Senior Policy Counsel/Analyst, Disability Rights in Technology Policy, Center for Democracy and Technology, Washington, DC

CDT is hiring a policy counsel/analyst (or senior policy counsel/analyst) to lead a workstream focused on advancing disability rights in technology policy.

Detailed Position Description:

This position will report to the co-directors of CDT’s Privacy & Data Project, which works to protect people’s privacy and digital civil rights by engaging with legislators, regulators, companies, and advocates to shape new laws and change corporate practices. The position is based in CDT’s Washington, D.C. office, although remote work may be considered in exceptional cases.

This position offers a leadership opportunity to advance the inclusion of disability rights and disability-centric perspectives in technology policy. The counsel/senior counsel will lead CDT’s work on disability rights in AI, while also partnering with other teams across the organization to address disability issues that arise within law enforcement surveillance, civic technology, online platform governance, elections and democracy, and other areas that impact civil rights and civil liberties in the digital age. Additional work within the Privacy & Data Project focuses on workers’ rights, health privacy, and civil rights and consumer privacy more generally.

One of the position’s primary areas of focus is the use of AI in hiring, benefits determinations, surveillance, and other contexts where algorithm-driven decision-making directly affects disabled people’s lives. The candidate will assess risks, analyze gaps in existing legal and policy protections, and work to center the perspectives of disabled people in efforts to advocate for algorithmic fairness, accountability, and justice. Examples of CDT’s work in this space include developing standards to audit algorithmic systems for bias; advocating for the inclusion of disability issues in federal privacy legislation and regulations; and analyzing the risks for disabled people of surveillance technologies used in education, policing, health care, and the workplace. Other CDT projects have also addressed concerns about the security of ballot marking devices used to help disabled voters access the ballot, the impact of schools’ social media monitoring programs on students with mental health disabilities, the impact of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision on reproductive privacy for people with disabilities, and more.

CDT conducts its work on disability rights in technology policy in close partnership with disability-focused organizations and disabled advocates. One of the project’s core goals is to build and share expertise between disability-focused organizations and tech-focused organizations, growing the field of cross-disciplinary experts who can fight for technology designs, laws, and policies that respect and advance the rights of disabled people. As part of this work, the counsel/analyst or senior counsel/analyst will design and implement collaborations with our partner organizations and grow the network of such groups, including by outreach to aligned communities such as those focused on age discrimination and health equity. The counsel/analyst or senior counsel/analyst will also manage engagement with CDT’s Disability Rights & Technology Policy Advisory Committee, a body of outside experts who advise CDT’s work in this area.

This is a substantive legal and advocacy role that will include in-depth research and analysis, developing policy recommendations, creating written work products, and organizing and speaking at events. We seek a committed advocate who will work collaboratively with partners and pursue an ambitious and creative advocacy agenda before policymakers, regulators, companies, and civil society peers.

Key Responsibilities include:

  • Conducting in-depth legal research and analysis of technologies, data systems, and policies that impact disabled people;
  • Developing policy recommendations for public- and private-sector actors; 
  • Collaborating with disability-focused organizations and other civil rights and consumer groups to set advocacy priorities and build advocacy coalitions;
  • Drafting advocacy documents such as policy papers, blog posts, press releases, testimony, and agency comments;
  • Advocating before executive branch and legislative policymakers;
  • Planning and participating in events related to disability topics, with the goal of reaching a broad audience to raise awareness;
  • Engaging industry to advance best practices through written materials, public speaking engagements, trainings, and direct-to-company advocacy;
  • Representing CDT in the media and at public events; 
  • Supporting disability rights and disability justice organizations and advocates seeking to engage on technology policy issues; 
  • Supporting tech policy groups seeking to engage on disability issues;
  • Advising and collaborating with other CDT teams on disability issues.

Qualifications include:

  • 3+ years of disability rights experience (7+ years for senior counsel/analyst), with some background in civil rights, consumer rights, or human rights advocacy;
  • A JD from an accredited law school for counsel/senior counsel;
  • Exceptional written communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to contribute individually and as a leader within CDT and the broader disability and technology advocacy communities;
  • Ability to work with diverse stakeholders (industry, civil society, government, and advocates), and with people from and organizations representing marginalized communities;
  • Commitment to advancing equity, individual rights, and social justice in the design, deployment, and governance of digital technologies;
  • Experience in technology policy is preferred, but not required;
  • We welcome and encourage applications from candidates who identify as disabled or people with disabilities.

Compensation, Title and Location:

The compensation for this position ranges from $65K-$110K. Compensation is determined on a tiered pay scale based on years of experience and the responsibilities of the role. Experienced candidates may be eligible for a title of Senior Counsel/Analyst, which is typically available to people with 7+ years of legal or policy experience and demonstrated management experience. Candidates may request guidance on where they would fall within the salary range and whether they would be eligible for the position of Senior Counsel/Analyst during or prior to their first interview.

This position is based in CDT’s Washington, D.C. office, which currently operates on a hybrid schedule with a target of 3 days in office per week. A different hybrid schedule or fully remote work may be considered in exceptional cases, and is available if needed as a disability accommodation.

Application Submission Information:

Application Process:

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis starting on January 17, 2023. Application materials should be sent to hr@cdt.org. Please submit:

  • a cover letter explaining your interest in working at CDT, what skills you would bring, and why those skills would allow you to be successful in this position, 
  • a current resume, and 
  • a writing sample that is a maximum of five pages single-spaced or equivalent. Writing samples on a relevant subject matter and/or demonstrating written policy analysis or advocacy are strongly preferred. 

The Center for Democracy & Technology is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer. CDT 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, disabled people, and members of low-income, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply.