The position description is a guide to the critical duties and essential functions of the job, not an all-inclusive list of responsibilities, qualifications, physical demands and work environment conditions. Position descriptions are reviewed and revised to meet IFES’ changing needs, at the sole discretion of management.
Job Responsibilities: IFES seeks a Global New Media and Disinformation Advisor to counter evolving threats to democratic processes stemming from changes in technology and the information environment. This individual will work closely with front line defenders and elections experts around the world to help democratic institutions flourish in the face of rising anti-democratic trends.
In the battle for the digital information space, democratic institutions must evolve to respond to and anticipate rapidly changing threats. They must proactively embrace the ways in which new media can inform and engage different segments of the electorate while strategically defending against the threats surfaced by these same changes in technology. The tactics of malicious actors evolve quickly; approaches to countering these efforts must be forward-looking and continually adapting. Advances in artificial intelligence, automation, and the collection of massive troves of individualized data provide bad actors with an array of effective mechanisms to suppress voter turnout, undermine faith in democratic institutions, increase societal polarization and incite violence. IFES’ collaborative partnerships with election administrators, civil society actors, judicial institutions and technology companies around the world uniquely position the organization to strengthen the capacity of democratic actors to defend against disinformation threats and ensure information integrity in the political and electoral process.
POSITION SCOPE: IFES’ New Media and Disinformation Advisor is an expert in new media and the challenges stemming from disinformation in political and electoral contexts. As such, he or she has a deep understanding of how new media is being used in the context of elections around the world, with a commitment to confronting existing challenges as well as anticipating tomorrow’s threats. This individual is well-versed in the dynamics of major social media platforms, understands challenges and developments in the regulation of these platforms, and closely follows the emergence of the next generation of challenges in this space. He or she is also versed in the technological shifts underpinning this issue set, including data-mining and privacy, artificial intelligence, deep fakes and quantum computing that will enable a forward-looking perspective on emerging threats to electoral processes stemming from technological changes. He or she understands the cross-cutting nature of new media challenges and models collaboration with regional experts and electoral advisors in other technical fields such a legal/regulatory reform, cybersecurity, inclusion, and public outreach. He or she maintains strategic relationships with a range of actors working or thinking in this space, such as governments, technology and new media companies, donors, election administrators, judiciaries, INGOs, academics and foundations. The Global New Media and Disinformation Advisor will report to the Senior Director (Applied Research, Learning and Strategy) in the Center for Applied Research and Learning
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The New Media and Disinformation Advisor will be expected to provide strategic vision and leadership in the areas of new media and disinformation:
Outreach and partnerships
o Develop new partnerships with traditional and non-traditional actors to devise innovative programmatic responses to disinformation and new media threats to elections
o Represent IFES’ as the primary spokesperson and serve as the lead external contact regarding new media and disinformation
o Actively participate in Congressional and foreign government briefings and hearings, conduct outreach to technology actors in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley and other global technology hubs, and participate actively in the Democracy, Rights and Governance (DRG) community of practice
Technical Advancement and Innovation
o Advance IFES’ mission and competitive advantage by shaping program design and research in the area of new media and disinformation
o Lead internal working groups on new media and disinformation and provide mentorship and coaching to program staff on the subject matter
Technical Assistance Quality Assurance
o For projects related to new media and disinformation, conduct technical assistance in country programs, provide advice on and oversee the work of technical consultants.
o Provide ongoing advice and recommendations for program activities and conduct program reviews as necessary within field of expertise
Business Development and Program Design
o Organize institutional responses to critical issues surrounding new media and disinformation
o Provide advice and recommendations to regional business development strategy discussions and execution
o Contribute to and review IFES’ program design efforts, and lead the development of topic-specific proposals
o Actively build and maintain relationships with social media and technology companies, foundations that fund work in this issue area, United States and international government donors, and other donor contacts relevant to core technical area
o Education: Masters or above in related topic
o Experience: Minimum 10 years of overall work experience with a mastery of the field of new media. Proven record of strategic development and engagement
o Travel: Ability to travel up to 60%
LANGUAGE SKILLS: Fluency in English is required.
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