Project Director, Economic Justice

  • Location: Washington, DC (preferred)
  • Timing: Applications due January 31, 2022

About Upturn

Upturn advances equity and justice in the design, governance, and use of technology.

We believe technology should advance justice, not amplify racial, economic, and social inequities. Without focused attention, technology can reinforce systemic injustices found everywhere in our society.

We drive policy changes by combining rigorous research with deliberate advocacy. Our approach to technology and justice is informed by a broad range of perspectives and experiences, including computer science, social science, law, and policy. We strive to ground our work in community and lived experiences.

We partner with a strong and growing network of local and national advocates, litigators, organizers, academics, and policymakers to ensure that our work together is grounded, collaborative, and actionable.

Some of our recent work includes:

  • Investigating how large hourly employers use technology to screen candidates for low-wage jobs;
  • Pressuring Facebook to address discrimination in online ads for housing, credit, and employment;
  • Advocating with local partners for the sealing of eviction records to prevent their use in tenant screening software;
  • Advising legal aid groups challenging technologies used in public benefits determinations;
  • Documenting the dangerous expansion of U.S. law enforcement agencies’ capabilities to search people’s mobile phones using forensic tools; and
  • Persuading Google to ban online payday loan ads, together with financial justice advocates.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. Learn more about Upturn at https://www.upturn.org.

About the Position

The Project Director role is ideal for someone with at least six years of policy experience working on economic justice issues at local, state, or federal levels. Specifically, this position will focus on jobs and hiring issues, while also contributing across a range of Upturn’s policy priorities. You will:

  • Lead Upturn’s work on jobs and hiring, and other areas of work in economic justice, helping to define strategies and goals within projects;
  • Supervise day-to-day project work, providing consistent feedback, support, and mentorship to staff;
  • Build and maintain relationships with policymakers, especially federal and state regulators, as well as national and community-based advocates, academics, technologists, and companies;
  • Analyze federal and state policy proposals, rulemaking processes, and bills;
  • Draft major research and advocacy outputs, including policy reports, regulatory comments, and public testimony;
  • Help define empirical research projects, together with Upturn’s Senior Quantitative Analyst; and
  • Represent Upturn at external meetings, workshops, and other events.

In this role, you would join a small and growing organization that is collaborative, energetic, and fun. We will actively invest in your professional growth through training, feedback, and support. We are committed to building an inclusive, flexible, and welcoming workplace. We have a transparent culture and strive to include our entire staff when making strategic decisions.

Work Location

While we prefer candidates who are based in Washington, DC, or who are willing to relocate, we are open to hiring a candidate who lives elsewhere in the United States and can work remotely with occasional travel to DC. While all of our full-time staff are currently based in DC, we are committed to working collaboratively to create an equitable workplace, no matter your location.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, all of our staff are currently working remotely. We do not yet have a timeline for returning to the office. Nevertheless, for staff who feel comfortable and have a desire to do so, we have office space available.

Compensation and Benefits

The Project Director salary begins at $110,000 per year.

Candidates with 10 or more years of relevant experience will be considered for the role of Senior Project Director, with a salary starting at $130,000 per year.

We provide a generous and comprehensive benefits package, including health, dental, vision, and disability insurance; a 403(b) retirement plan with a 10% employer contribution; open paid time off and flexible work hours; a monthly transit benefit; employer-sponsored medical and dependent care FSAs; and free lunch. We provide a one-time relocation stipend of $2,000 to new hires moving to DC.

For more details, see our compensation policy, which includes a description of roles and responsibilities at Upturn.

About You

We welcome applicants who have a demonstrated commitment to advancing racial, economic, and social justice. We’re looking for someone who is:

  • Ready to manage and mentor a diverse team and lead with empathy;
  • Both principled and practical in balancing long-term visions with short-term goals;
  • Skillful in building relationships and working in coalition across impacted communities;
  • Proactive and comfortable taking the initiative to drive work forward; and
  • Able to critically evaluate the human impact of new technologies.

We strongly encourage people of color, women, LGBTQ+ applicants, and applicants with disabilities to apply.


How to Apply

Applications are due by January 31, 2022.

We plan to conduct first-round Zoom interviews for select candidates at the beginning of February. Next steps for candidates who progress will include additional Zoom interviews, a writing assignment, a short presentation to the team, and reference checks. We will work with applicants to provide reasonable accommodations during each stage of our hiring process.

We hope to make a job offer at the beginning of March. We’re ready for the selected candidate to start at Upturn as soon as possible, but we’re willing to wait for the right candidate.

If you have any questions, please email join@upturn.org.