This position will play a key role in the expansion of the DFRLab’s policy work and research on China. You will be responsible for leading DFRLab research on Chinese information operations (IO), the Chinese information space, and the Chinese government’s impact on global democracy and human rights as it relates to its use, governance, and leveraging of technology. This will include ownership over existing DFRLab programs producing public reporting focused on Chinese disinformation narratives targeting domestic and international audiences. Such research will focus on identifying and explaining the origin and spread of narratives around elections, foreign investment, regional conflicts, and other issues pertaining to China’s sphere of influence. You will work closely with DFRLab’s policy, editorial, and research teams, as well as experts in the wider Atlantic Council, to support your day-to-day activities.

We are currently hiring for an immediate start-date. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will be accepted until a suitable candidate has been selected. While the below qualifications serve as a preferred baseline, the DFRLab is open to tailoring the position within reason to match the expertise of promising candidates.


  • Work with management, policy, and editorial teams to shape DFRLab’s research agenda on the Chinese information space and DFRLab policy work on technology and the future of democracy;
  • Conduct regular lit reviews and identify research gaps in the study of Chinese IO and related issues such as surveillance tech, data protections and privacy, big data and artificial intelligence, and regulatory frameworks, as well as China’s activity in shaping norms and leadership at multi-stakeholder and international bodies.
  • Serve as program manager for all activities related to DFRLab’s China portfolio and help identify, cultivate, and develop new projects of interest;
  • Conduct open-source investigative research into targeted information environments, evolving methodological trends, and the impact of Chinese-sponsored influence operations globally;
  • Lead DFRLab’s in-depth analytical work on China outlining and producing long-form reports, in addition to shorter-form public-facing case studies on research topics;
  • Help build and manage relationships with the scholar and practitioner communities, as well as international stakeholders;
  • Represent the DFRLab at relevant public engagements and conduct briefings for government officials and civil society on research outcomes;
  • Assist broader DFRLab reporting and programming, as needed.


  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience and demonstrated subject matter expertise;
  • English fluency with excellent research, writing, and editing skills;
  • Must be proficient in Mandarin;
  • Knowledge of the Chinese political landscape and international posture;
  • Experience with and a passion for using open-source research methodologies to investigate disinformation or narrative spread;
  • Demonstrated interest in the overlap between international relations, human rights, journalism, technological trends, social media, and the digital information environment;
  • Must have a strong research or journalistic background;
  • Must have project management experience;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including an ability to work well in a team and deal effectively with individuals ranging from interns to top representatives in government and the private sector;
  • Must be an entrepreneurial and detail-oriented self-starter and have the ability to work in a fast-paced environment;
  • An active presence on social media with a high degree of digital literacy is a plus.

About DFRLab

The DFRLab is building a movement. We hope you’ll be a part of it.

The Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) is a start-up incubated at the Atlantic Council. We’re different than most think tank teams, and we like it that way. DRFLab is an action-oriented center producing timely primary research, training an ecosystem of others who share our passion, and convening those on the front lines of our industry to elevate new ideas and chart a path forward.

Join our fast-paced and truly global team as we work to further the DFRLab’s mission:

  • To forge digital resilience at a time when humans are more interconnected and have more access to information than at any point in history.
  • To promote objective fact as a foundation of government for and by people.
  • To identify, expose, and explain disinformation when and where it occurs.
  • To protect democratic institutions and norms from those who would undermine them online.
  • To develop a new field and network of expertise adapted for impact and real-world results.

The DFRLab is at the forefront of open-source research with a focus on governance, security, technology, media, and where each intersects. Our method and approach allow us to inform the public and policymakers on issues such as protracted conflicts, breaking crises, and election integrity, in a uniquely tangible and data-driven way. We do this by:

  • Defining the role of the internet and other technologies in both promotion and defense of free and open societies.  
  • Charting the evolution of disinformation and other online and technological harms, especially as they relate to the DFRLab’s leadership role in establishing shared definitions, frameworks, and mitigation practices. 
  • Studying the emerging global information competition and battle for digital influence and technological dominance, recognizing that this represents the harbinger of a broader paradigm shift in international affairs. 
  • Working directly with government, media, tech, and civil society on their collective responsibility in democracy and toward digital resilience. 

Please note: Atlantic Council is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to inclusion and diversity. We take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity for all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, Veteran status, or other legally protected characteristics. Atlantic Council is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to applicants with physical and mental disabilities. Thank you for your interest in the Atlantic Council.

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