Job Location: Atlantic Council Headquarters – Washington, DC
Position Type: Full-Time
Job Category: GeoTech Center

About the Atlantic Council

Driven by our mission of “working together to secure the future,” the Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the Atlantic Community’s central role in meeting global challenges. The Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century in order to adapt, revitalize, and defend the international rules-based order. Through the papers we write, the ideas we generate, and the communities we build, the Council shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more secure and prosperous world.

Our focus on results attracts an extended network of global citizens who join our community of influence. For heads of state and government, the Council is a powerful platform for connecting with a uniquely relevant audience. Businesses find a place for understanding our rapidly evolving world, its impacts on markets, and means to contribute to the public interest. For global strategists, we are a vehicle to navigate the trends shaping the future.  

The Council’s fourteen programs and centers work together in a way that mirrors how real policy is created: not in a vacuum, but in a collaborative effort that draws from a range of expertise to address multiple issues and steered by an over-arching strategy and worldview.

The Atlantic Council community believes that by working together, we can and should secure a better global future. Succeeding in our mission requires the hard work of building consensus, including rather than excluding partners, while also broadening awareness of our mission’s importance among the public and preparing a new generation of leaders to take up the mantle of fostering a better global future.

The position will be based in Washington, DC or – for the right candidate who wants to work remotely or is based in Silicon Valley or a similar tech startup hub – will require periodic travel to DC (not to exceed 20% of a given month). Management of remote work and teleworking teams will be required, to include occasional odd hours as circumstances require. When conditions permit, international travel will also occur. The Atlantic Council offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with experience.

The Atlantic Council of the United States is an equal opportunity employer.

About the GeoTech Center

On 11 March 2020, the Atlantic Council GeoTech Center officially launched with the focused mission of: Championing positive paths forward that nations, economies, and societies can pursue to ensure new technologies and data empower people, prosperity, and peace. GeoTech specifically focused on how data and new technologies impact geopolitics and how geopolitics impact data and new technologies.

That same day, COVID-19 was declared an official pandemic. Since then, the Center has focused on connecting tech and data efforts across sectors and across nations to ensure we emerge from the pandemic stronger post-COVID-19 together. The work of the GeoTech Center is focused on bridging industry and governmental efforts across sectors and nations in six key areas.

  • Future of Data and Artificial Intelligence
  • Future of Sensemaking and Pluralistic Perspectives
  • Future of Trust and Next-Generation Supply Chains
  • Future of Work and Augmenting Human Activities
  • Future of Space and Commercialization of Space Activities
  • Future of Health and Biotechnology Endeavors

Over the next several months, the Atlantic Council will convene the GeoTech Commission – specifically the Commission on the Geopolitical Impacts of New Technologies and Data – that includes distinguished leaders from the United States Congress, global industry, and highly respected academia. The Commission will recommend pragmatic, actionable projects the United States and its Allies can do that benefit people, prosperity, and peace globally, especially with the post-COVID-19 recovery. Once the Commission releases its final recommendations in 2021, the Commission will become the de facto Advisory Committee for the GeoTech Center.

Position Description and Responsibilities

The primary focus of this position is day-to-day management and scaling, through aggressive business development, of the GeoTech Center. In collaboration with the Director, the GeoTech Deputy Director will be responsible for managing a small team to include Associate/Assistant Director(s), Program Assistant(s) and Intern(s) and interfacing with several non-resident senior fellows. Excellent leadership and hands-on managerial skills are a must. The Deputy Director will play a pivotal role in managing complex partnerships within and outside of the Council and must be willing to master ambiguity.

The Deputy Director will also play an integral role in the recruitment, training, and professional development of all direct hires as well as the selection of additional non-resident senior fellows. As a dual-hatted Resident Senior Fellow for the GeoTech Center on Digital Technologies, the successful candidate for this position will take the lead role in one of the action-oriented initiatives associated with the Center.

Deputy Director, GeoTech Center

  • Management.The Deputy Director will work with the Director to manage and coordinate all relevant center budgeting and administrative responsibilities. The Deputy Director will work with the Director to manage and coordinate the day-to-day interactions of the GeoTech Team.
  • Collaboration. The Deputy Director will also be expected to help coordinate the Center’s work with the other 13 centers and programs at the Atlantic Council. The Deputy Director will also work with the Director to organize the GeoTech Center’s public and private engagements. Where the Deputy Director needs to interact with experts on a GeoTech field, they will have the ability to engage GeoTech Fellows and Senior Fellows for events, reports, and additional Atlantic Council engagements.
  • Development. The Deputy Director will work with the Director on fundraising goals for the Center and help the Director meet those goals. The Deputy will independently craft proposals for funding and generate financial support for new and existing lines of programming. Working with the Council leadership and Office of External Relations, continue to build the program’s funding base by sustaining current financial support and pursuing additional support from corporations, government agencies, international organizations, foundations, and individuals.
  • Intellectual Leadership. The Deputy Director will develop concepts for, write, and oversee the production of the strategy paper to scale the GeoTech Center, major projects and programs, policy documents, long-form reports, and shorter writings.
  • Communications. The Deputy Director will also moderate and participate in private and public events, both in-person and virtual, at the Atlantic Council and outside institutions. This will include video and audio live streams. The Deputy Director will represent the Center at a range of events both inside and outside the Council, and – recognizing the field of GeoTech is vast – be comfortable speaking on several topics, if not all topics, within the Center’s scope.

