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. 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.
The Democracy Fund seeks an Associate Director for Modern Elections to lead its strategy for creating a modern election 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.
The Associate Director, a newly created position reporting to the Elections Program Director, will also support the team’s work to encourage the adoption of evidence-based best practices and technology in the elections field, which will include direct advocacy and coalition building through Democracy Fund Voice, a 501c4 sister-organization. The Associate Director also will support 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.
The successful candidate will be an excellent manager with demonstrated policy reform and management experience. Strong candidates will possess deep expertise in the field of election administration or a related area of public policy and will be comfortable collaborating in a highly bipartisan, fast-paced work environment.
Modern Elections Initiative
- Work with the Elections Program Director to lead efforts to modernize elections, managing a small number of staff and consultants
- 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
- Advise and support creation of a national network of election officials and stakeholders to share and adopt best practices and tools that improve the voter experience
- Develop and implement a federal and state-based advocacy strategy to achieve our goals of creating a modern election system
- Support Elections Program staff and consultants in a new initiative to develop new tools that promote better election management
- Manage staff, as the team grows
- Grow support for a modern election system by collaborating with peer funders (foundations and individuals) and other leaders in the field
- Implement and refine strategies that position the Democracy Fund to be highly impactful and influential.
Experimentation, Learning, and Thought Leadership
- Apply systems thinking to the work
- Integrate experiential learning into strategic approach in collaboration with other Elections Program staff and Democracy Fund’s Strategy, Impact, and Learning team
- Contribute to the development and maintenance of a results framework that includes key learning questions, and short- and long-term indicators of the organization’s progress against goals
- Share progress on strategy with key internal and external audiences in presentations, writings and other means, including working to develop reports, publications, and other materials. or graphics
- Participate in the development and management of a learning agenda, including research and close collaboration with external partners
- 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.
- Assist with the development and management of a portfolio of local, state, and national grantees.
- Identify, shape, prepare, and present grant proposals aimed at achieving the goals of the Elections Program, including grants that experiment with desired goals and moonshots.
- Monitor the progress of grantees and take all reasonable steps to ensure grantees’ success; keeping the Director informed of major changes or developments
- Share learnings from grantee experiments with the Elections Program and with the Strategy, Impact, and Learning team.
- 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
- At least 8 years of progressively responsible professional experience
- Graduate/professional degree preferred
- Extensive knowledge of and expertise in election administration or another area of public administration, as well as deep networks with leaders in the field or at the state government level
- Demonstrated experience managing state and national issue advocacy campaigns
- Proven ability to work in a bipartisan environment with political stakeholders
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills and attention to detail required
- Demonstrated success in developing and maintaining institutional, political, and personal relationships
- 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, ability to exercise good judgment, and enthusiasm for collaboration
- Demonstrated ability to manage projects as well as manage others required
- Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a team
- Must reside in or relocate to the Washington DC area; travel required.
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.