ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY
The Vice President of Digital Democracy (VPDD) will serve as Internews' global expert on the role of information in expanding democracy and human rights and countering digital authoritarianism, with a core emphasis on technology, platform accountability, and the impact of harmful speech and disinformation.
The VPDD is responsible for continuing to drive Internews' thought leadership and expertise through consistent and proactive representation, innovation and learning within the democracy, technology and Human Rights sector. In building our core expertise for the five elements of an information ecosystem to advance citizen participation and better governance, the VP will identify and advocate for investments in specialized areas of expertise that reflect both a real need within the organization, as well as investments necessary to keep Internews at the forefront of innovation in the Democracy, Rights and Governance (DRG) space.
In addition, the VPDD supervises a portfolio of bespoke projects that focus on pilots, research and specialized knowledge. Major program implementation at Internews sits without our Regional Program Management structure, and the VPDD is responsible for collaboratively engaging with Internews' regional staff and portfolio of projects to ensure global knowledge is seeded back down through the organization, and that technical expertise is provided to projects as needed. The VPDD will be fully responsible for advancing the Digital Democracy (DD) strategy, team building, and external representation.
The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, mission-driven expert in a broad range of democracy and technology issues, specifically on all aspects of information access, Freedom of Expression, the role of information in democracy, internet/media policy, digital authoritarianism, the impact of harmful speech and disinformation, the responsibility and influence of corporate platforms, and the intersection of these issues on communities around the world. The ideal candidate is a powerful and passionate speaker, a deeply connected networker within the technology, democracy and rights sectors, and a thoughtful, strategic planner.
Internews has offices in Washington, DC and London, UK which support a hybrid workforce with staff working remotely, fully in-office, or partially remote. Ultimately, this position may work remotely from the US or UK, partially remote from our Washington, DC or London office, or fully in-office for candidates based in the Washington, DC or London area. This position is not eligible for relocation assistance; additionally, you must have work authorization in your location that does not require sponsorship from Internews.
This position has an anticipated closing date of 01 December 2021.
OUR COMMITMENT TO FOSTERING A CULTURE OF BELONGING
We are an organization of dynamic, mission-driven individuals who are passionate about our core values and about supporting positive change in the world. We pride ourselves on our commitment to innovation and flexibility. We believe that diverse teams are strong teams and work to support an ethic of belonging, dignity, and justice for all people. Our current team includes a mix of genders, parents and non-parents, and people of multiple races, nationalities, ages, sexual orientations and socioeconomic backgrounds. We are an EEO employer and encourage candidates of all races, genders, orientations, ethnicities, and national origins to apply, and welcome those with alternative backgrounds and experiences.
DAY-TO-DAY TASKS will include:
Organizational Leadership & Corporate Responsibilities
- Act as a core member of the senior management group. In this role the VPDD is a member of senior staff and advises on issues that affect the overall organization, participates in strategic and annual planning efforts and organizational development activities.
- Serve as a spokesperson for Internews and its mission when participating in public events.
- In all duties, demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to upholding Internews' Core Values.
Strategy & Representation
- Develop and maintain a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the democracy sector, specifically on all aspects of information access, Freedom of Expression, the role of information in democracy, digital authoritarianism, the impact of harmful speech and disinformation, the responsibility and influence of corporate platforms, and the intersection of these issues on communities around the world. Based on this understanding, build and drive department strategy and programming to maximize effectiveness and impact.
- Cultivate relationships with major democracy, technology and human rights partners, academics, donors and supporters around the world, with the goal of growing our network of partners and supporters.
- Raise Internews' profile in the democracy and technology community through representing at conferences, donor meetings, and other opportunities.
- Actively contribute to communications materials, website and social media content, webinars, advocacy and representation.
- Organize and manage team to ensure Internews has clear and timely processes to tap into representation needs from relevant team members as needed.
Development & Program Design
- Working with the Global Development team, evaluate trends in donor (including USG, foundations, private funders and European donors) policy and strategy for department programming; devise funding strategies that respond to these trends and communities these strategies to senior Internews management, especially the program implementation teams.
- Lead the Digital Democracy team to support the design and implementation of centralized programs, consortia and mechanisms that allow us to invest in our capacity, research, pilots and learning in the DRG sector.
- Lead or support the design for multi-region democracy and rights programs, working closely with the multi-regional program team.
- Support single region or country level programs with overall technical approach to the design, including program approaches and methodologies, budget recommendations for these program approaches, and support writing, editing, and reviewing as requested. The Digital Democracy team also recommends and helps recruit the specialized skills necessary to support that design.
- Supervise specialist/advisory teams who are responsible to: Establish, advance and support the "Internews approach" to specialized areas of expertise.
- Work closely with regional directors and other technical teams to provide essential technical expertise to project directors on our field-implemented programs.
- Build and lead a community of practice of Internews program leads and specialists with this expertise across the organization, to adapt, learn and improve our programs.
- Build demand for specialized expertise within Program Management Units and provide billable level of effort within programs as requested.
- Serve as lead for advocacy, outreach and donor cultivation within each area of expertise.
- Occasionally regional program management teams may request that these teams manage a project, due to workload or complexity issues.
- Manage projects and resources that help deepen and advance this expertise within Internews. Typical types of grants include research and learning; network building; pilot activities; investments in organizational capacity; investments in data and learning.
- Identify and draft methodological approaches, and coordinate with the Technical Leadership Unit (TLU) to complete and socialize them across the organization.
- Cultivate external consultants and technical experts who are familiar with Internews' work and who remain connected to our Digital Democracy team, our evolving approaches and tools, and Internews' mission, and who are able to support, train or deploy as needed.
- Provide oversight and support to development of virtual learning courses, webinars and other activities of the Digital Democracy team.
- Identify and maximize synergies between other areas of expertise within Internews, including health, environment and humanitarian programming, and contribute to effective solutions and approaches for technical expertise across Internews.
- Manage and serve as budget authority over the Digital Democracy portfolio budget.
- Work with Monitoring & Evaluation teams to track and monitor budget.
- Prepare annual workplans and budgets, with an eye towards advancing Internews' overall mission and supporting growth.
The VPDD supervises specialized advisors, consultants and project leads for bespoke programs, and serves as a core leader within the Technical Leadership Unit. The VPDD carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include training employees; managing, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
- Supervise advisors and consultants, support their professional development and skill building, and coordinate their support to Internews programs around the world, ensuring momentum on deliverables/activities is maintained.
- Supervise all project leads for projects in the Digital Democracy portfolio.
- Serve as a core leader within the TLU, reporting to the Senior Vice President and collaborating strategically with other technical program leads as well as regional and country-based leads.
- Work closely throughout with the TLU's Business Manager, Program Officer and Program Associate, as well as collaboratively with colleagues across Internews.
QUALIFICATIONS WE'RE LOOKING FOR
- At least 10 years' experience in democracy, human rights, technology, and/or international media development.
- Substantive understanding of trends in international media development and their relationship to democracy and technology
- Strong strategic thinking capacity, and ability to turn strategy into relevant programming and keep teams on task and on target
- Relevant contact networks amongst key actors in the technology, human rights and media space
- Proven experience in business development and fundraising, including partnership development at local and international level
- Proven experience working within consortia, including with other international development agencies
- Proven experience providing senior level management of staff and remote teams
- Proven ability to deliver tasks on deadline, individually and through management of team members
- Excellent interpersonal and networking skills
- Excellent communication and reporting skills, both written and oral
- Experience writing successful proposals for both private and government funders
- An understanding of the vision/mission, core values and objectives of Internews
- Psychological resilience and a sense of humor
- Fluency in written and spoken English