Open Cities team, Sunlight Foundation


City halls around the country are increasingly turning to data to drive digital infrastructure, efficient service delivery, and informed public decision-making. We believe in a future of cities, however, that is not just data-driven but data-democratized. Just as open government data is a strategic asset for mayors and city councils in governing, it also is fundamentally relevant to civic discourse, participatory democracy, public services, and urban planning. Cities become more transparent, accountable, and participatory through the proactive release of open government data.

Storytelling is critical to advance our vision for a more democratic, transparent, and accountable 21st-century city. Stories are critical not only to inform the public and public officials about how city halls and city residents are using open data and technology, but also to illustrate a compelling vision for how urban data should be utilized to advance the public interest by improving city life, city streets, city neighborhoods, and city government.

And that’s where you’ll come in.

As a core part of our Open Cities team, you’ll be documenting trends and advocating for best practices in information policy and implementation in cities. You’ll be adding key context to Sunlight’s research, advocacy, and technical assistance.


Your responsibilities will include:

  • Writing about news, events, and Sunlight’s work on cities and data, including covering our projects to supporting open data policy and practice, with a primary focus on the What Works Cities initiative
  • Editing our contributions to Sunlight’s blog and library of white papers and letters, including proposing series, maintaining an editorial calendar, and working with our analysts on their publications  
  • Creating and administering surveys, conducting interviews to uncover insights, and publishing raw source data for use by other journalists
  • Analyzing civic data to find trends and publishing the results through visualizations, maps, graphs, and infographics, and the methodology and data used to create it
  • Documenting best practices for communicating with and about open data, including support for city communications staff
  • Creating resources that guide local journalists and city staff in the use of data in communications
  • Supporting the Open Cities team with media relations and public speaking engagements
  • Contributing to Sunlight’s social media accounts and email newsletters

We expect you to have:

  • Demonstrated interest in the intersection of cities, technology and government transparency, and/or government reform
  • Commitment to making governments transparent and accountable
  • Passion for and experience in evidence-based approaches
  • Strong writing and communications skills
  • Strong analytical skills, including comfort with spreadsheets
  • Familiarity and comfort with data visualization

We’d love it if you have some of these too:

  • Experience with social science research methods and statistics
  • Experience working on or writing about public policy
  • Experience creating open data journalism, including publishing data, code, and methodology online
  • Strong data visualization skills, including a portfolio of charts, graphics, and maps
  • Experience with photojournalism, video journalism, or other multimedia storytelling


This is a full-time position based at Sunlight Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office. The Storyteller will report to Sunlight’s Open Cities Director. Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

Paid medical, prescription and dental coverage; disability and life insurance. Retirement plan with matching funds. Generous paid vacation, holiday, sick leave and family and medical leave benefits. Metro benefits and Flexible Spending Account.



Please email the following to with the phrase “Storyteller” in the subject line:

  1. A statement of interest
  2. A resume
  3. A writing sample and link to your portfolio

Principals only. No phone calls, please.

The Sunlight Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status. Sunlight is a nonpartisan organization.