Program Director, Trustworthy Infrastructures
Data & Society Research Institute
Data & Society is an independent nonprofit research organization, studying the social implications of data-centric technologies, automation, and AI. 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 Program Director, Trustworthy Infrastructures (The Role):
The Program Director will lead our newest thematic research area on trust and data-centric technologies. The Program Director will lead a collaborative and interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners in producing empirical research that interrogates trust as a complex concept produced in ways that serve some communities and exclude others. The program’s goal is to center the experiences of people of color and members of vulnerable communities in shaping the development of trustworthy infrastructures and the policies that govern them. We use our research to put forth new sociotechnical solutions and draw attention to the kinds of solutions communities need technology companies and policymakers to enact to build real trust and safety.
The Program Director will lead the development of novel research projects, direct and mentor researchers, contribute to Data & Society’s policy, engagement, and communications work around issues of trust, safety, and technology.
The Candidate (You):
The ideal candidate will be passionate about addressing the impacts of technologies from the perspective of impacted communities. They enjoy leading a team of researchers and pursuing knowledge collaboratively. The ideal candidate may come from a wide range of career trajectories: academia, non-profit research organizations, the technology industry, regulators/government, or assessment/auditing/standards organizations.
We are seeking an experienced scholar whose work reflects an urgent need to reframe research on technological harms away from a deficit model of what impacted communities lack, and towards one that values the solutions that these communities are already developing, seeking, imagining. This role is for an ambitious research team leader with expertise in one or more of the following areas: Black data, Indigenous approaches to technologies, caste, gender, and data, and community-centered data practices as these approaches intersect with questions of privacy, trust, and mistrust in data, health, energy use and environmental impacts, technical infrastructures, workplace futures, and platform governance.
- Lead the Trustworthy Infrastructures Program strategy process—selecting research areas, setting benchmarks, and creating program goals;
- Conceive and direct the program’s research agenda on the themes of trust and trustworthiness, infrastructures, and data—giving feedback on and approving the research outputs of program team members;
- Conduct research, as needed, to advance the program’s goals;
- Serve as the face of the program’s research through public writing (op eds, etc.), media appearances, and other academic activities (conferences, workshops, etc.);
- Lead the program’s engagement with community- and participation-based methods as forms of knowledge making;
- Participate in the organization’s larger intellectual community—attending research activities, collaborating with peers, and contributing to the professional development of early career scholars.
Network and Fundraising
- Work with the Strategy and Engagement Team to manage partner relationships—cultivating relationships with community groups, external researchers, and policymakers;
- Work with the Development Team to proactively identify and pursue opportunities for support from funders;
- Work with the Communications Team to finalize research outputs and visibility needs (press requests, outreach, the D&S Website, etc.);
- Work with the Finance Team to ensure adherence to organizational financial policies, funder policies, and grant compliance;
- Provide insight, critical feedback, and expertise on draft grant proposals;
- Nurture strong, ongoing relationships with existing funders through timely grant reports and other forms of engagement.
- Actively engage and make substantial contributions to Data & Society organizational meetings and strategic planning as requested by the Executive Director and Managing Director, Strategy and Engagement including membership on the Strategy Team;
- Participate, where able and appropriate, in building the culture of Data & Society by participating in and contributing to various working groups and committees;
- Offer subject-matter expertise on data, trust, and community to the organization’s leadership and other research and policy teams;
- Support the intellectual life of the organization as an active participant in internal programming: actively engaging in talks, participating in seminars or reading groups, and contributing to the development of research management practices;
- Proactively drive internal programs: spearheading talks, proposing and leading seminars or reading groups, and championing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility-minded research management practices;
- Actively participate in internal programs supporting our work as an anti-racist and anti-discrimination organization.
Skills & Qualifications:
- PhD or equivalent research experience;
- Preferred topics include: indigenous, critical Black studies and majority world approaches to technology, trust, infrastructure-building, health and care, and community organizing;
- Preferred methods/disciplines include science and technology studies, critical technology studies, anthropology, media studies, sociology, areas studies, and related disciplines;
- 10+ years of research work experience (inclusive of postgraduate study);
- Research team management and mentoring experience (e.g., primary investigator, program or lab director, etc.);
- Public profile and ability to connect with academic and non-academic audiences via writing and speaking;
- Expertise in the social and cultural implications of data-centric and automated technologies;
- Experience in leading and mentoring researchers and practitioners of color and from other non-traditional backgrounds;
- Experience in/familiarity with tech industry and tech policy development practices;
- Experience in research design and application in policy or other environments;
- Experience with developing and implementing strategic programs or initiatives;
- Strong track record of seeing research through to publication;
- Strong track record of collaborating on successful research funding proposals.
- Inclusiveness and commitment to organizational transparency and accountability;
- Building coalitions;
- Communication across all organizational levels and teams;
- Cultural humility;
- Conflict resolution;
- Managing complexity.
Organizational Values and Participation
- Commitment to advancing organizational diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility;
- Actively participate in programs and professional development opportunities that work to ensure we continue our commitment to being an anti-racist and anti-discrimination organization;
- To attend, where able, whole-organization activities such as staff meetings, retreats, town halls, listening sessions, workshops, training, and social events;
- To participate, where able and appropriate, in contributing to the culture of Data & Society by participating in working groups and committees (e.g., DEIA Committee, Remote Working Culture Committee, etc.).
To Apply, please submit the following items:
- A cover letter explaining your interest in this role, and why you would be a good fit for this position.
- Your resume/CV is required.
- An example of your published or unpublished research or advocacy work, no more than 25-pages double spaced.
- 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.
- This is currently a full-time, remote position in the Trustworthy Infrastructures Department. This role is initially for a two-year appointment, with a longer timeline depending on funding. Data & Society is based in New York City, and will for the foreseeable future operate as a Remote-First organization. While this role will start as completely virtual, it will likely involve onsite components in the future.
- You must be living and authorized to work in the United States; we are unable to sponsor visas.
- The salary range for this role is $105,000 to $130,000 annually, commensurate to experience. This salary offer will include a generous benefits package including medical, dental, and vision insurance and access to a range of opt-in products and services including additional insurance and 401k management as well as paid time off, and paid federal holidays.
The salary range for this position is noted within this job posting. Where a prospective employee or employee is compensated within this salary range is dependent upon, among other factors, actual compensation for current/former employees in the subject position; market considerations; budgetary considerations; tenure, and standing with the organization (applicable to current employees); as well as the employee’s/applicant’s overall qualifications: knowledge, skills, pertinent experience, and abilities.