Policy Research Director
AFL-CIO Technology Institute

Based in Washington, DC


JOB TITLE: Policy Research Director
DEPARTMENT: AFL-CIO Technology Institute
REPORTS TO: Director of Technology Institute

The AFL-CIO Technology Institute is a new dynamic organization launched in 2021 to inject the voices of working people and unions into the multi-faceted innovation & technology sectors, to reform innovation policy, and to ensure that technology isn’t just a tool to jettison good jobs and deskill workers. Creation of the Institute was a core recommendation of the 2019 AFL-CIO Commission on the Future of Work and Unions, a multi-sector collaborative of union leaders determined to build a powerful strategy to prepare our movement for the onslaught of change in our work.

The Technology Institute is seeking a Research Director to advance the Institute’s vision and mission. The newly-established Technology Institute’s mission is to make new technology improve the lives of working people. From Congressional offices to the bargaining table and shop floor, this is a unique opportunity to shape the future for working people across the country.


  • Play key leadership role in developing Technology Institute policy frameworks for governing/regulating digital technologies, including AI. This involves research, policy analysis, and developing/maintaining partnerships with key stakeholders and allies.
  • Work with Technology Institute Director, staff, and key AFL-CIO staff and affiliate staff to develop the Technology Institute’s research agenda and strategy (this is a startup position requiring vision, collaboration, strategy development, and implementation).
  • Research technologies (especially AI related technologies), technology companies and traditional union employers and sectors to better understand threats/opportunities and determine present and future impact of technology on workers and jobs.
  • Develop partnerships with researchers focused on digital technologies, including AFL-CIO and its affiliate unions, global partners, and other civil society organizations.
  • Work together with researchers from affiliate unions to research digital technologies, including AI, and their impacts.
  • Research, prepare memos, policy briefs, advocacy statements and white papers concerning digital technologies, including AI and AI policy in the US and other countries.
  • Develop educational materials for a diverse set of audiences, including AFL-CIO affiliates to help unions and allies develop knowledge and understanding of digital technologies.
  • Coordinate with the advocacy department and with affiliates to craft policy and support advocacy strategies on digital technologies, including AI. This may include some legislative tracking and engagement with Hill staff.
  • Engage with Institute team, affiliates and allies on an innovation policy reform agenda including boosting union and worker voice in our federal R&D program, developing worker-centered proposals as Congress reauthorizes and funds large scale innovation programs across the US government, and engaging on global trade issues on digitization, AI and other technology issues.
  • Support the Institute’s work with the AFL-CIO and affiliate unions on research and policy development in capturing domestic manufacturing and supply chain job creation opportunities as new technologies emerge.
  • Participate in and lead workshops, trainings, and briefings about digital technologies
  • Support Technology Institute Director and key AFL-CIO leadership in developing research for public statements, op-eds, testimony, and other public documents.
  • Recruit and supervise research staff as necessary.
  • Self-starter, ability to work with teams and solo.
  • Resourceful and creative. Ability to problem solve and offer recommendations and solutions when needed.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • Minimum of 10 years of research and policy work.
  • Strong knowledge of the labor movement and the broader fight for economic justice.
  • Excellent corporate, policy and financial research skills. Knowledge and basic understanding of worker rights/labor law, civil rights law, civil liberties law a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to adjust tones and capture diverse voices for varying audiences.
  • Ability to exercise excellent political judgment and complete discretion.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to translate complex ideas for a variety of audiences.
  • Confidence and ability to establish effective working relationships at all levels.
  • Ability to collaborate and work well with staff.
  • Track record of training new researchers.
  • Proficient research and writing skills and engaging writing style.
  • Demonstrated success in writing a range of materials (memo, policy briefs, letters, etc.).
  • Demonstrated ability to read and analyze sources and understand and translate nuances.
  • Demonstrated ability to research and write on deadline while juggling several projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to work long and extended hours.

Based in Washington DC (headquarters)

Salary: $120,000

The AFL-CIO Technology Institute is an equal opportunity employer.

Please provide a cover letter, references and writing and work samples to: nsommerkamp@aflcio.org.

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