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Deputy Director, Citizens and Technology Lab
Project Associate II
(Band F- Exempt)
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS
Ithaca, New York
Do you wonder about the role of technology in society? Do you wish for better evidence and greater public influence on the future of our digital lives?
The Citizens and Technology Lab (CAT Lab) at Cornell University envisions a world where digital power is guided by evidence and accountable to the public. We work with communities to study the effects of technology on society and test ideas for changing digital spaces in the public interest.
To achieve this mission, CAT Lab does industry-independent citizen science. Using open science software we develop in-house, we collaborate with communities and movements to discover practical, replicable knowledge that contributes to science and is guided by the people affected by digital power.
CAT Lab has worked with communities of tens of millions worldwide to test ways to prevent online harassment, audit content moderation policies, minimize the algorithmic spread of misinformation, document impacts of tech policies on freedom of expression, and audit powerful algorithms in democracies. By designing and maintaining research software, we hope to grow the scale of similar public-interest citizen science.
CAT Lab began at the MIT Media Lab in 2016. The lab moved to Cornell University in 2019 when our Principal Investigator (PI) and founder Dr. J. Nathan Matias started as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication. Founded in 1865 with a motto of "Any Person, Any Study," Cornell has a strong culture of public engagement, community partnership, and citizen science.
The Deputy Director will build Citizens and Technology Lab (CAT) Lab alongside the PI, focusing on strategy, organization building, management, and administration. We are seeking a creative institution-builder who is energized to imagine and establish a public-interest research organization within one of the world's leading universities.
Primary responsibilities will include but not limited to;
Create and maintain a strategic plan for CAT Lab, in collaboration with the PI:
Refine CAT Lab's mission and activities as a public-interest citizen science endeavor within a research and teaching university
Recruit and establish the lab's advisory board, working with the PI to envision its purpose and structure. The advisory board will help with: scientific advice, policy advice, managing corporate relations, connecting us with donors, and represent communities on decisions about research ethics
Develop and test models for sustainable, industry-independent funding
Manage CAT Lab's organizational processes and team of 3 staff / contractors, who will report directly to the Deputy Director:
Oversee CAT Lab's activities and team members responsible for public engagement, research, data science, and software engineering
Manage and mentor team members to be effective leaders, communicators, and contributors
Foster a supportive, inclusive culture that values collaboration and excellence in a distributed, remote team
Establish practices for organizational learning and improvement
Manage CAT Lab's programmatic relationship to funders and partners, together with the PI, the Department of Communication, and Cornell University
Create budgets and managing finances, working closely with the Department Business Administration Manager
Support the PI on grant applications
Manage reporting requirements, collecting relevant information, and collaborating with the PI to satisfy reporting requirements in a timely manner
Oversee content design and conceptualization for the project website
Orchestrate CAT Lab's coordination within Cornell University offices Administrative Manager, HR, contracts, public relations, legal questions, and other administrative areas
Support and maintain the lab's culture/climate by cultivating and facilitating effective internal and external working relationships
The Deputy Director will play a central role in developing and growing CAT Lab. Since you will coordinate strategy, manage staff, and orchestrate administrative operations, we are seeking an experienced, efficient leader who can create a positive working culture and bring out the best in others.
This is a one-year appointment with possible extension depending on performance and funding.
Bachelor's Degree or relevant work experience 3 to 5 years.
A passion for public participation in research and action
A commitment to the truth, scientific rigor, and the public interest
Demonstrated experience with strategy and organization-building in academia, nonprofits, or other small, growing endeavors
3 or more years leadership or management experience in projects involving at least some software engineering
Strong communicator in writing, meetings, and presentations, with the demonstrated ability to communicate with a broad range of people
Ability to foster and develop a team, promoting cooperation and collaboration among team members.
Meaningful experience with fully-remote or partially-distributed teams
Ability to prioritize multiple projects while accomplishing tasks that are urgent or of a sensitive or confidential nature as well as meeting competing deadlines and priorities.
Comfortable working in an environment where changes in process / procedures are the norm
Able to exercise sound and ethical judgment when acting on behalf of CAT Lab and the University
Experience in a leadership or administrative capacity, preferably but not limited to a university research group, department, or center
Familiarity with project management and planning for projects that involve designing software; engineering skills or experience are not required
Experience with public engagement or citizen science in any field
Rewards and Benefits:
We hope you appreciate great benefits. Cornell receives national recognition as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives.
Our benefits program includes comprehensive health care options, employee discounts with local and national retail brands, and generous retirement contributions.
Our leave provisions include three weeks of vacation and 12 holidays: e.g., an end-of-year winter break, from December 25 through January 1.
Cornell's impressive educational benefits include tuition-free Part-time Study and Employee Degree Program, Tuition Aid for external education, and Cornell Children's Tuition Assistance program.
No relocation assistance is provided for this position. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position
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About Cornell University
In 1865, Ezra Cornell founded an institution "where any person can find instruction in any study." From the beginning, all students were welcome, regardless of race, gender, ideology, or socioeconomic status. Today, we invite you to join our talented and diverse students and accessible faculty who, together, form a living and learning community unmatched in its breadth of opportunities.Cornell University's college, schools, and other academic units offer more than 4,000 courses, 70 undergraduate majors, 93 graduate fields of study, undergraduate and advanced degrees, and continuing education and outreach programs.