Senior Technologist, Elections & Democracy

Center for Democracy and Technology

May 19, 2020

Job description

CDT’s technologists shape important public policy conversations at the intersection of civil liberties, security, privacy, and technology. A typical day may include everything from researching and writing papers or analysis, to public speaking opportunities, to private meetings amongst or across stakeholder communities. The role offers autonomy, opportunity to directly impact critical issues of our day, and professional development within a supportive environment. The Senior Technologist for Elections & Democracy will interact on a regular basis with CDT’s experts as well as the public interest groups, government officials, academics, companies, and other stakeholders with whom CDT engages. This position will be based in CDT’s Washington, DC office and offer opportunities to travel.
This position will help lead CDT’s election privacy & security project, working under the direction of Chief Technologist Mallory Knodel, and in collaboration with CDT’s free speech team.

Project Goals include:
• Bringing elements of state-of-the-art nation-state cybersecurity defense to state and local election officials by developing materials such as a maturity model and set of playbooks for voter registration system cybersecurity;
• Conducting data stewardship outreach to election officials, election data scientists, and political campaign entities who regularly handle voter data in order to better protect that data and stem the increasing frequency of data breaches;
• Equipping stakeholder groups with clear information on cybersecurity opportunities and improvements; and
• Driving policy change to account for the evolving methods of voter registration, ballot delivery and casting, and post-election audits.
Given the importance of diverse perspectives in representing the public interest in technology policy, we also encourage candidates who explicitly seek to increase underrepresented groups in technology through their work. Although not required, we particularly welcome candidates with the ability and artistic skill to communicate technical topics in a visual manner.
Responsibilities include:
• Leading research into state-of-the-art cybersecurity defensive best practices, conducting gap analyses with respect to the current best practice landscape with an eye towards creating written work products that describe and analyze these practices, costs, and policy implications;
• Convening and engaging with technical staff, election officials, advocates, election vendors, government officials, and academics working on voting technology issues, to develop and disseminate defensive security mechanisms specific to election environments large and small;
• Authoring policy papers, reports, blog posts, and similar materials focused on current issues affecting our democracy with an emphasis on election technology; and,
• As needed, supporting CDT staff in formulating and articulating policy positions in areas beyond election work, with a specific focus on technical analysis across CDT’s policy portfolio.
Qualifications include:
• No specific degree is required, however a competitive candidate will need to demonstrate both academic and practical knowledge in cybersecurity mechanics;
• A curiosity and passion about technology policy and the role of “policy technologists” (technologists that work in policy);
• Expertise in technical cybersecurity subjects (for example, endpoint security, network security, digital “hygiene” best practices), sufficient to develop gap analyses of best practices, maturity models and incident response for election cybersecurity, and usable, plain-language guidance for election officials seeking to shore up their defensive posture;
• Experience in election technology and/or election administration is strongly preferred;
• An ability to work diplomatically with people from various stakeholder communities, who may not always constructively agree with one another;
• Experience in formal or informal project management;
• Possession of superb writing skills for a technical audience; and
• The ability to communicate easily with lay people about complex technical topics.

To Apply
Please send a cover letter and a resume to

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