Policy and Advocacy Officer or Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer, Technology and Democracy

Work Location: Washington, DC or Remote
Requisition Number: 1254
# of Openings: 1


About Freedom House


Established nearly 80 years ago, Freedom House works to defend and expand freedom globally to help secure a world where all are free. Around the world, antidemocratic forces are preventing billions of people from exercising their fundamental rights. We identify and analyze threats to freedom, mobilize decision makers to respond to those threats and seize opportunities for progress, and support activists and organizations working to defend and expand freedom. We are dedicated to ensuring that the United States serves as a positive model of democratic practice at home and a consistent champion of freedom globally. By gathering authoritative data and leveraging our global networks, Freedom House is an unwavering beacon in protecting human rights and promoting democratic governance. 


Freedom House’s technology and democracy work includes monitoring the global state of human rights online, analyzing digital threats to election integrity, and advocating for a free and open internet to democratic governments, the private sector, and other key audiences. Our flagship Freedom on the Net report analyzes and provides policy recommendations on the most pressing issues in the digital age, including censorship, surveillance, disinformation, and harassment.


About the Policy and Advocacy Team

The policy and advocacy team advocates for leadership by democratic governments to vigorously oppose dictators and oppression and strengthen democracy domestically and around the world. We amplify the voices of those struggling for freedom in repressive societies and counter authoritarian efforts to weaken international scrutiny of their regimes.


The US government is our primary advocacy target, and the team meets regularly with executive branch officials, Members of the US Congress, and staff. We also engage in advocacy with foreign government officials based in Washington, D.C. and support the advocacy activities of our program staff at multilateral institutions, regional bodies, and in countries where we have programming. We also conduct advocacy toward the private sector on an issue-specific basis.


The policy and advocacy team is responsible for overseeing the creation of all of Freedom House’s advocacy plans and policy recommendations, in coordination with our subject matter experts. The team also oversees Freedom House’s work with other US-based human rights organizations and coordinates sign on letters and policy-focused events. The team conducts advocacy trainings and helps prepare Freedom House staff and the human rights defenders we work with to meet with, brief, and testify before policymakers.


Position Description

The Policy and Advocacy Officer (or Senior Officer) will play a key role in crafting Freedom House’s positive agenda for human rights in the digital age. Working in close coordination with our in-house technology and democracy experts and our external civil society partners, this position will specifically advocate for policies that counter disinformation, online harassment, and online hate while protecting digital rights and access to a free and open internet. This role will also engage on broader technology and democracy topics as needed. Candidates should have detailed knowledge of these issues, previous experience advocating to US policymakers, and an eagerness to grapple with complicated policy questions. This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC and reports to the Vice President of Policy and Advocacy.


Key Responsibilities


  • Leading development—in close coordination with research colleagues focused on technology and democracy—of an advocacy strategy for countering disinformation, online harassment, and online hate while protecting digital rights and access to a free and open internet. This would include determining which USG and other government officials to meet with, which written products to produce, how to promote existing publications and move existing policy recommendations forward, etc.
  • Authoring first drafts of recommendations, policy briefs, and briefing materials.
  • Monitoring developments related to technology and democracy, including legislative proposals in the United States, to keep colleagues informed and recommend policy positions and advocacy interventions. Specifically, closely tracking and analyzing US legislative and policy proposals related to disinformation, online harassment, online hate, and intermediary liability.
  • Convening roundtables on key policy issues with subject matter experts, civil society partners, and others to assess challenges to digital rights and identify effective ways to counter disinformation, online harassment, and online hate.
  • Reviewing and recommending whether Freedom House should sign on to advocacy and coalition letters with partner organizations and other stakeholders around these issues. In addition, identifying and overseeing opportunities for Freedom House to draft and lead on coalition letters.
  • Leading the preparation of Freedom House staff for meetings, hearings, briefings, press interviews, or speaking engagements related to technology and democracy, or presenting on Freedom House’s behalf at such engagements and working with colleagues to prepare digital rights activists for meetings with policymakers.
  • Responding to incoming requests from policymakers for information related to technology and democracy issues, leading the creation of talking points, briefing memos, letters, press releases, and other written products as relevant, and tracking these requests for monitoring and evaluation purposes.
  • Working with research colleagues to arrange briefings of research related to technology and democracy.





  • Previous employment in the US Senate, US House, US Department of State, USAID, White House, or similar, with at least three years (officer) or at least five years (senior officer) of hands-on policy or advocacy experience and the ability to demonstrate success at moving legislation or policy positions.
  • Detailed understanding of issues related to technology and democracy broadly, and disinformation, online harassment, and online hate in particular.
  • Proven ability to research, analyze, and report on policy issues, including demonstrated experience drafting legislation, policy memos, and other written products relevant to policy and advocacy work.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Bachelor’s degree in international affairs, political science, or a related field, Master’s degree preferred for senior officer position.


Skills and Attributes:

  • A personal belief in and commitment to the inherent value of freedom, democracy, and human rights.
  • Strong knowledge of and belief in the importance of a free and open internet.
  • Strong writing and analytical abilities, including being able to synthesize large amounts of information, pulling out key points and drafting clear and concise language under tight deadlines.
  • Excellent verbal communication and public speaking skills.
  • Meticulous attention to detail.
  • Ability to prioritize between and manage competing urgent priorities and make progress on several projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to assess and recommend policy positions based on Freedom House’s lens toward bipartisan, pragmatic solutions.
  • High emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with multiple people across the organization, navigating a variety of working styles and diverse views, to drive the creation of policy recommendations.
  • Commitment to maintaining confidentiality and professional comportment around senior government officials, dignitaries, and CEOs.


Additional Information


  • Candidates must possess authorization to work in the United States.
  • Freedom House provides a strong benefits package, including a 403(b) retirement account, commuter benefits, flexible summer hours, floating holidays, high employer contributions to medical, dental, and vision premiums, basic and voluntary life and AD&D insurance, short- and long-term disability, flexible spending account, and more.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience, with a range of $50,000-$85,000. Pay grades at Freedom House prioritize equity across the organization. 
  • Diversity makes our work stronger. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.
  • The role may require light domestic and international travel to participate in conferences, briefings, and workshops.
  • Staff are currently working remotely due to Covid-19, and Freedom House is continuing to evaluate when, and under what circumstances, staff will return to the office. This position will start remote and will require mandatory relocation to Washington DC once circumstances allow.




Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors,  In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Freedom House, please call: 202-227-4308.

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