Policy Director at Data Society Research Institute


$130,000 - $140,000/year

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Policy Director

September 2022

PLEASE NOTE: This position is open to candidates based in the United States. You must be eligible to work in the United States as we are unable to sponsor visas at this time.


The Policy Director at Data & Society leads our policy engagement program. We use sociotechnical research to advance equity and justice within technology policy and governance spaces.


Data & Society is an independent nonprofit research organization, studying the social implications of data-centric technologies and automation. We recognize that the same innovative technologies that may benefit society can also be abused to invade privacy, provide new tools of discrimination, foreclose opportunity and harm individuals and communities. Through original research and inclusive engagement, we work to ensure that empirical evidence and respect for human dignity guide how technology is developed and governed.


About the Policy Director

The Policy Director works both internally to coordinate policy engagement opportunities across our research programs, and externally to represent and position our research and researchers to engage with multiple policy-focused communities on emerging technology and society issues. This is a unique role that exists at the intersection of technology, policy, scholarship, and equity, and deeply understands the trade-offs and implications of policy and tech product directions for a range of stakeholders, with a particular focus on addressing the harms data-centric technologies pose to historically vulnerable and marginalized communities.

You have a strong record of advancing racial and economic justice in your work.  You’ve worked alongside or within the ecosystem of technology and policy actors—civil society coalitions, policymakers, and tech industry actors—in the United States and/or Europe, and are positioned to increase the visibility and impact of the Data & Society network’s research within those communities. You have bridged scholarship and policy communities in the past, and are comfortable with limitations on direct advocacy that Data & Society, as a 501c3 and research institute, adheres to while still contributing to substantive policy design based on research findings. You’re familiar with the different methods and approaches being developed to govern data-centric systems and the ways in which the emerging evidence base from Data & Society and beyond can inform this. You have experience in balancing opportunistic and proactive opportunities for policy engagement as they emerge. Finally, you are comfortable coordinating and collaborating with colleagues across reporting structures and within project teams to achieve organizational goals.



  • Deep understanding of the networks and coalitions in Data & Society’s spheres of research, and the methods for achieving their policy and advocacy goals;
  • 7–10  years of experience in policy or governance environments;
  • JD, Masters in Public Policy or Administration  or policy / legal experience within government, civil society or tech industry;
  • Familiarity with historical and current scholarship on privacy, surveillance, and the social and political implications of algorithmic decision-making systems, especially as it affects minoritized communities;
  • Working knowledge of some of the debates around key policy issues and statutes in the United States and Europe relating to data governance, such as net neutrality, algorithmic accountability, use of facial recognition by government, Section 230, the CCPA, the GDPR, HIPAA, and emerging national/global AI policies; expertise in one or more of these areas;
  • Strong written communication skills; public speaking skills a plus.

The Policy Director reports to the Executive Director and works collaboratively with teams across the organization.


Practical Considerations

  1. Data & Society has committed to safety requirements to protect our staff from the COVID-19 pandemic. We require that prospective employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before joining our organization. Please note that any reasonable accommodation request is not guaranteed to be approved, and we will comply with ADA-related requirements to evaluate the accommodation against business needs.
  2. This is currently a full-time, remote position in the Policy Engagement department. Data & Society is based in New York City, and will for the foreseeable future operate as a Remote-First organization. While we are a remote-first organization, there may be some opportunities for travel within the United States to team meetings and other in-person events. 
  3. Data & Society is based out of New York City, and will for the foreseeable future operate as a remote-first organization. 
  4. You will be offered a negotiable salary between $130-140K. This salary offer will include a generous benefits package including paid time off, paid federal holidays, health, dental, and vision insurance and access to a range of opt-in products and services including additional insurance and 401k management.
  5. You must be eligible to work in the United States; we are unable to sponsor visas.


To apply, please submit the following items: 

  1. A cover letter explaining your interest in this role and why you would be the ideal candidate for this position.
  2. Your resume/CV.
  3. A sample of your written work related to the above topics -- examples include a blog post, legal briefs, academic articles, etc.

If you advance to a later round, we will ask you to participate in a writing exercise and request the names, affiliations, and contact information for three professional references.

The work and well-being of Data & Society is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We welcome applications from BIPOC, women, the LGBTQIA community, and persons with disabilities. 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through January 1, 2023. Please feel free to contact us at jobs@datasociety.net should you have any questions about the position. Questions about the opportunity or process will not reflect negatively on your application.


NOTE: Data & Society is committed to employee safety and is continuously monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the current circumstances, we are requiring employees who engage in business travel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will be required to submit a consent form in order to conduct business travel. Data & Society will continue to monitor the situation and update our travel policy and guidance as necessary.

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