Job Position: Public Interest Technology Workforce Fellow
Public Interest Technology Workforce Fellow
Beeck Center’s Digital Service Collaborative
The Beeck Center strongly encourages all people to apply (please circulate widely), especially those who hold the following intersecting identities: Black, Native or Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQIA+, non-binary, poor or working class, persons living with disabilities, neurodivergent, young, undocumented, speak English as a second language, and others with lived experience in overlooked and/or underestimated communities.
If you have any questions about this fellowship’s objectives, requirements, and/or language used in this job description, please email Vandhana Ravi at firstname.lastname@example.org
In recent years, governments have increasingly begun reimagining the way they function and serve the needs of the populations they serve by utilizing modern technology, software development, and human centered design principles. This has led to creation of digital teams in government as well as the need to designate specialized technologists to carry out the work, such as software developers, human-centered designers, user-experience researchers, and data scientists.
Because these teams and workers are still quite new to government, and the field of public interest technology is still relatively new overall, there are limited career development resources for workers and limited capacity for governments to meet their needs. For example, most U.S. government offices do not presently have standardized roles, position descriptions, career ladders, and training for public interest technology workers, and while there are some established professional associations or activities outside the government, most aren’t currently designed for public interest technologists.
To better understand the opportunity space including existing research and resources as well as gaps where solutions could be created, the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University, through the Digital Service Collaborative, is hiring a full-time research fellow to collaborate closely with students and recent graduates to analyze and make recommendations for how government can better support public interest technology workers and institutionalize the broader public interest technology field. To learn more about our current research to date for this project, visit our Upskilling the Government Technology Workforce here.
This work is funded by The Rockefeller Foundation and in partnership with the AGL Association, an emerging organization to support government public interest technology employees.
The fellow will work closely with students and recent graduates to design and execute an action-oriented research project for the public interest technology (PIT) field to build sustainable, inclusive career access, opportunity, support and agency for entry-level or early-career government (ELECG) employees.
Our objective is to co-create the organizational infrastructure needed, involving:
- Are job postings created for and accessible to the unique experiences and contributions of ELECG employees?
- What obstacles are in the way of successful entry to the PIT field for ELECG employees?
- Are processes set up to offer fair, unbiased chances for hiring and advancement?
- What are the career development needs of ELECG employees?
- Are there systems of mentorship, coaching, networking, and training in place to help them navigate the PIT ecosystem?
- What successes have been achieved by ELECG employees in the PIT field?
- Are ELECG employees valued enough to be positioned “at the table” to influence the work of their teams and the continued work of equalizing access to technology careers and promoting inclusive tech policy for ELECG employees long term?
- What opportunities exist to formalize the sustained delivery of career development resources for ELECG employees in partnership with the AGL Association’s staff and board of directors?
Scope of Work
This fellow will work with a team of Beeck Center staff and student analysts to support the research, writing, and convening involved in this action-oriented research project. The fellow will also work closely with the team at the AGL Association, including Aaron Pava.
The fellow will be responsible for:
- Defining research processes, methods, and outputs in partnership with the Beeck Center and AGL Association
- Anticipating and managing risks, including methodological and ethical risks and organizational and logistical challenges
- Ensuring the collection and proper management of sufficient and appropriate data for analysis
- Selecting, working with, and managing student analysts hired to support the project
- Drafting and editing content in partnership with the Beeck Center and AGL Association
- Producing research outputs and deliverables as assigned
- Communicating with key Beeck Center and AGL staff around updates, coordination points, and reporting expectations.
The Beeck Center will be responsible for:
- Supporting the researchers as they identify sources for consultations and information gathering
- Logistical and administrative support for project organization and events
- Providing student analyst support to assist the fellow
- Publishing research outputs and deliverables from the Beeck Center at Georgetown University and, as appropriate, with the AGL Association
- Facilitating broader Georgetown University coordination efforts as part of the larger Initiative for Technology and Society
Outputs and deliverables will be determined between the Beeck Center, AGL Association, and the fellow based on recommendations made after initial fact finding. Those deliverables are likely to include:
- A long-form written report, in the style of a case study, white paper, or policy brief
- 2-3 blog posts documenting digital transformation processes and recommendations
- 2-3 additional ad-hoc outputs, such as podcast interviews, conference presentations, slide decks, or large-scale convenings, webinars, as appropriate and as agreed
The Fellow will be responsible for meeting these project objectives with a collaborative, action-oriented research approach that involves the following steps:
- Co-create with current or aspiring ELECG employees the organizational infrastructure needed to build sustainable, inclusive careers for ELECG employees.
- Conduct research to define PIT organizational and systemic gaps and barriers for ELECG employees.
- Convene stakeholders to commit to action in the form of access, opportunity, support, and agency for ELECG employees.
- Openly document and share findings, actionable recommendations, case examples, and commitments to ensure transparency and scalability.
- Build a toolkit of career pathway, training, continuing education, and career development opportunities for ELECG employees.
- Advocate for sustained, inclusive careers for ELECG employees.
- Initiate and support related PIT pilot programs at local, state and federal levels.
- Partner with a professional association to sustain cultural/process changes and hold PIT organizations accountable to the objective of building sustainable, inclusive careers for ELECG employees.
While our outputs will be largely determined by our research to define what gaps and barriers exist, we anticipate producing resources and tools centered across the following themes:
- Culture and Leadership
- Creating inclusive team cultures within organizational/operational structures
- People and Employment
- Measuring and improving recruitment, retention, advancement, representation and pay for PIT workers at all career levels
- Professional Development
- Documenting and recommending additions to training validity, mentorship, conferences, and advancement pathways compatible with the organizational contexts and variances across local, state, and federal levels of government, via a professional association.
The following qualifications are required:
- Experience working in government digital service, data, design, technology and/or innovation
- Demonstrated ability to produce research outputs in multiple formats and to tailor writing to multiple audiences
- Seeking out or being the representative public voice/advocate for the sustained career development of employees in government
- Experience managing, delegating to, and mentoring junior-level support staff
- Experience working with students and a commitment to promoting their contributions and uplifting their skills
- Relationship-building and initiated activities across stakeholder organizations and individuals
In addition, the following qualifications are desirable:
- Familiarity with hiring, human resources, management and leadership in government
- Experience with human-centered design and/or user research
- Experience at multiple levels levels of government and an understanding of how the needs and opportunities might vary across each
Salary, Benefits, and Employment Term
The fellow role is a 9-month appointment at Georgetown University. The stipend band for this fellowship is $80,000-$100,000, commensurate with experience, and includes full benefits. The fellowship period is expected to begin September 2020, and the stipend will be paid monthly. There is no guarantee of continued employment beyond the 9-month appointment.
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Need some assistance with the application process? Please call 202-687-2500. For more information about the suite of benefits, career development and community involvement opportunities that make up Georgetown’s commitment to its employees, please visit the Georgetown Works website.
The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.