Policy Director

01 Feb, 2023


Policy Director

Open Technology Institute (OTI)
Washington, D.C.

New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) seeks an experienced Policy Director to develop, lead, and support the staffing for policy work for OTI.


About the Role:

The Policy Director oversees the development of OTI’s policy agenda and works alongside the OTI’s communications staff to develop communications strategies for that agenda, and acts as the primary spokesperson on a broad area of policy matters for the press, with support from additional policy staff on specific areas of expertise. The Policy Director has broad responsibilities for the overall management and development of all policy staff. The Policy Director represents OTI at high-level meetings and events, develops relationships with key policymakers and their staff, and works closely with other advocates and leaders in the field to develop advocacy positions and strategies. The Policy Director assists the Senior Director of OTI with organization-wide management, strategy, fundraising, as well as supporting budgeting, grant compliance and reporting. The Policy Director is also part of New America’s leadership of Directors and participates in committees and other decision-making fora where they advocate for the needs of OTI staff.

About the Organization:

OTI works at the intersection of technology and policy to ensure that every community has equitable access to digital technology and its benefits. OTI is part of the Technology and Democracy Cluster within New America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. The Tech and Democracy Cluster, and OTI’s staff includes noted experts working on an array of technology issues. Their work covers a range of internet policy issues, including but not limited to net neutrality, broadband access and adoption, consumer privacy and security, platform accountability, encryption, government surveillance, internet governance, freedom of expression online, digital public infrastructure and wireless broadband and spectrum. In this position, you would report to OTI’s Senior Director and work alongside an enthusiastic team within OTI and the Technology and Democracy cluster.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Oversee the development and implementation of OTI’s policy agenda.
  • Take primary responsibility for establishing priorities and projects and developing advocacy strategies and policy positions.
  • Direct and develop legal and policy research, writing, and advocacy related to OTI’s policy priorities, including conducting in-depth legal, policy and legislative analysis and developing policy recommendations.
  • Supervise the coordinated strategic development, research, and writing of policy papers, blog posts, press releases, testimony, agency comments, and legal briefs and memoranda.
  • Oversee the policy staff’s work in monitoring and assessing the activities of federal agencies, Congress, and relevant international bodies including hearings, policy statements, rulemakings, legislation, and congressional hearings that intersect with OTI’s policy agenda.
  • Represent OTI internally and externally, including in the media and at public events, roundtables, and conferences.
  • Lead the development of advocacy efforts to represent OTI’s views on issues before policymakers, press, and the public, including providing expert policy assistance to Congress and government agencies.
  • Lead the development and maintenance of collaborative relationships with other advocates, policymakers and their staff, academics, technologists, companies and communities, and fostering collaborations with other projects within New America’s Tech Cluster;
  • Direct and manage outreach to policymakers, and coordinate with the Communications staff on outreach to the press and the public; respond proactively in a timely manner to current events.
  • Participate in fundraising efforts, and lead some fundraising efforts as appropriate, to support OTI’s policy work and OTI generally, including working with OTI leadership to develop grant proposals and grant reports.
  • Develop new and strengthen and maintain existing funding relationships including through meeting with funders, and managing grant deliverables.
  • Supervise and manage all verticals of policy staff, and work with OTI’s leadership to oversee hiring and professional development of policy staff.
  • Participate in the senior leadership of OTI, with direct input and responsibility regarding organization-wide management, strategy, and fundraising issues.
  • Work with the Senior Director to coordinate policy efforts across the Technology and Democracy cluster.

Your Qualifications

This position is designed for a leader in the policy space with substantial experience in technology policy and advocacy.

Technological disruption, online discrimination, and the digital divide disproportionately affect the most historically marginalized communities in society, including people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with a disability. OTI is committed to centering the needs of these communities in our work, and we strongly encourage applications from people with a diverse array of backgrounds to support our mission and apply to join OTI.

Requirements & Qualifications:

  • Significant experience and increasing levels of responsibility in the following:
    • Policy advocacy in technology and communications policy in different areas and levels of government,
    • Developing expert policy research and analysis,
    • Communicating policy issues before policymakers, press, and the public,
    • Collaborating with a diverse set of stakeholders,
    • Managing and mentoring staff with different experience levels, job functions, and expertise.
  • Comprehensive fluency in the majority of OTI’s policy areas.
  • Ability to conceive and execute a comprehensive policy agenda for OTI.
  • Excellent written communication, verbal communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to independently plan, lead and manage projects with no oversight.
  • Ability to delegate projects, outputs and individual tasks to use a Director’s time efficiently and support growth of direct reports.
  • Demonstrated interest or dedication to fostering equitable outcomes across society and especially for lower income communities, communities of color, and other historically marginalized constituencies. This can be in either their personal or professional life.
  • A legal degree and current bar membership is preferred for a Policy Director.

In pre-pandemic times, this position required occasional travel, i.e. approximately 1-2 trips per year for conferences and professional events, usually lasting 1-3 days, and frequently included walking as part of work and stakeholder engagement meetings. We anticipate that this kind of travel may begin to increase again in the near future.

At the time of this posting, New America staff are working on a hybrid schedule, and New America is continuing to evaluate when, and under what circumstances, staff schedules will change further.

How to apply:

Submit a resume, cover letter, and at least one but ideally two writing samples as attachments (one as a more formal analytical piece, no longer than 10 pages, and one that is accessible for a general public audience of under 1,500 words). Please be sure to include in your cover letter where you first heard about this posting.

The salary range for a Policy Director starts at $125,000. New America offers a highly competitive benefits package that includes health care, dental, and vision coverage; a generous retirement plan with an employer contribution of 7% eligible after the first year of service, and dollar-for-dollar match of up to 3% of the employee’s salary eligible immediately; 20 days of paid time off (combined vacation and sick days) in your first year of employment and 30 days of paid time off in subsequent years; 12 weeks of paid parental leave; 10 paid Federal holidays; and an office-wide closure between Christmas and New Year.

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. This is not a bargaining unit position.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2023-02-01