New America GradFUTURES Fellowship: Ranking Digital Rights (RDR)

New America GradFUTURES Fellowship (Ranking Digital Rights)

DIRECTOR: Jessica Dheere, Director of Ranking Digital Rights 

New America’s Ranking Digital Rights(RDR) ( seeks enthusiastic and motivated candidates with academic or work experience in law, technology, tech investing, or public or corporate policy, for a part-time internship/fellowship during the spring or summer of 2021. We’re looking for people who are passionate about tech policy and eager both to learn about complex issues in a rapidly-changing environment and explore diverse approaches to resolving them in support of more just, equitable societies.

RDR works to hold the world’s most powerful digital platforms and telecommunications companies accountable for their obligations to protect and respect human rights, particularly the free expression and privacy rights of their users. We publish the annual RDR Corporate Accountability Index ( as well as other research-driven newsletters and reports. We are currently growing and are looking to expand both our research and policy products and our strategic partnerships. RDR is led by Princeton alumna Jessica Dheere ’93 and its staff includes a diverse team of researchers, policy analysts, technologists, lawyers, journalists, and associates based all over the world. We welcome applications from candidates with interests in a range of internet policy, including but not limited to surveillance capitalism, content moderation, encryption, Internet governance, platform accountability, artificial intelligence, privacy, free expression, and civil liberties. We also encourage applications from candidates with a range of ideas and skills for exploring these issues. Relevant skills may include designing research methodologies, formulating policy briefs, developing applications, running messaging campaigns, or bringing new products or services to niche markets.

Selected applicants may have the opportunity to author or co-author blog posts, articles, research papers, as well as to work with others on the RDR team to design new research products or services or spearhead new strategic partnerships. Fellows/interns will also have the opportunity to attend webinars, conferences, and other events and to join RDR staff members attending meetings with allied coalitions, tech companies, investors, and policymakers.

Responsibilities of the internship and qualifications desired will depend on the focus of the candidate’s application, in either research, policy engagement, or nonprofit innovation and sustainability.

Physical demands: this position often requires completing work at a computer, as well as walking as part of day-to-day work and stakeholder engagement meetings. Whether this position will do its work in the New America office or from home will be determined during the hiring process and we anticipate that will change as circumstances dictate. Technological disruption, online discrimination, and the digital divide disproportionately affect historically marginalized communities in society, including people of color, women, and LGBTQIA people. RDR is committed to centering the needs of these communities in our work, and we strongly encourage applications from people with a diverse array of backgrounds to support this mission.

About New America

We are dedicated to renewing America by continuing the quest to realize our nation's highest ideals, honestly confronting the challenges caused by rapid technological and social change, and seizing the opportunities those changes create.

Our History:

New America was founded in 1999 to nurture a new generation of public intellectuals – scholars, policy experts, and journalists who could address major social, economic, and political challenges in ways that would engage the public at large – and to provide a set of blueprints for American renewal in an era of globalization and digitization. The initial challenge, which continues today, was to find the minds and foster the debates needed to guide American renewal in an era of profound, exhilarating, but often threatening change.

Under the leadership of Founding President Ted Halstead and his successor Steve Coll, New America became a vibrant intellectual community and public policy institute. Its Fellows and program staff have incubated and advanced breakthrough ideas in a wide range of domestic and international policy arenas.

Today we are a community of innovative problem-solvers, combining our core expertise in researching, reporting and analysis with new areas of coding, data science, and human-centered design to experiment and innovate nationally and globally. We prize our intellectual and ideological independence and our diversity, seeking to do our best work and to reflect the America we are becoming.

Our Work:

New America is pioneering a new kind of think and action tank: a civic platform that connects a research institute, technology lab, solutions network, media hub and public forum.

  • We generate big, bold ideas as templates for change.
  • We design and advance evidence-based public policies.
  • We surface, share, and scale locally generated and tested solutions to public problems through a national and global network of public, private, and civic partners.
  • We develop legal, political and technological tools to build democratic capacity and enable solutions to grow and spread.
  • We tell stories about what is happening and what is possible, to give Americans a window into what we are capable of achieving together and a vision of what a renewed America could and should be.

Our Vision:

As our institutions and ways of life are buffeted by change, we work for:

  • A society that promotes economic opportunity for all.
  • Equal representation in politics and participation in accountable governance.
  • A secure, prosperous America that lives up to its values and commitments at home and abroad.
  • Thriving families, individuals and communities with the time, stability and opportunity to lead self-directed lives.
  • Equitable, accessible, high-quality education and training over a lifetime.
  • Universal access to digital technology and its benefits across all communities.

