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Jobs at New America

Director of Internet Surveillance & Security Policy

Location: Washington, DC

Department: Open Technology Institute (OTI)

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

Help lead the charge in defending the security and privacy online.

New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) is looking for a deeply experienced lawyer and policy professional with strong management experience and outstanding writing and editing skills to lead a small but dedicated policy team that defends internet freedom and security.

This security and surveillance -focused role is a counterpart to OTI’s Director of Open Internet Policy and like that other senior role reports directly to the Director of OTI. In addition to leading OTI’s engagement on issues such as encryption, law enforcement access to electronic data, intelligence surveillance reform, and government hacking, this position also serves as Co-Director of New America’s cross-programmatic Cybersecurity Initiative, and participates in the senior leadership of OTI as a whole, with direct input and responsibility regarding organization-wide management, strategy, and fundraising.

Join OTI’s work at the cutting edge of tech and policy.

OTI works at the intersection of technology and policy to ensure that every community has equitable access to digital technology and its benefits, with a focus on ensuring universal access to an internet that is both open and secure. OTI’s staff includes noted experts who work closely with a diverse team of lawyers, policy experts, and technologists, bringing a unique multi-disciplinary approach to its social justice-driven mission. OTI is housed within New America, a think tank and civic enterprise committed to renewing American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age. We generate big ideas, bridge the gap between technology and policy, and curate broad public conversation. Structurally, we combine the best of a policy research institute, technology laboratory, public forum, media platform, and a venture capital fund for ideas.

Find out more about OTI and our values: http://newamerica.org/oti.


  • Managing the security and surveillance team’s legal and policy research, writing, and advocacy related to internet security and surveillance, including encryption, law enforcement access to electronic data, intelligence surveillance reform, and government hacking;
  • Establishing priorities and projects, developing advocacy and communication strategies, and managing grant and development activities for the security and surveillance team;
  • Personally conducting in-depth legal, policy and legislative analysis and developing policy recommendations;
  • Overseeing and participating in the security and surveillance team’s research and writing of policy papers, blog posts, press releases, testimony, agency comments, and legal briefs and memoranda;
  • Leading advocacy efforts to represent OTI’s views on security and surveillance issues before policymakers, press, and the public, including providing expert policy assistance to Congress and government agencies;
  • Presenting OTI’s positions in amicus briefs in court cases addressing surveillance and internet security issues, including recruiting and working with outside pro bono counsel;
  • Developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with other advocates, academics, technologists, companies and communities, and fostering collaborations with other projects and programs of the New America;
  • Working with OTI’s Open Internet team and technology team to develop innovative strategies at the intersection of policy, technology development, and community engagement;
  • Representing OTI in the media and at policy events, roundtables, and conferences;
  • Co-directing New America’s cross-programmatic Cybersecurity Initiative, including its annual conference and class of cybersecurity fellows; and
  • Participating in the senior leadership of OTI, with direct input and responsibility regarding organization-wide management, strategy, and fundraising issues.


This position is designed for a senior lawyer and strong manager with substantial experience in internet policy and exceptional writing and editing skills. An ideal candidate would have:


  • A law degree and 10+ years of experience in public policy related to communications technology and online rights and liberties;
  • The ability to manage a busy team of 3+ permanent staff, plus fellows and interns, on a complex array of topics across a broad range of types of work;
  • Expert knowledge and extensive experience with national security and privacy laws relating to electronic surveillance, wiretapping, hacking, and Internet privacy, along with cybersecurity-related law and policy;
  • Enthusiastic willingness to collaborate with the broader OTI team on a wide and ever-changing range of other internet policy issues;
  • Familiarity with relevant federal and international policy institutions, including experience working in or with Congress and federal agencies;
  • Cross-sector experience, such that the ideal candidate will have extensive experience working in at least two of the following work environments: government, NGO, or corporate;
  • Absolutely exceptional skills in writing for a range of audiences and in a range of styles, and equally exceptional skill in constructively editing the work of others;
  • Experience working with technologists and a basic but solid technical understanding of modern communications networks and technologies;
  • Extensive experience communicating and advocating on policy issues to policymakers, press, and the public, from public speaking to private convenings and everything in between;
  • Well-developed pre-existing relationships with key stakeholders, including policymakers, the press, advocacy organizations, foundations, technologists and technology companies, including experience developing collaborations and partnerships with diverse stakeholders and organizations;
  • Demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills, including experience analyzing legislation;
  • The ability to multitask and maintain momentum and leadership in a fast-moving environment, in a rapidly changing field, at a fast-growing organization;
  • Documented fundraising expertise.

How to apply:

Please apply as soon as possible; this opportunity will not be open long.

Submit a resume, cover letter, three references, and links to at least one but ideally two writing samples (one for a legal audience and one for non-legal audience, each no longer than 15 pages. If your writing sample is not online, feel free to submit a link to a google doc or a file on a file sharing service. 

Salary is commensurate with experience and is competitive with public interest and government pay scales. Excellent benefits package includes health care and dental coverage, a retirement plan, paid vacation, sick days and parental leave. New America is an equal opportunity employer.

No phone calls or emails, please. 

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 clientele, 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.


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