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2020 Census Technology Fellowship

Deadline for application: Monday July 2, 2018

Location: Washington, DC

Department: Public Interest Technology

Length of fellowship: 1 year


The mission of the Public Interest Technology Initiative (PIT) is to deploy technical tools and innovative thinking to help organizations solve public problems more effectively. We bring a unique combination of knowledge, skills and methods to public interest work: user-centered design, technical expertise, public policy experience, and engineering best practices. We work with communities to design, build, and implement public services for vulnerable populations. We offer technical expertise and on-the-ground experience to policy developers and decision makers.

PIT has scoped a project for the 2020 Census in partnership with the Census Counts Campaign, a collaborative effort led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Since the 2020 Census represents the first high-tech Census, IT preparedness is of key importance.


The PIT Census fellow will work as a technical project manager, translating between the government, tech, and civil rights organizations landscape to ensure the IT readiness of the 2020 Census. This could include:

  • Building relationships within the Census infrastructure
  • Evaluating/recommending approaches for ensuring that the Bureau’s systems are operational, secure, and optimized to accommodate hard-to-count populations
  • Evaluating publicly available information about the state of technology of the 2020 Census, such as the recent “Responses to the Census Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC)” questions on the usability of the 2020 Census Interface
  • Potentially partnering with or supporting technical teams installed at the Census Bureau
  • Providing regular updates in plain language to Census advocates, including the Census Counts Campaign
  • Convening relevant technical parties, such as startups and tech companies, who can assist in ensuring the IT readiness of the Census and safeguard their own platforms so that Census efforts are not undermined on them

The ideal qualifications of the fellow include:

  • Technical experience—the ability to identify and diagnose technical issues within the Census Bureau’s operations
  • High EQ— the ability to translate between technical and non-technical stakeholders so that everyone is on the same page
  • Coalition-building experience— the ability to align the needs of non-technical groups (NGOs, census experts, Campaign stakeholders) and the abilities of technical affiliates (private sector companies, startups, volunteer civic technologists)
  • Familiarity with government processes and bureaucracy— the ability to suggest feasible technical solutions and process reforms for the Census, with an eye towards human-centered design

How to Apply:

To apply, please submit the following documents to with the subject line “[LAST NAME], Application for PIT Census Fellowship”:

  • A 50-150 word statement of interest
  • A resume or CV


If you have any questions or require further clarification, please feel free to email Emma Coleman at


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