Policy Counsel/Senior Policy Counsel, Equity in Civic Technology

Website CenDemTech Center for Democracy & Technology

At the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), we believe in pu

The Center for Democracy & Technology is seeking a full-time policy counsel/senior policy counsel to join its Equity in Civic Technology Project, which focuses on responsible data use in education and the delivery of public services.

The counsel will develop research and writing on the responsible use of data and technology by public agencies and lead CDT’s federal advocacy on similar topics, from Congress to the White House. Although the role covers a wide range of public service sectors, the role’s largest focus is on the K-12 education sector, especially issues related to student privacy. This is a public-facing advocacy role, with the counsel encouraged to develop a body of research, writing and public speaking to highlight key issues and offer actionable guidance to relevant stakeholders. CDT offers substantial autonomy as well as the opportunity to work collaboratively across a wide variety of technology policy issues.


Public agencies and civic institutions increasingly rely on data and technology to carry out their responsibilities, from designing educational programs and providing healthcare options for uninsured families, to allocating unemployment benefits and addressing food and housing instability. As governments expand their use of technology and data, it is critical that they do so in ways that affirm individual privacy, respect civil rights, foster inclusive participatory systems, promote transparent and accountable oversight, and advance just social structures within the broader community.

CDT furthers these goals by providing balanced advocacy that promotes the responsible use of data and technology while protecting the privacy and civil rights of individuals. We engage with these issues from both technical and policy-minded perspectives, creating solutions-oriented policy advocacy and resources and actionable technical guidance.

This position reports to the Director, Equity in Civic Technology.


Responsibilities may include:

  • Conducting in-depth legal, policy and legislative research and analysis and developing policy recommendations regarding the ethical use of data and technology in delivering public services, especially in education. This includes but is not limited to issues related to civil rights, privacy, security, children’s online safety, and artificial intelligence;
  • Drafting legal and advocacy documents such as policy papers, blog posts, press releases, testimony, agency comments, and legal briefs and memoranda;
  • Developing and maintaining productive relationships with other advocates, academics, policymakers, technologists, companies, and communities, including building and leveraging coalitions;
  • Advocating before federal, state, and local policymakers and practitioners;
  • Collaborating with policymakers and practitioners to advance best practices in ethical data and technology use when delivering public services, with an emphasis on the education sector;
  • Providing support to CDT policy campaigns, including in presenting original research to coalitions, policymakers, and the press; and,
    Representing CDT in the media and at public events.

Your Qualifications

This position is designed for a lawyer or experienced policy advocate, comfortable with reading and analyzing laws and legal documents and a demonstrated knowledge of education, civil rights, data/technology, and/or privacy policy.

Required qualifications:

  • A law degree strongly preferred and a minimum of 3 years of relevant experience;
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills and demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills;
  • Knowledge of and experience with laws relating to education, civil rights, data/technology, and/or privacy policy is strongly preferred;
  • Experience working with a variety of diverse stakeholders and an understanding of how to productively bring those disparate positions together;
  • Flexibility and the ability to respond to the issues of the day; and
    Commitment to CDT’s mission to advance civil rights and civil liberties in the digital age.

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Familiarity with relevant policy institutions, including experience working in or with Congress, the executive branch, state agencies, and/or local education organizations;
  • Demonstrated experience with public speaking and communicating with the media;
  • Existing relationships with key stakeholders, including policymakers, the press, advocates, and tech companies, and experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders and organizations;
  • Knowledge of emerging trends in education, civil rights, data/technology, and/or privacy policy and implications for users and society, including the influence of technology on human rights and civil liberties;
  • An understanding of how law, policy and technology may have a disparate impact on underserved or disadvantaged individuals and communities.

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, which is typically available to people with 7+ years of legal 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 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.


Applications will be considered on a rolling basis starting on February 24, 2023. Application materials should be sent to [email protected] 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 (and if you are seeking a remote 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.

Please send a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to [email protected]

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.

To apply for this job email your details to hr@cdt.org