Resident Senior Fellow on Digital Technologies, GeoTech Center

The secondary focus of this position is the primary Resident Senior Fellow on Digital Technologies for the GeoTech Center, with the expectation that in addition to serving as Deputy Director for the Center, the position will take a lead role in one of the action-oriented initiatives associated with the Center. Key skills:

  • Either experience with tech and data startups in Silicon Valley OR experience with the national security community, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community on issues related to tech and data. The ideal candidate will possess some of both.
  • A willingness and capacity to work across borders and develop cultural competence – both in terms of national cultures as well as tech and organizational cultures. The ideal candidate will have a passion for both learning and helping others learn about new developments in society, data, and tech.
  • A love of “Getting Stuff Done” well to include managing, in partnership with the GeoTech Director, a diverse and inclusive Team of passionate GeoTech Staff and Fellows – combined with professionalism to interact with poise before CEOs, 3- and 4-star Generals, top diplomats and Ambassadors, and top scientists and engineers globally.

Below are the three current initiatives, with further refinements planned with the initial release of the GeoTech Commission’s draft recommendations in late 2020. Possible action-oriented initiatives that a successful candidate for this position would lead are one of the possible digital technology efforts below, there may be others better suited for the specific candidate:

  • Encouraging the use of “Data Trusts for Good” to overcome the challenges of sufficient data to address the COVID-19 crisis and inform the long-term recovery and global rebuilding without becoming a surveillance state. Data Trusts can inform COVID-19 recovery activities of all types and be used to train AI and algorithms in a way that ensures proprietary data is protected, personal data is protected, and data is deleted after a certain point. Working with industry and government partners, the Atlantic Council can help oversee COVID-19 Data Trusts.
  • Galvanizing activities to remedy the Global Food Crisis resulting from COVID-19. Though some nations and regions have been faster to respond than others, there still is a looming global food crisis and a challenge of logistics and distribution. There is also a concern that some more authoritarian or unstable regions of the world may intentionally deprive groups of food, which is not moral or right. Technology and data can make sure the food that is available to people who need it – as well as work to address food currently being destroyed because it cannot get to market instead reaches those who need it. We must work together to avoid the destabilizing effects that regional famines could bring to the world.
  • Launching a Global Pandemic Prevention Board, or equivalent, to field technologies necessary to autonomously detect and respond to future pandemics – be they natural or human-caused. This is necessary because there might be a second wave of COVID-19. Also, as we approach a future where personalized medicine is possible, so is personalized poison, so we will need ways to detect, characterize, and mitigate future bio-threats. The Board would field technologies to do globally as a part of an “Immune System for the Planet” which could also enhance early warning and preparedness relative to other global destabilizing events, such as environmental and ecological change, pollution, and other events that impact us all.

Qualifications

  • Experience with tech and data startups in Silicon Valley OR experience with the national security community, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community on issues related to tech and data. The ideal candidate will possess some of both.
     
  • A master’s degree OR 3 additional years of deep professional experience in lieu of such a degree. Ideal candidates will have a degree in a relevant field of either data, technology, public policy, international relations, or geopolitics.
     
  • 7+ base years of combined professional experience in a relevant field of either data, technology, public policy, international relations, or geopolitics. Candidates without a master’s degree can substitute 3 additional years of deep professional experience in lieu of such a degree.
     
  • Proven track record in managing multiple projects simultaneously and a demonstrated ability to work efficiently and collaboratively with both junior-level and senior-level colleagues.
     
  • Proven track record of scaling new initiatives, whether they be in the public or private sector.
     
  • Ability to effectively communicate with, rapidly draft and edit reports for, and dynamically represent the Atlantic Council to external constituencies. These constituencies include corporate executives from around the world, senior government officials both in the U.S. and internationally, diplomats, board members, and donors.
     
  • Accomplished track-record in managing small teams, fundraising, and financial management; excellent organizational, logistical, and administrative skills.
     
  • Entrepreneurial and both a team player and an internal team coach, who can balance multiple tasks and remain flexible, adaptive, and positive in a fast-paced environment.
     
  • The ideal candidate will be motivated to tackle new issues and unsolved global challenges involving data, tech, and the state of societies around the world; the ideal candidate also will be motivated to be a community bridge builder, non-partisan yet values-led, and committed to diversity and inclusion in their work with the Center.