Join our team
Upturn works to give people a meaningful voice in how digital technology shapes their lives. We break down barriers and build networks of trust and collaboration between policymakers, technology-builders, and communities, so society can maximize the benefits and avoid the risks of new technology. We produce clear, incisive research and analysis of emerging issues in technology and public policy that guides the public conversation.
We believe technology should promote the dignity and well-being of all people. We believe that new technologies and uses of data can bring greater opportunity and fairness for everyone — and we know that this won’t happen by default. Patterns of bias and injustice remain pervasive in society. When these patterns are echoed by our technologies, rights are threatened and opportunities for progress are missed. Law and policy must continually be adapted as technologies change, so that core rights are always protected.
Upturn works in partnership with many of the nation’s leading civil rights and public interest organizations. We have operated since 2011 as a public interest focused consulting firm, and are currently preparing to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We anticipate that we will be a non-profit by mid-2017.
Selected recent projects include:
- Working with a national coalition of civil rights and social justice groups to develop Civil Rights Principles for the Era of Big Data, an initiative that sparked a national conversation about how digital surveillance, predictive analytics, and automated decision-making pose new challenges for civil rights advocates.
- Building public understanding of predictive policing through Stuck in a Pattern, a first-of-its-kind report on how these technologies can sanitize and reinforce longstanding disparities in the criminal justice system.
- Pushing for police body-worn camera rules that protect civil rights, through a joint policy scorecard with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights that grades the nation’s 50 largest departments.
- Sparking Google to ban online payday loan ads, through a public report and careful, coordinated work with financial justice advocates.
- Creating a technical roadmap that, along with the work of other advocates, led Facebook to take steps to prevent racial discrimination by advertisers.
- Developing an ambitious new strategy for Internet freedom called Decoy Routing.
We are looking for a new Policy Analyst to join and support our team. Salary will be competitive, and we will provide you with health insurance and other benefits.
- Research and write memoranda on a wide range of technology, policy, and social justice issues, ranging from new surveillance technologies to employment screening software.
- Track new technology and policy developments, and write posts for our weekly bulletin, Equal Future.
- Attend meetings with external stakeholders and review and edit public-facing outputs.
- Share in administrative, practical and other tasks, as part of a small team.
You must have a bachelor's degree and previous work experience. You'll succeed at Upturn if you are:
- Meticulous and detail oriented. You are remarkably organized and able to create and optimize systems to support your own work and the work of your team.
- A structured thinker. You analyze problems in a precise and organized way. You can quickly distill the details that matter most.
- A clear communicator. You express yourself clearly and effectively in both written and verbal communications.
- Proactive in finding ways to get things done and meet professional goals. Your track record shows that you can thrive in an unstructured environment, and be dependable starting on day one.
- Comfortable with technology. You understand how Internet and digital technologies work and can describe them to a layperson. When learning about a new technology or concept, you can quickly identify what you know and what you don't, and proceed with your research accordingly.
We'll like you even more if you:
- Have a degree in computer science, have experience coding, or have other background or experience involving quantitative analysis.
- Have a passion for civil rights and social justice issues.
- Have experience writing for a public audience, e.g. on a newsletter or a blog.
- Have web development experience or graphic design skills.
How to Apply
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org that tells us why you're the right person for the job. Be creative, and be concise. It would be a good idea to include:
- The best three or four examples of your work that show why you're right for the job. These should include at least two writing samples, but feel free to be creative. For examples that involve collaboration, please make it clear what role you personally played.
- Your CV attached as a PDF.
- The names of three references, with a brief description of how each person knows you. (We'll talk to you before we talk to them.)