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Research Associate / Senior Research Associate - Digital Impact and Governance Initiative (DIGI)

New America is a think tank and civic enterprise dedicated to renewing the promise of America by continuing the quest to realize our nation’s highest ideals, honestly confronting the challenges caused by rapid technological and social change and seizing the opportunities those changes create.

From our founding in 1999, New America has been building a different kind of think tank: one dedicated to public problem solving. Our talented team is more than just policy specialists— we’re visionary researchers, changemakers, technologists, and storytellers who understand the challenges and opportunities presented by dramatic social and technological change.

The Digital Impact and Governance Initiative (DIGI) is a program at New America working to advance open source technology projects to power the public sector. Our commitment is to support user-centered solutions that prioritize accessibility and scalability to improve the lives of people around the world. We create and collaborate with city, state, national, and international partners. We believe that transformational change is accelerated by forging coalitions to bring more voices to the table.

About the Position:

The Senior Research Associate will help advance the mission of the Digital Impact and Governance Initiative (DIGI) by conducting research and programmatic activities to support the responsible deployment of technology to meet global challenges. The position requires strong writing skills, including translating complex research into easily digestible materials. The Senior Research Associate will work closely with a small collegial team and engage with other organizations, researchers, and civic technology advocates to conduct timely research and advance programmatic priorities.


  • Conduct original quantitative and qualitative policy research, check for thoroughness and consistency of documentation across research projects, technology deployments, and translate findings for a broader audience
  • Develop, implement, and manage the production and distribution of a variety of written products such as reports, issue briefs, presentations, and web content that advance the DIGI team's work and translate research findings for a broader audience, as well as memoranda for internal audiences
  • Elicit and provide feedback on written products
  • Present research findings to a range of audiences in formal and informal settings
  • Develop and maintain relationships with a range of key leaders both inside and outside of the organization
  • Assist in the coordination and planning of meetings, and events, help prepare materials and presentations
  • Post content to DIGI pages on the New America website and blog and contribute to DIGI’s Twitter account
  • The policy analyst may be asked to perform additional duties and take on other responsibilities as directed by team leadership, events, and circumstances


  • A bachelor’s degree (required), graduate degree (desired) in the fields of public policy, political science, international relations, or technology policy
  • Two years prior experience in a related field preferred
  • Comfortable with a high degree of autonomy and a small team environment
  • Ability to handle multiple projects and deadlines while maintaining a high level of work quality
  • Excellent writing and communication skills, with an emphasis on concise writing for a diverse audience
  • Ability to draft written products in multiple formats that are concise and easy to follow while maintaining important nuances
  • Collaborative team player with a willingness and curiosity to delve deeply into various policy topics
  • Keen eye for new opportunities to advance our work; knowledge of how to balance limited resources to ensure their greatest effect
  • High level of flexibility and creativity with the ability to solve problems and identify creative approaches to challenges
  • Expertise in MS Office including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, experience with Google Apps, database, and website software (strongly preferred)
  • Previous experience working in technology or a start-up environment is a plus

Application Process:

Please submit a cover letter, a current resume, and respond to this prompt (no more than 300 words): Hypothetically, if you could prioritize the development of one digital public good that was accessible to the vast majority of the world’s population, what do you believe would have the greatest impact on marginalized communities and why?

Only candidates with all required materials will be considered. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but candidates who apply by 9:00 AM EST July 26, 2021 will be given priority. The ideal candidate will be available to start by mid August/mid September.

No phone calls, emails or letters 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 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.

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