Forensic Science Policy Manager
ABOUT THE INNOCENCE PROJECT
The Innocence Project works to free the innocent, prevent wrongful convictions, and create fair, compassionate, and equitable systems of justice for everyone. Founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the organization is now an independent nonprofit. Our work is guided by science and grounded in antiracism. Since our inception, the Innocence Project has used DNA and other scientific advancements to prove wrongful conviction. To date, we have helped to free or exonerate more than 200 people who, collectively, spent more than 3,600 years behind bars. Our efforts have led to the passage of more than 200 transformative state laws and federal reforms. Today, the Innocence Project continues to fight for freedom, drive structural change, and advance the innocence movement.. To learn more, please visit www.innocenceproject.org.
ABOUT THE POSITION
The Innocence Project is a not-for-profit organization that works to exonerate innocent prisoners through post-conviction DNA testing and develop and implement policy changes to prevent wrongful convictions and otherwise reform the criminal justice system.
The Forensic Science Policy Manager will play a critical role in the Innocence Project’s national effort to strengthen the scientific basis and equitable implementation of forensic science methods, investigative technologies, and forensic medicine used in criminal investigations and prosecutions. This groundbreaking work sits at the intersection of law and science and focuses on improving scientific, medical, and technological evidence by advocating for scientific foundation and implementation research, encouraging the development of rigorous national standards traceable to rigorous empirical evidence, and ensuring that this evidence is applied within its scientific limits, justly implemented, and interrupts existing structural racial inequities in their use across the nation’s criminal legal system.
In addition to managing the Innocence Project’s participation in forensic science standards setting processes in collaboration with the Forensic Science Policy Associate, the Forensic Science Policy Manager will serve on specific standards development organizations and organize stakeholders to produce comments on standards. The Forensic Science Policy Manager will also support federal and state campaigns by providing technical support on laws, policies, and practices that will advance or reform the scientific rigor, quality management, and error management response of forensic science systems in the United States. The ideal candidate possesses a deep understanding of the forensic science system (especially forensic DNA applications), the intersection of science and law in the criminal process, the Innocence Project’s role in the criminal legal system, and an interest in policy work that includes federal and state legislative processes as well as stakeholder and coalition building. This position will require a moderate level of travel.
The Forensic Science Policy Manager reports to the Senior Advisor on Forensic Science Policy and works in close collaboration with key members of the Policy staff as well as forensic science focused staff across departments in our New York office.
All Innocence Project employees must embrace, respect and value the rich diversity of perspectives and experience of a diverse and heterogeneous staff. We recognize and appreciate that our work is better for having varied participants and thought partners.
We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas.
While the Innocence Project has supported remote work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently committed to a hybrid workplace with two days per week in-office. All staff are currently provided a private workspace with a closed-door for the time being.
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate has a deep understanding of the forensic science system, an expertise in forensic DNA, and an interest in mechanisms of policy work. They demonstrate a high degree of emotional intelligence, an ability to thrive in quick-paced and high-pressure environments, approach their work with a level of sincerity and humility, and embrace teamwork. The candidate must also be able to handle the dynamic demands of policy work which may require working after hours and moderate travel.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
FORENSIC SCIENCE POLICY
- Build and effectively manage relationships with stakeholders across scientific, medical, and criminal legal communities Provide general staff support to all federal and state initiatives to improve the scientific rigor, quality management, or error management responses of forensic science systems Analyze and digest major studies, reports, grant solicitations, legislation, and other relevant materials relating to the use of the forensic sciences in criminal prosecutions Assist with drafting legislative testimony, position statements, research memos, digests, and advocacy materials for forensic reform issues Attend relevant conferences and meetings to advance understanding of developments in forensic science and serve as an organizational and Network resource for forensic science knowledge
FORENSIC SCIENCE STANDARDS LEADERSHIP
- Manage our participation in the forensic science standard setting process, including preparation of public comments, appeals processes, and participation on review panels. Coordinate with other Network organizations and stakeholders to identify and prioritize standards for comment, soliciting feedback, and drafting submissions to standards development organizations. Participate as the Innocence Project’s representative on the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Academy Standards Board DNA Consensus Body and ASTM to advance the development of sound, science-driven standards and their just and equitable implementation in the criminal legal system Lead development of Innocence Project responses to forensic science standards and other technical documents put out for public review
QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE
- Must have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field or equivalent work experience. The ideal candidate will have a graduate degree in a STEM field and/or equivalent research experience. At least 5 years of professional work. Must have at least three (3) years experience working in a laboratory or testing setting. The ideal candidate will have experience in scientific benchwork, quality management practices, and/or policies and protocol development. Forensic science experience is a plus. Must have an expertise in the conduct or evaluation of forensic DNA analysis Must have impeccable writing skills and the ability to write for multiple audiences Experience with synthesizing information from multiple sources, with analyzing and communicating complex scientific issues, and articulating a stance in a cogent manner. Experience speaking in public and the ability to advance the organization’s goals in professional meetings of diverse stakeholders Must have a deep understanding of the intersection of science and the law, a demonstrated commitment to social justice and criminal legal system reform, and working knowledge of the criminal process, especially as it relates to scientific evidence Ability to travel 15% - 25% of time. (Due to COVID-19, non-essential travel has been suspended until further notice.) Experience working with a broad range of criminal justice stakeholders preferred. Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S.
- A self-starter who has the capacity to take on new challenges, is receptive to feedback, can work independently, but knows when to ask questions or seek support Makes clear and convincing oral presentations, listens effectively, and clarifies information as needed. Ability to develop a broad view of an environment, identifies key interdependencies and then devises multiple approaches to achieve desired results. Ability to quickly read and navigate an environment then establishes credibility with key individuals for the purpose of persuading them to support a shared cause. Ability to interact effectively with individuals from different demographic identities by maintaining respect where values and perspectives may differ in pursuit of common goals. A strong commitment to social justice and criminal justice and wrongful conviction reform as it pertains to contributing factors related to science and technology. Must be able to work with groups of diverse individuals in respectful, equitable, and inclusive ways. Enthusiasm for the work of the Innocence Project and for social justice, including a demonstrated commitment to public interest Shares values of equity, excellence, collaboration, humanity, integrity, respect, and accountability
COMPENSATION, BENEFITS & PERKS
The salary for this position is highly competitive and the Innocence Project offers an excellent benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurance, Flexible Spending Account, 401k plan with company-match, and company-paid transportation benefits.
WORKFORCE DIVERSITY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
The Innocence Project considers the diversity of its workforce to be vital to our organization’s success in meeting its mission. We strongly encourage applicants from all cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, age, gender, and physical abilities to apply. Individuals with personal connections to the criminal legal system are strongly encouraged to apply.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is our policy not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, familial status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, actual or perceived domestic violence victim status, unemployment status, caregiver status, or any other category protected by law.
To apply, please upload a cover letter expressing your interest in the role and the organization’s work, and a resume titled with your name (last name. first name. cover letter/resume). Only applications with cover letters will be considered complete applications. Information submitted through this secure site is kept confidential. Due to the large volume of applications, we are unable to give applicant updates by phone or direct email.
**Applications for this position will be considered on a rolling basis until the post is filled.**
$78,625 - $92,500