Elections and Democracy Fellow

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is seeking a Fellow with policy, research, and/or legal expertise to advance our elections and democracy work. As part of CDT’s Elections and Democracy team, the Fellow will work on key issues such as election-related mis- and disinformation, online voter suppression, and election security and administration, including in conjunction with election officials, online platforms, legislators, and other stakeholders.

CDT has worked for almost a decade to improve the security and accessibility of America’s election systems, recently expanding our work to address the crisis of trust in American democracy precipitated by the onslaught of disinformation about how elections are administered. Disinformation and misinformation have also been used to suppress voter participation, particularly targeting communities of color. The democratizing power of the internet creates new opportunities — but also new threats — to support fair, informed, and trustworthy elections. We engage with these issues from both technical and policy-minded perspectives, creating solutions-oriented policy resources and actionable guidance for companies and election officials alike.

The Elections and Democracy Fellow will contribute to the organization’s work across these issues, particularly focusing on threats to the online information environment. The position requires a combination of research and advocacy skills to respond to emerging issues.

Responsibilities

Key responsibilities for this position include:

Conducting research on key issues impacting the information environment around elections, in order to raise awareness about vulnerabilities, highlight best practices, and develop/disseminate recommendations for generative AI companies, social media platforms, election officials, political campaigns, and other actors.
Authoring policy papers, reports, blog posts, and similar materials.
Engaging directly with technology companies to develop best practices and policy recommendations.
Serving as a resource to federal and state governments and political campaigns as they enact new policies and practices on the use of generative AI in political advertising and campaigning.
Coordinating advocacy efforts with other civil society organizations that have a shared interest in elections and democracy and the online information environment.
Assisting with tracking and analyzing federal and state proposals to regulate generative AI and other elections-related legislation.
Convening and engaging with technical experts, election vendors, election officials, voting and democracy advocates, academics and other stakeholders working on issues within the project’s scope.
Supporting research, preparation, and operationalization of trainings for election officials and other stakeholders.
Collaborating with CDT’s teams focused on free expression/online platform governance; technology & disability rights; AI governance, and consumer privacy; as well as CDT’s Research team and non-resident Research Fellows.
Qualifications

No specific degree is required. However, a competitive candidate will have at least 5 years of relevant professional or academic experience.
One or more of the following areas of expertise:
Election technology and/or election administration;
Efforts to combat election-related mis- and disinformation and online voter suppression
Developing and/or implementing elections-related policies in a trust and safety role
Demonstrated research and/or applied experience in the form of publications, government documents, presentations, frameworks, or other outputs.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
An ability to work diplomatically with people from various stakeholder communities;
Experience in formal or informal project management;
Possession of superb writing skills for a variety of audiences;
The ability to communicate easily with lay people about complex topics; and
An energetic, entrepreneurial, and collaborative working style.
This is a one-year full-time Fellowship, with the possibility of extending or transitioning to a permanent role at CDT after the fellowship based on performance, the organization’s needs, and availability of funds.

About CDT

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that fights to advance civil rights and civil liberties in the digital age. We champion policies, laws, and technical designs that empower people to use technology for good, while protecting against invasive, discriminatory, and exploitative uses. CDT was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1994 and has operated a second office, in Brussels, since 2014.

CDT works to protect people’s rights across a range of technology uses and applications including privacy and data governance (including specific projects on health privacy, student privacy, worker privacy, and disability rights & tech), as well as projects on government surveillance, elections & democracy, free expression / platform governance, and AI governance. We engage policymakers in the U.S. and the European Union, advocate for companies to adopt best practices, represent the public interest in multi-stakeholder processes and standards bodies, file amicus briefs in court, conduct original research, and raise public awareness about how technology design and governance impact our democracy and social inequality.

Compensation and Location

The compensation for this position ranges from $65K-$105K. Compensation is determined on a tiered pay scale based on years of experience and the responsibilities of the role. Candidates may request guidance on where they would fall within the salary range prior to their first interview, or any time thereafter. CDT provides a generous benefits package that includes health care and dental coverage for employees and dependents, a retirement plan, paid vacation, sick days, and parental leave.

This position is based in CDT’s Washington, D.C. office, with the possibility of remote work.

To Apply

Please send the following to hr@cdt.org:

Cover letter, describing the issues you would most like to work on during the fellowship and your experience / qualifications for such work — in particular, please highlight any relevant experience researching and writing about election integrity, platform policy, and the online information environment.
Full CV
A relevant writing sample (e.g., a report or published paper)
The Center for Democracy & Technology is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation in any of its activities or operations. We believe that a diverse staff enables us to do better and more impactful work. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, members of LGBTQIA+ and other historically marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply.



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