Policy Counsel

30 Mar, 2019


Policy Counsel

Open Technology Institute at New America
Washington, DC

New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) seeks a dynamic lawyer ready to assist in the development of innovative policy initiatives to defend Internet freedom and security, with a primary focus on issues of electronic surveillance and consumer privacy.


New America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that is dedicated to renewing America by continuing the quest to realize our nation’s highest ideals, honestly confronting the challenges caused by rapid technological and social change, and seizing the opportunities those changes create.


OTI is New America’s technology-focused project that works at the intersection of technology and policy to ensure that every community has equitable access to digital technology and its benefits. We promote universal access to communications technologies that are both open and secure, using a multidisciplinary approach that brings together advocates, researchers, organizers, and innovators. Our current focus areas include surveillance, consumer privacy and security, freedom of expression online, platform transparency and accountability, net neutrality, broadband access, and more.


The new Policy Counsel will participate directly in the development of OTI’s positions and strategies in current debates over consumer privacy legislation, surveillance reform, and cybersecurity at this critical time when privacy, free expression, and the right to encrypt are under threat in the U.S. and around the world. The policy counsel will report to OTI’s Director of Surveillance and Cybersecurity Policy and work alongside an enthusiastic team of other lawyers, policy analysts, associates, and technologists in OTI’s Washington, DC office.



  • Assisting the Director of Surveillance and Cybersecurity Policy in identifying priorities and projects, and developing advocacy and communication strategies;
  • Conducting in-depth legal, policy and legislative research and analysis and developing policy recommendations;
  • Writing policy papers, blog posts, press releases, testimony, agency comments, and legal briefs and memoranda;
  • Representing OTI’s views before policymakers, press, and the public;
  • Developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with other advocates, academics, technologists, companies and communities;
  • Working with OTI technologists to develop innovative strategies at the intersection of policy, technology development, and community engagement; and
  • Representing OTI in the media and at policy events, roundtables, and conferences.



This position is designed for a lawyer with demonstrated experience in Internet policy.


Required qualifications:

  • A law degree and a minimum of 2-4 years of experience in law and public policy;
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills and demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills;
  • Knowledge of and experience with laws relating to national security, privacy, and civil liberties, including at least some of the following specific areas: electronic surveillance, wiretapping, Internet privacy, data protection, freedom of expression, and cybersecurity-related law and policy;
  • Enthusiastic willingness to work on a wide and ever-changing range of Internet policy issues such as consumer privacy, cybersecurity, government access to data, technology sanctions and export controls, encryption policy, international human rights and Internet governance, intermediary liability, digital copyright law, platform accountability, and AI fairness/accountability/transparency.;
  • A solid technical understanding of modern communications networks and technologies;
  • The ability to multitask and maintain momentum in a fast-moving environment; and
  • Dedication to promoting an open and secure internet that fosters equitable outcomes across society and to maximizing the benefits — and limiting the harms — of technology for lower income communities, communities of color, and other historically marginalized constituencies.


Preferred qualifications:

  • Policy experience related to communications technology and online rights & liberties;
  • Familiarity with relevant federal, local, and international policy institutions, including experience working in or with Congress or federal agencies;
  • Experience working with technologists and an ability to translate technical concepts into language that is accessible to policymakers and others who may lack technical expertise;
  • Demonstrated experience with public speaking and communicating with the media;
  • Demonstrated experience analyzing statutes and proposed legislation; and
  • Existing relationships with key stakeholders, including policymakers, the press, advocates, and tech companies, and experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders and organizations.


Travel: Occasional travel (approximately 3-5 trips per year for conferences and professional events, usually lasting 1-3 days) will likely be required for this position.


How to apply:

Submit resume, cover letter, and at least one but ideally two writing samples (one for a legal audience no longer than 10 pages, and one for a non-legal audience under 1,500 words) at this link. The salary range for this position begins at $72,500 and New America offers an excellent benefits package that includes health care and dental coverage, a retirement plan, paid vacation, sick days and parental leave.


New America is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization thereby creating a culture that allows us to better serve our mission, our employees, and our communities. We value and encourage the contributions of our employees and strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and drive outstanding results. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination.


Job posted: 2019-03-30