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Director of Algorithm Assessment and Technology Insight

Premium Job From The Competition and Markets Authority
Recruiter: The Competition and Markets Authority
Listed on: 24th December 2021
Location: London or Manchester
Salary/Rate: £91,754 - £105,000
Salary Notes: £91,754 - £105,000 pa
Type: Permanent
Start Date: ASAP

It's a fascinating time to be at the heart of competition and consumer protection, as our lives become increasingly digital and as we grapple as a society with the unique power of large technology firms.

Most of us in the UK use digital products and services every day whether to search, connect with family and friends, to shop or to work. And similarly, businesses advertise or sell their products digitally. We receive these products and services from firms who often use AI, machine learning, or other algorithms and a range of other technologies. It is vital that agencies charged with protecting consumers and our economy keep up to speed with technological developments and develop tools to prevent and remedy harm.

How can competition and consumer protection agencies effectively interrogate and understand firms' machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms? To what extent should we monitor emerging technologies and oversee their use? If you are excited about answering these questions, this could be the role for you.

The CMA established the new Data, Technology and Analytics (DaTA) unit in early 2019, to increase its digital capabilities and support its work. In early 2020 the DaTA unit created a Data and Technology Insight team to support cases through an understanding of technology and to monitor and build understanding of emerging technologies. This team will be growing in the next few months to 10 people. And in January 2021 the DaTA unit launched the Analysing Algorithms programme to understand and interrogate firms' use of algorithms within existing cases and as well as developing new cases.

We are looking for someone to lead these important areas of work and be an integral member of the leadership team of the DaTA unit.

As Director of Algorithm Assessment and Technology Insight, you will lead the CMA's Analysing Algorithms programme and oversee the growing Data and Technology Insight team and some data science (depending on your background). Your responsibilities will include:

  • Leading cases that involve analysing algorithms and building the CMA's algorithmic analysis toolkit
  • Overseeing data and technology input into competition and consumer protection cases
  • Monitoring and building understanding of emerging technologies

You will represent the DaTA unit internally at the CMA and externally, building relationships with academics and key industry figures to ensure the CMA is close to and up to date on the latest thinking. 

The unit is world-leading within competition and consumer agencies and there is a substantial opportunity to make a difference. You can shape how the CMA and others - academics, other regulators domestically and internationally, consumer organisations, the OECD - think about AI, data and technology. And you can affect which issues the CMA addresses and through cases, directly protect consumers and prevent harm.

We are looking for the successful candidate to have a proven track record of delivering programmes and projects in technology policy, data science or another relevant field. And you will have knowledge of the use of data and technology based on a mix of work experience or formal learning. This could be a master's degree in a quantitative subject such as computer science, applied mathematics, physics, the life sciences or economics with relevant work experience of algorithms or of new and emerging technologies. Or you might have a PhD and less work experience, a bachelor's degree and more experience, or no quantitative degree but on-the-job technical learning.              

The successful candidate must have a strong ability to shape projects analysing data or technology - including learning new techniques as needed - and a proven track record of ensuring high standards and project delivery.

You will have experience of providing strong and inspirational management, leadership and development to a technical team in a high pace environment.

You must also have high quality stakeholder management and the ability and confidence to network and build relationships with leading technologists in industry and other senior decision-makers, as well as excellent communication skills with the ability to write reports and articles, and to deliver presentations to non-technical audiences.

Lastly, you will have ability to create an environment that celebrates diversity and inclusion and promotes a culture of respect towards colleagues at all levels.

The CMA is a world leading competition and consumer agency at the forefront of tackling these questions and other pressing public policy issues. Our mission is to make markets work well in the interests of consumers. We undertake objective, evidence-based analysis that can have a direct and substantial impact on people in the UK and economic prosperity more generally.

All CMA staff enjoy generous benefits, including an excellent pension scheme, at least 25 days leave (increasing to 30 over five years), and generous maternity/paternity leave provision. You can also take advantage of interest-free season ticket loans, a cycle to work scheme, our employee assistance programme and favourable consideration of flexible working.

For full details about this role and the benefits of working at the CMA, please click on the apply button below.

Closing date: 24 January 2022.

The CMA are an equal opportunities employer and we recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

Contact Name: Competition & Markets Authority
Reference: TJ/6041/175931
Job ID: 3022741

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