Director of Policy and Research

Remote, DC or NYC preferred | Full-time | Allows remote

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About Coworker.org
How do we ensure that our jobs are safe, satisfying and secure in the 21st century? In what ways can working people effectively shift power in a rapidly changing economy? How do we create digital tools and communities for employees to share information, form collectives, and advocate for change; how do we prevent employers from dismantling hard-won labor and employment rights through increasingly sophisticated employer surveillance, data mining, and the fissuring of the workplace?  At Coworker.org, we deploy digital tools, data, and strategies in service of helping people improve their work lives.

Coworker.org is a laboratory for workers to experiment with power-building strategies in the 21st century economy. We invest in the brilliance of workers like you -- hosting and promoting your workplace petition campaigns, prototyping fresh ideas for wielding influence inside your companies and industries, researching answers to questions you pose to us about your working conditions, and leveraging our vast network of workers across a wide variety of industries to reveal new insights, analysis, and data about what’s happening in our economy. We support the leadership and vision of working people to imagine, design, and create our collective future.

Director of Policy and Research
At Coworker, we believe workers need fast, tailored, and highly trusted support when engaging in workplace activism. We’ve helped workers like baristas, cashiers, flight attendants, software engineers and rideshare drivers lead their own campaigns for the very first time, interacting with them daily, and helping workers across industries advocate for themselves. Prompted by patterns we see across worker-led campaigns on our platform and elsewhere, we’ve begun to pursue research questions about the growth of surveillance technology in low wage work, the use of predatory lending at gig economy companies, and the impact of big tech on human rights and freedom of association--all in the name of addressing the structural barriers to worker power in our culture and economy. If you’re interested in these challenges and what policy solutions are needed, you might be a good fit for this role on our team!

Coworker.org is seeking a Director of  Research and Policy to lead both cross-sectoral policy research and participatory research through Coworker.org employee networks. In this role, you’ll approach the work with the zeal of an investigative journalist and the rigor of an experienced researcher who isn’t  afraid to ask questions and use your network to get answers. You also have a strong interest in rapidly developing a working understanding of a variety of policy issues, hearing directly from workers on our platform about their on-the-job experiences, and chasing down and developing relevant policy angles.  Job responsibilities include internal and external program work. The Director of Policy and Research will report to the Managing Director and will work in close partnership with the Co-Executive Directors.


Internal program work:

  • Identify and assess emerging policy and research gaps in the field and potential innovations and opportunities for Coworker.org; in partnership with the executive team, develop and execute new initiatives and support existing initiatives to fill gaps and grow our footprint and influence in the field
  • Create a policy research framework, identify projects, and determine relevant outputs like reports, policy recommendations, data analysis, infographics, blog posts etc. and collaborate with Coworker.org’s program team and legal advisors on content and distribution
  • Develop strategies that address the impact of technology on workers and low wage communities through legal frameworks beyond labor/employment law; this could include technology, trade, data, privacy, antitrust, civil rights, tax and trade policy, among others
  • Bring a racial equity lens and analysis of structural racism to all of Coworker.org's policy and research work and initiatives
  • Oversee the execution of all policy and research projects, in partnership with Coworker.org's program staff and external partners and consultants as needed
  • Partner with our Campaigns team on participatory research with worker-led networks on our platform


External program work:

  • Build and maintain meaningful relationships with external partners and allies including grassroots movement organizations, economic and democracy policy organizations, academics, and policymakers; work creatively and strategically to leverage these relationships to advance Coworker.org's programmatic and movement goals
  • Bring your understanding of the role research plays in supporting effective campaigns and agenda setting and can work effectively with employee networks, grassroots partners, and advocates at the state and national level
  • Build and sustain respectful strategic alignments and relationships with organizational partners, advocates, and leaders to advance our goals
  • Represent Coworker.org in policy discussions with partners from the labor, tech policy, civil rights and economic reform sectors; as a public spokesperson with media; and at conferences, meetings, trainings, and other events
  • Write effectively for a broad spectrum of public audiences, including blogging, op-eds, reports, briefing papers, etc.


What we’re looking for:

  • Passion for workers’ rights, workplace democracy, and economic justice
  • Minimum 5 years experience in research, advocacy or policy development, with demonstrated success in leading complex policy or research initiatives from start to finish, and developing projects or program areas involving strategic research and/or policy development
  • Well-developed understanding of the current economic justice and workers' rights policy landscape and various stakeholders, and the ability to bring fresh research and policy ideas to the organization
  • A successful track record of identifying gaps in the field and developing and executing initiatives that align with movement partner needs and organizational strengths and values
  • Strong judgement, with the ability to take initiative and work independently on multiple priorities while also actively partnering with Coworker.org’s program directors
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong presentation skills, and experience building trust through partnerships; ability to write about complex issues in creative and interesting ways and interest in public writing is a plus
  • Ability to collaborate with a small, remote team internally and a variety of individuals, groups, and leaders externally
  • Demonstrated experience and success working with people from a broad range of backgrounds, communities, and experiences who are vulnerable to systemic injustices, including immigrants, people of color, women, people who are LGBTQ, living with disabilities, low-income, etc. (and any or all intersections of these things)
  • Strong, witty social media presence is a plus


The important stuff:
This is a full-time exempt remote position with an annual salary of $100,000 - $110,000. There is a preference for candidates in DC/NYC or along the Northeast Amtrak corridor. There is a 12-week introductory period for all new hires. Benefits include your own laptop and monthly cell phone stipend, flexible work hours, fully paid health and dental insurance, 401(k) matching, monthly fitness stipend, and a generous amount of paid vacation, sick leave, and family leave. Our organizational culture centers movement building, movement builders, and healthy working conditions in the industries we support and within our own organization. We have a deep respect for the voices of the people we work with externally and internally and we do our best to walk the talk.

Coworker.org is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.