The GradFUTURES Fellowship program offers highly curated experiential opportunities for graduate students at organizations who have partnered with the Graduate School. The fellowship opportunity below is currently accepting applications. All GradFUTURES Fellowships will be conducted in accordance with Princeton, local, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines.

To be considered, applicants must be currently enrolled Princeton graduate students in good academic standing and meet all application criteria on the application form found below.

Hear from Current and Former Fellows & Mentors!

Megan Armknecht, GS, HIS
Summer Intern, Bureau of Bureau of Public Affairs/ Office of the Historian in Washington D.C
"[T]his experience helped me form meaningful working relationships with other historians, and has been helpful in framing my prospectus for my dissertation. I am still exploring both academic and non-academic career tracks, and this internship experience was helpful in seeing what possibilities there were for a career outside of academia."
Leanne Clark-Shirley
Vice President of Programs and Thought Leadership

"As ASA is largely reimagining and rebuilding its programs, we felt this was the perfect time to bring on a different, unique perspective to help shape our work. Having Pallavi Podapati's knowledge and experience in disability is adding so much value to our work on the intersections of ageism and ableism."

Jessica Dheere '93
Director of Ranking Digital Rights, New America

"My career trajectory is far from predictable, from art history and Latin American studies to internet policy and the Middle East. But art history taught me how to look closely at things and describe what I see, rather than what I expect to see. Latin American studies, including a semester abroad in Mexico and a lot of other travel, taught me how interconnected we all are. In my career and in my life, I aim to synthesize the best of the analog world I was born into with the digital world that has since emerged and do my small part to make it a better, more inviting place for all..."

Anna Eddelbuettel Hancock, GS, CBE

I graduated in May 2020 with my B.S. in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. I spent the summer after my graduation interning with the cell therapy team at MilliporeSigma before starting graduate school here at Princeton.

"As an incoming first year student with limited prior industry experience, this…

Alicia M. Ejsmond-Frey, *19, CLA
GradFUTURES Summer Fellow, Open Innovation Team, Cabinet Office (London, UK)
"My department was surprised but delighted to find out that I was going to pursue a career in government, and in his introduction to my FPO the director of graduate studies said I was a good example of the various doors that a PhD opens other than the obvious one into academia."
Lynne Guey, GS, SPIA

"One of my projects as a Responsible AI Institute GradFUTURES Fellow involved assisting the Department of Defense with a project to integrate responsible AI practices into its procurement process. This opportunity gave me the chance to direct my graduate studies towards helping an institution with a relatively under-the-radar but pressing issue."

Rebekah Haigh, GS, REL
GradFUTURES Fellow

After completing a BS at Rochester College and MTS and ThM at Emory University, Rebekah Haigh became a Fulbright Fellow at Hebrew University in 2017-2018. In 2018, she joined the PhD program in Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity at Princeton. While her dissertation centers on ritual and violence in ancient Judaism, she also explores the role…

Debbie Hart
President and CEO, BioNJ

Debbie Hart worked alongside NJ’s biotechnology industry leaders to establish BioNJ in 1994 and has been dedicated to building NJ’s life sciences ecosystem ever since. Debbie was named by Governor Murphy to the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology where she serves as Vice Chair; as co-chair of the New Jersey Higher…

Max Horder, GS, ANT
University Administrative Fellow

I'm a fourth year graduate student working on Brexit and populism in the United Kingdom, where I am currently based. Whilst conducting fieldwork, I love growing my network and learning from other Princeton alums here in Europe who have gone in exciting directions.

I recently completed a University Administrative Fellowship with the…

Florence Hudson, '80, MAE
GradFUTURES Fellowship Sponsor

Florence Hudson is Executive Director of the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub at Columbia University, and Founder & CEO of FDHint, LLC, a global advanced technology and diversity & inclusion consulting firm. She is the project leader for the COVID Information Commons ( funded by NSF, providing an open…

Margaret Kurkoski, GS, ART

A scholar of Roman art and Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, Margaret Kurkoski is primarily focused on the relationship between architecture and décor at ancient villas. Drawing from textual and archaeological sources, her work investigates how individual decisions concerning properties, whether enacted by patrons, architects, or…

Cate Mahoney, *20, ENG
University Administrative Fellow
"In the spring I will teach my first class, and I'm super excited! I've found working with John and Stephanie to be like working with old friends."