoop, Spark, or other big data platforms is a plus.
  • Experience developing real-time production data pipelines.
  • Experience interacting with external clients is a plus.

Perks and benefits:

  • People – the best part of Zest
  • Competitive salary and equity grants
  • Robust healthcare plans, matching 401K and unlimited vacation time
  • Dog friendly office with lounge areas, video games and gigantic jigsaw puzzles
  • On-site gym with employee run fitness classes
  • Generous family leave policy (6 month maternity leave/3 month paternity leave)
  • Tuition reimbursement, conference allowance and Zest talks
  • Complimentary massages, manicures, pedicures and more
  • Daily catered lunches from LA’s best restaurants and fully stocked kitchen 

About ZestFinance: 

ZestFinance, Inc. applies its unique credit-decisioning technology platform — based on data science and machine learning — to help lenders effectively predict credit risk so they can increase revenues, reduce risk and ensure compliance. ZestFinance was founded in 2009 by Douglas Merrill and a team of former Google employees with the mission of making fair and transparent credit available to everyone.

We are committed to diversity in hiring, professional development, and everyday discussion.  Zest is determined to hire crazy smart people who are different from each other to create broad thinking, lots of different ideas, and by extension, the best team possible.


Meet Some of ZestFinance's Employees

John C.

Director, Data Science

John heads up the team that builds predictive models and programs that run core business models. He also works with external customers to apply special tactics to improve business.

Andrea M.

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Andrea runs mail marketing and credit risk analytics for an online lender. She also helps quantify intangible business assets to guide decision makers through strategy sessions.


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