Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation that invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. We work on things that make democracy work better. At the heart of our vision for the future are three core commitments: fostering more effective governance in the United States, modernizing our election and campaign finance systems, and strengthening our media and the public square to help people understand and participate in the democratic process. To date, we have committed more than $70 million in support of a healthy democracy. Out of deep respect for the U.S. Constitution and our nation’s core democratic values, Democracy Fund was established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar. Incubated inside Omidyar Network, the Democracy Fund launched as an independent foundation in 2014 and is based in Washington, D.C. Learn more about Democracy Fund and our sister 501c4 organization Democracy Fund Voice by visiting www.democracyfund.org and www.democracyfundvoice.org.
The Democracy Fund seeks an Associate Director for Election Policy to lead its strategy for creating a modern election and registration system. The Associate Director will be responsible for implementing the Election Program’s efforts to modernize voter registration systems, improve and expand access to voting, and reduce the risk of systematic election failures. With this new role, the Democracy Fund seeks to expand its advocacy and defense of elections as a key component of American democracy.
The Associate Director, reporting to the Elections Program Director, will encourage the team’s adoption of evidence-based best practices, policy and technology in the elections field, and also will include direct advocacy and coalition building through Democracy Fund Voice, a 501c4 sister organization. The Associate Director will guide related research, network development, field evaluation and analysis, and the development of a portfolio of regional and national grantees working to generate change for a modern election system.
Successful candidates will be creative strategists with the ability to adapt quickly to an ever-changing environment. Additional characteristics include: a strong ability to connect and advocate for election policy in a complex environment, talent in managing relationships and coalitions collaboratively among diverse partners as well as in a highly bipartisan, fast-paced work environment, knowledge of the advocacy and policy space, and comfort to operate independently as well.
- Work with the Elections Program Director to lead overall efforts to modernize elections, including management of staff and consultants
- Lead the organization’s federal advocacy to modernize election and registration systems, including efforts to strengthen the US Election Assistance Commission
- Engage with lawmakers at both state and federal levels around election policy
- Direct a campaign to modernize voter registration systems through strategic advocacy at the local, state, and national levels, including support for litigation, education, communications, and technical support for implementation of the National Voter Registration Act
- Support growth of a national network of election officials and stakeholders that promotes best practices and tools to improve the voter experience
- Develop and implement a federal and state-based advocacy strategies that respond to emerging challenges to our election system
- Support Elections Program staff and consultants in a new initiative to develop new tools that promote better election management
Experimentation, Learning, and Thought Leadership
- Collaborate with the Democracy Fund’s Strategy, Impact, and Learning team and other Elections staff on a results framework and a learning agenda that allows the team to Integrate experiential learning to make its strategies more impactful
- Share progress and learning with key internal and external audiences in presentations, writings and other means, including working to develop reports, publications, and other materials. or graphics
- Support research and analysis of the field by monitoring trends, research, and new publications that inform our strategy and support the development of new programs and policies.
- Grow support for a modern election system by collaborating with peer funders (foundations and individuals) and other leaders in the field on research and initiatives
- Guide the growth of Democracy Fund’s grantmaking around voter registration policy and execution
- Fund grants at federal level with a focus on overall election landscape through rapid response and appropriations
- Assist with the development and management of a portfolio of local, state, and national grantees
- Develop and manage grant proposals, including experiments and “moonshots”
- Convene grantees to explore and share strategy and learning
- Monitor and support grantees’ progress and success
Team Leader and Member
- Manage and support growth of staff
- Actively support the success of others at the Democracy Fund and cultivate a highly collaborative, positive, and productive organizational culture
- Work closely with colleagues in Democracy Fund on complementary approaches to the other programs
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS
- Deep passion for strengthening American democracy
- Motivated to focus on elections and their fair executionAt least 8 years of progressively responsible professional experience
- Graduate/professional degree preferred
- Seasoned policy actor with working knowledge of election law and policy
- Commitment to diversity of thought and expression and desire to collaborate in a bipartisan environment with various political stakeholders
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills and attention to detail required
- Demonstrated success in developing and maintaining institutional, political, and personal relationships
- Creative strategist able to flex in an ever-changing environment.
- Proficiency in Microsoft office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint
- Interest in employing a systems approach to change (e.g. no “silver bullets”), bringing an ability to synthesize complex, nuanced information and develop innovative solutions
- Professional maturity and demonstrated ability to manage projects and people as required
- Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a team
- Must be willing to live in the Washington, DC, area; travel required.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume here. No calls please.
The Democracy Fund is committed to a diverse workplace, seeking voices and expertise from people from across the political spectrum. Our board, staff, advisors, and grantees include Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. The Democracy Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer, where we encourage candidates of all ages, color, ethnic background, country of origin, religion, disability status, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity to apply.