The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) seeks a Senior Program Officer to join its Democracy and Technology team and support country staff, program officers, and senior management in the day-to-day activities of planning, implementing, and evaluating programs related to information integrity and disinformation issues globally.
NDI’s Democracy and Technology team (DemTech) seeks to foster a global digital ecosystem in which democratic values are protected, promoted, and can thrive; governments are more transparent and inclusive; and all citizens are empowered to hold their government accountable. DemTech is also committed to defending the digital space against growing illiberal influences, which seek to use technology to undermine democracy through disinformation and other means, particularly through its INFO/tegrity initiative. Disinformation and computational propaganda in politics, particularly elections, represents a critical threat to democracy. It often explicitly manipulates socio-cultural norms, social cleavages and/or ideological divisions to create desired political outcomes. DemTech and other teams at NDI work to support a global network of activists committed to digital resilience and through collaboration with partners on tools, resources, and knowledge. Throughout, DemTech promotes the civic and political inclusion of women and other traditionally marginalized groups.
The Senior Program Officer will assess the role of disinformation and propaganda in the electoral processes, political systems and public discourse in the 50+ countries where NDI works around the world, as well as related issues such as digital rights, and data privacy. They will explore how social cleavages such as gender norms or hyperpartisan divides exploited in online campaigns target democratic processes and discourse, work to strengthen and improve them, and respond to these online threats.
Under the direction of the Director of Democracy and Technology and supervision of senior team staff:
- Contribute to developing program concepts, facilitating strategic discussions and reviewing and contributing to program proposals and budgets for information integrity related programming across the Institute.
- Collaborate across teams to develop materials for and train staff on information integrity programming and relevant practice areas, including social media monitoring, gendered disinformation, online violence against women in politcs, etc.
- Manage activities, budgets, and reporting of information integrity programs
- Travel to assigned project locations to provide direct training, assessment, implementation or evaluation of social media monitoring programs, such as countering online violence against women in politics, as well as elections and other democratic events.
- Organize logistical and content-related aspects of international and regional and global academies, workshops, and conferences focused on the information space
- Identify, research and recommend technology solutions suitable for NDI’s information integrity related programs including those for preventing and addressing gendered disinformation, including online VAW-P/E; help to adapt solutions used in CVE or other sectors as needed
- Track emerging technologies, especially those that facilitate communication and feedback for networks that NDI works with on information space issues, and find responsible ways to apply them
- Track global best practices in social media monitoring around political events, manage resource repository and facilitate resource sharing among NDI staff and partners
- Track best practices on combating online VAW-P/E, including but not limited to disinformation and misinformation
- Review and edit team documents and reports
- Represent NDI at local and international meetings and conferences and assist in NDI outreach
- Bachelor’s degree, preferably related to information science, computer science, data science, communications, public policy, political development and/or international relations; Additional years of relevant work experience may be substituted for educational requirements
- A minimum of six (6) years relevant work experience on online systems, social media, computational propaganda, information or influence operations, data science, or related technology fields. International, political, governmental, or activist experience is a bonus.
- Demonstrated experience effectively communicating in written and oral for on technical information space topics to a range of audiences
- Demonstrated program and event management and strategic planning skills, with the ability to anticipate and adjust programming in shifting contexts
- Demonstrated understanding of the way different marginalized populations are targeted and affected by online hate speech
- High level of interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to effectively interact with all levels of staff, partner organizations, U.S. and foreign government personnel, members of donor organizations, funders and policy makers
- Ability to analyze datasets using the R Suite or other data analytics tools
- Experience managing or studying Crowdtangle is a plus
- Experience working to address or researching gender and social media; specific experience with online violence against women in politics a plus
- Experience with multiple APIs (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube) a plus
- Published research and reporting on disinformation and computational propaganda, hate speech and other social media research a plus
- Fluency in oral and written English; additional language skills, particularly in French, Spanish, Russian, or Arabic, are a plus