Research Director (Manager) at Ranking Digital Rights
Ranking Digital Rights, a non-profit human rights and corporate accountability project based at New America’s Open Technology Institute, seeks a full-time Research Director or Research Manager (title depending on seniority and experience) to oversee the planning and execution of research for the Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index and related research activities. This individual will answer to the project Director and work in close coordination with other project staff. The job represents a unique opportunity to shape the direction and scope of an innovative new project whose core output is applied research in the service of policy, advocacy, and responsible investing.
After more than two years of research, stakeholder consultation, pilot testing, and iteration, Ranking Digital Rights released its inaugural Corporate Accountability Index in November 2015 and is currently undertaking methodological review and research needed to refine and expand the Index. The next Index will be released in the first half of 2017, after which the project aims to continue on an annual cycle of research, release, promotion, stakeholder engagement, and iteration. For an experienced research professional who wants to have a direct and positive impact on corporate policy and practice in the area of freedom of expression and privacy, this position brings an exciting opportunity to innovate and demonstrate thought leadership. For more information about the project please visit rankingdigitalrights.org.
About Ranking Digital Rights
Ranking Digital Rights is a non-profit research initiative housed at New America’s Open Technology Institute, working with an international network of partners to set global standards for how companies in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector should respect freedom of expression and privacy. The project's inaugural 2015 Corporate Accountability Index ranked 16 of the world's most powerful Internet and telecommunications companies on their disclosed commitments, policies, and practices affecting freedom of expression and privacy. Future iterations of the Index will expand over time to include more companies that produce a broader range of digitally networked products and services with implications for global human rights.
About the Open Technology Institute
The Open Technology Institute at New America is committed to freedom and social justice in the digital age. To achieve these goals, it intervenes in traditional policy debates, builds technology, and deploys tools with communities.
About New America
New America is dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age. We carry out our mission as a nonprofit civic enterprise: an intellectual venture capital fund, think tank, technology laboratory, public forum, and media platform. Our hallmarks are big ideas, impartial analysis, pragmatic policy solutions, technological innovation, next generation politics, and creative engagement with broad audiences.
Responsibilities will include:
- Plan, structure, and coordinate the work of a team of researchers, some based at New America’s Open Technology Institute and others based elsewhere around the world who are either employed by the project’s institutional research partners or who are engaged to work with RDR on a contract basis;
- Develop training materials and design/lead training sessions to ensure the researchers understand the substance of the Index and the research process;
- Design and run an effective process for researcher communication and addressing questions/problems as they arise during the research cycle;
- Lead and design/refine the process for reviewing Index research for quality and accuracy, ensuring that the data collected captures what the Index is addressing;
- Lead the process of analyzing Index data, pulling out relevant findings and developing recommendations. This includes structuring and drafting the main Index report, in addition to writing or directing the production of white papers and other products throughout the year focused on specific facets of the Index data in connection with emerging policy and industry developments;
- Working with other project staff responsible for engagement and outreach, support outreach to and engagement with researchers from other organizations around the world who want to use or build upon Index data or analysis in their own work;
- Support conversations with company representatives and civil society organizations about the Index research and its findings, recommendations, etc.;
- Alongside the project director and other staff, write and speak publicly about the Index and the project as a whole.
- Substantive knowledge, gained through prior employment or academic experience, of digital rights including privacy and freedom of expression online;
- Experience managing complex research projects with remote team members;
- Proven ability to function well on a team that includes remote staff;
- Proven ability to write clearly, concisely, and on deadline;
- Demonstrated ability for creative problem-solving: This is an early stage project with opportunities for the successful candidate to shape how the project approaches and structures its research in the future. The successful candidate is flexible and open to iterating on that process;
- Demonstrated ability to balance “substance” and “process:” The successful candidate has the ability to understand and review the content of research as well as develop, execute, and improve the processes by which the research gets done;
- Fluency in written and spoken English
Candidates with some combination of the below will receive strongest consideration:
- Experience working with research databases and quantitative methods;
- Experience conducting research related to human rights, governance, accountability, and transparency;
- Experience working on issues related to business and human rights;
- Experience conducting research on companies in general, and corporate “environmental, social, and governance” (ESG) issues in particular;
- Experience working in professional or academic environments outside the United States, particularly in the developing world;
- Proficiency in at least one language other than English;
- Public speaking experience;
- Experience in writing or contributing to grant proposals and/or reports;
- A relevant graduate degree
Location: Washington DC preferred, New York possible; other remote locations may be considered under special circumstances
Application materials: In addition to cover letter and CV, please include at least one example of a published research product that you have led, managed, or otherwise made a substantial contribution to.