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Program Associate, Congressional Capacity

ABOUT US:

The 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. 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 $50 million in support of a healthy democracy.

Out of deep respect for the U.S. Constitution and our nation’s core democratic values, the 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. More information about the Democracy Fund and our sister 501c4 organization Democracy Fund Voice may be found at www.democracyfund.org and www.democracyfundvoice.org.

POSITION SUMMARY:

The Democracy Fund is seeking a Program Associate to support the Congressional Capacity strategy within the Governance Program. The Congressional Capacity strategy involves grant-making and other efforts to expand and deepen bipartisan relationships and increase legislative productivity. Such efforts may involve relationship building, training, and constituent outreach, as well as innovative approaches to improving Congressional rules and procedures, office operations, and efficiency.

We are looking for candidates who are passionate about making our political system, especially Congress, work better. Strong candidates will possess a nuanced understanding of how Congress works, bring several years of experience working in Congress, think systemically, pro-actively problem solve, and exhibit excellent writing and speaking skills. The successful candidate will have a track record of working well with others to get things done in a complex, fast-paced environment and will thrive as part of a small, highly collaborative team. As we are a bipartisan organization, the willingness and ability to work well across the aisle is essential.

The Program Associate, who will report the Associate Director for Congressional Capacity, will source and evaluate grant opportunities, develop new opportunities, and help our portfolio of grantees succeed. The Program Associate will work closely with Governance Program colleagues to advance Congressional Capacity goals through research, thought leadership, convenings, and collaboration with a network of partners and peer funders.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Grant Making

  • Work with the team to identify, develop, and evaluate grant-making opportunities for the Congressional Capacity strategy, aligned with our overall strategy and budget, and support due diligence, negotiation, and grant structuring
  • Manage the operational procedures and documentation associated with making grants, including proposal materials, organizational documentation, grant agreements, record keeping, and reporting requirements
  • Provide support to and oversight of grantees to help ensure their success, where trust and relationship-building are essential to the way we partner with our grantees

Research, Policy, Learning, and Impact

  • Work with the team to analyze how the systems that we seek to influence operate and identify points of leverage that we may influence
  • Collaborate with the Research Associate in monitoring trends, research, and new publications in the field to inform our work
  • Engage as needed to support the development of new programs and policies within our initiatives and across the organization through research and study
  • Participate in the development and deployment of the effort’s communications strategy
  • Help to share our learning with the field and establish the Democracy Fund brand through research, writing, and public speaking

Convener and Collaborator

  • Work with Democracy Fund staff to convene reform leaders, academics, political leaders, and others to facilitate increased dialogue and collaboration in the field, managing relationships, and logistics associated with events as appropriate
  • Build relationships with program officers at other foundations, participate in philanthropic conferences, organize regular funder conversations, and otherwise support collaboration with peer funders

Team Member

  • Actively work to support the success of other staff members not only within the Governance Program but of the entire Democracy Fund team and cultivate an organizational culture that is highly collaborative, positive, and productive
  • Collaborate with colleagues on supportive and complementary approaches that advance Democracy Fund’s overall mission and goals

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS:

  • Deep passion for strengthening American democracy
  • A minimum of 3-5 years of experience working in Congress, political reform, or collaborative governance, though more experience preferred
  • MPP, MBA, JD, or equivalent preferred
  • Strong relationships with organizational leaders and experts in the field
  • Exceptional communication skills (verbal and written), including the willingness and ability to communicate and collaborate with a diversity of leaders and stakeholders from across the political spectrum and different walks of life
  • Proficiency in Microsoft office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and comfort with online tools for project and contact management
  • Professional maturity, demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment
  • Skilled in pro-actively handling multiple assignments simultaneously and prioritizing tasks and deadlines with an attention to detail to deliver high quality results
  • Strong strategic skills and proven ability to translate strategy into action
  • Success in developing and maintaining institutional, political, and personal relationships
  • Ability to travel periodically for project work
  • Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Willingness to live in the Washington, D.C. area is required.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. 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. We welcome and encourage candidates of all ages, colors, ethnic backgrounds, countries of origin, religions, disability statuses, sexual orientations, genders, and/or gender identities to apply.

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