Associate Director, Web Development

Location: Santa Monica, CA
Department: Technology

The Milken Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit think tank that connects people and organizations to the resources they need to catalyze solutions to persistent global challenges. We advance unconventional economic and policy solutions that support growth and enhance health by:

  • Conducting research and analysis
  • Convening leaders and innovators from diverse fields and competing viewpoints and
  • Constructing programs and policy initiatives

As the Associate Director, Web Development on our Technology team, you will work closely with Marketing and Communications and other business units to manage, operate and progress the development of the technology that supports Institute’s web presence.

We are looking for a Drupal development professional primarily responsible for back-end/module development, designing and implementing new features and functionality, establishing and guiding the website’s architecture, ensuring high-performance and availability, and managing all technical aspects of the CMS. The selected candidate will work closely with front-end developers and internal business units to ensure creation and maintenance of effective, visually appealing, and intuitive websites.


  • Provide technical leadership and assume overall accountability for a successful implementation of all web-related projects
  • Oversee partner web developers to ensure technical solutions are properly architected and specified; and, review all code for quality assurance purposes
  • Collaborate to set direction for web technology service
  • Provide ongoing support and maintenance. 


  • Experience developing web solutions in Drupal 8 and PHP implementations
  • Ability to architect enterprise Drupal 8 solutions including data, display, and information architecture
  • Advanced site-building experience, including deep familiarity with Drupal 8 modules
  • Experience building responsive websites using Drupal CMS, HTML/HTML5, CSS/CSS3, and JavaScript/jQuery
  • Knowledge of PHP, PHP files and theme functions, and knowledge of the Drupal theme layer
  • Through understanding of the Software Development Lifecycle (e.g. Requirements, Design, Development, Testing) and exposure to Agile or iterative SDLCs. 
  • Experience migrating content from custom apps into Drupal 8

The ideal candidate is happy to come to work and excited to make a difference; s/he is a team player with a strong desire to impact change. The candidate has excellent analytical and technical skills, along with a demonstrated ability to get things done in a collaborative team environment. 


  • 5+ years of experience as a Drupal developer
  • Drupal 8 experience required with a minimum of one large site implementation or at least substantial involvement in multiple smaller sites; Drupal 7 and earlier experience is a plus
  • Ability to configure/develop advanced entity relationship fields in the CMS
  • Ability to develop custom functionality in Drupal with PHP code: writing custom modules, controllers, dynamic routing, data aggregation methods, custom/dynamic getter methods, using Composer-managed external PHP libraries etc.)
  • Ability to create API’s for content types, including related entities; ability to implement authentication to the API(s) is a plus; REST-based API’s are sufficient, GraphQL implementation experience is a plus
  • Familiar with advanced caching techniques specific to Drupal 8
  • Demonstrate intermediate front-end skills: HTML, ability to handle templating, CSS. Good SASS ability will be a big plus
  • Other requirements include: PHP 5.x and 7.x skills; Composer PHP dependency management
  • Understanding and creation of API’s (REST / GraphQL)
  • Advanced front-end experience; a meticulous front-end ethic (aiming for pixel perfection, smooth and optimized UX); solid JS and/or SASS skills, ability to work with NPM, and frontend JS frameworks, especially VueJS
  • Familiarity with OSX/Linux command line tools; Linux / AWS Server Administration knowledge
  • Advanced MySQL knowledge and ability to write complex queries
  • Experience with ElasticSearch, Solr and similar
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.  Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with a wide variety of technical and non-technical stakeholders
  • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail, with ability to quickly analyze and resolve problems with minimal requirements and guidance
  • Ability to adapt to changing business priorities
  • Ability to manage resistance to change when facilitating improvement projects
  • Passionate about data and integration. Current on industry/technology trends and best practices
  • Utilizes time management skills and multi-tasking capabilities to handle multiple and parallel projects
  • Effective in facilitating meetings, delivering presentations, and conducting training sessions 

Note: The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees and are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.  Furthermore, they do not establish a contract for employment and are subject to change at the discretion of the employer. 

Please submit a cover letter and resume - all applications materials should be attached as PDF files. Any application that does not include both a cover letter and a resume saved as PDFs will be rejected.



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