Today, we announced a job opening for a brand-new position at Data & Society.
We have spent the last six years researching how data-centric technologies and automation affect the world around us, identifying harms to vulnerable communities and working toward more just designs. During this time, all of our teams at Data & Society — research, engagement, events, operations, communications, and strategy — have pursued the life of our research after it is published, giving it every chance to translate into real-world outcomes: we host academic workshops on critical topics; we offer the public events, curated programming, and fellowship programs; and we have raised the visibility of a diverse network of researchers, activists, advocates, storytellers, artists, and many others who, we believe, should be shaping the future of our society. But, as an organization, we are ready to do more.
Which is why we’re excited to fill a new role at Data & Society — our first Policy Director. The Policy Director’s main purpose is to increase the visibility and reach of Data & Society’s research within technology and policy communities, including civil society partners, government, and the tech industry. They will serve as a conduit between our research programs and the policy-focused communities where evidence is transformed into official responses to emerging technology and society issues. The Policy Director will focus on bridging and translating between research and policy communities rather than, in most cases, direct advocacy.
This is not entirely new work at Data & Society: indeed, we’ve been lucky enough to have been joined by policy experts and legal scholars in the past, who have contributed their expertise and demonstrated the value of connecting our research to a range of policy actions. With their input, we’ve written amicus briefs, contributed comments to public calls from federal departments, briefed staffers at all levels of government on emerging research relevant to emergent issues, reviewed bills and provided comment, engaged deeply with data-focused government teams like the Census Bureau, and organized congressional briefings on topics ranging from deepfakes to algorithmic accountability. Outside of government, our researchers have engaged tech company actors and provided research-grounded advice to product design, content moderation, and trust and safety teams. And our research findings have supported the work of numerous partner organizations as they pursue their own missions and policy goals.
What we need now is someone who can turn these individual actions into a sustained effort, who can give our research the best chance of a long-lasting impact. By creating a Policy Director role at Data & Society, we’re becoming more intentional and strategic about bridging between research findings and policy outcomes. Because right now, there’s never been a greater need for law, policy, and norms that address the potential harms of data-centric technologies and AI — particularly to communities of color, to immigrants, to the poor and disenfranchised.
Our current research topics span a range of policy concerns, from content moderation and platform accountability to workplace surveillance and algorithmic management to the ways in which individual and group harms of data-centric technologies are represented in national data policies. Come help us ensure that empirical evidence has a place in the work towards lasting change. Full job description here.