Announcing Our Next Director of Research; Search for 2022-24 Role

The Director of Research role at Data & Society is designed rotationally to allow us to bring senior, tenured academics into the institute for a dedicated period of time. This design takes advantage of academy norms in order to deepen our interdisciplinary commitments by hosting Directors from different fields and expanding our networks in new disciplinary directions. 

In that vein, Data & Society is delighted to announce three new developments in rotational research leadership at our institute:

First, we are thrilled to share that current Director of Research Sareeta Amrute has been awarded the prestigious Russell Sage Fellowship starting in September 2021. Having helmed an expansive research agenda at Data & Society since January 2019, Amrute will spend the coming year focused on her own research while remaining in-house at Data & Society as Principal Researcher and Program Director of the Race & Tech Faculty Fellows program. As conceptualized by Amrute, this new cohort deliberately expands our community of scholars investigating how technology contributes to racism and racial hierarchies, while demonstrating “how data-centric technologies can be questioned and improved when we turn to Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.”

Secondly, Professor Jenna Burrell (pictured) will be joining us in August 2021 as Director of Research on a one-year rotation through August 2022. Burrell will be taking leave from the School of Information at UC Berkeley, where she is a Professor. Her research focuses on how marginalized communities adapt digital technologies to meet their needs and to pursue their goals and ideals. She is the co-director of the Algorithmic Fairness and Opacity Group (AFOG) which brings together faculty and students from across the UC-Berkeley campus to facilitate research on how algorithmic systems can be designed, used, or regulated to support more equitable and just societies. Burrell is the author of Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafes of Urban Ghana (MIT Press) and is currently working on a second book about rural communities that host critical Internet infrastructure such as fiber optic cables and data centers. She earned a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics and a BA in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Finally, we are launching a call today for our 2022-24 Director of Research. The search committee is led by Board member Professor Charleton McIlwain and joined by Professor Hector Amaya, Data & Society Founder and President danah boyd, Data & Society Executive Director Janet Haven, and Professor Karen Levy. This two- to three-year position will follow Professor Burrell starting in the fall of 2022. 

For more information and instructions on how to apply, see here.