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Associate Director for Oversight and Congressional Capacity, Governance Program

ABOUT US

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 $50 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.

POSITION SUMMARY

The Democracy Fund has created a new position, Associate Director for Oversight and Congressional Capacity, to lead its emerging work within the organization’s Governance Program to rebuild legislative branch capacity and to strengthen and increase transparency and accountability in the Executive Branch. The Associate Director will be responsible for developing as well as executing the Democracy Fund’s approach to this area, which will include grant making, coalition building, advocacy, conducting research, and working with a diverse group of leaders from across the political spectrum to promote congressional capacity for oversight, accountability, and transparency in government.

Specifically, the Associate Director, reporting to the Governance Program Director, will strengthen existing grant making and develop new efforts, in coordination with a broader group of partners, to:

  • Support strategies such as training staff in the principles and skills of oversight, transparency, and accountability
  • Undertake litigation to protect these principles as necessary
  • Educate and protect whistleblowers
  • Protect and preserve critical data regarding government programs and functions
  • Identify and publicize abuses of the above as necessary, and
  • Advocate for stronger institutions within each branch to protect and support fundamental democratic norms around these principles.

As the team continues to grow, the Associate Director will be supported by a shared program associate serving grant making and other projects related to the team's core work to strengthen the ability of Congress to fulfill its governing obligations to the American people.  The Associate Director will also contribute expertise to Governance team initiatives on congressional engagement and hyper-partisanship.

The successful candidate will possess a working knowledge of the Congress, Executive Branch, and political dynamics leading to reduced government accountability, as well as strong familiarity with the field of government transparency and accountability. The candidate will bring a strategic, proactive, collaborative and problem-solving mindset, deep comfort with experimentation and learning as you go, and exceptional written and verbal communication skills. A strong candidate will be comfortable working in a small, highly collaborative team within a fast-paced, fluid start-up environment that appreciates and leverages diverse points of view.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

Strategy and Execution of Initiative Plan

  • Lead the development and execution of the government oversight and transparency project, which includes grant making, coalition building, advocacy, research, and program development focused on reinvigorating the field of transparency and accountability in coordination with a cohort of other partners
  • Contribute to the execution of the Governance team’s existing strategy to strengthen Congress’ capacity to function.
  • Provide high-value contribution to the Governance team’s development of a national strategy to experiment with and scale practices that improve the responsiveness of government, especially but not limited to Congress.
  • Support Governance team colleagues and partner with the Democracy Fund’s Communications team to position the Democracy Fund to be highly impactful and intentional in how it uses its influence to achieve its goals.

Experimentation, Learning, and Thought Leadership 

  • Work with the Democracy Fund’s Strategy, Impact, and Learning, team to develop an experimental approach to this new strategy, allowing the Democracy Fund to iteratively experiment, learn, and refine its approach
  • Play a leadership role in developing and maintaining short- and long-term indicators to measure our progress against goals and share progress with key internal and external audiences
  • Contribute to the Governance team’s learning agenda that includes commissioning research and close collaboration with external research partners
  • Work with research and evaluation partners to design, monitor, and learn from evaluations of major programs, initiatives, and grants
  • Monitor trends, research, and new publications to inform and adapt the Fund’s strategy
  • Disseminate learning and cultivate field building through writing, public speaking, convening, and relationship building. 

Grant Making

  • Identify, shape, and prepare for consideration potential grants related to specific approaches aimed at strengthening government transparency and oversight
  • Monitor the progress of grantees and take all needed steps to ensure their success
  • Help shape potential grants that experiment with and scale practices that improve government transparency, accountability, and oversight
  • Monitor, engage and capture learnings from grantees as they execute their grants. 

Team Member

  • Actively work to support the success of other members of the entire Democracy Fund team and cultivate an organizational culture that is highly collaborative, positive, and productive
  • Work closely with colleagues in Democracy Fund on complementary approaches
  • Collaborate with other staff, as the team grows, manage staff, and project manage as required 
  • Duties as assigned.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS:

  • Deep passion for strengthening American democracy
  • Relevant graduate degree strongly preferred
  • More than 10 years’ experience working in or with Congress and/or the executive branch
  • Deep knowledge of, and experience with, the broader field of creating change in government on a bipartisan basis
  • Possess and value an extensive bipartisan network of leaders in the field
  • Interest in seeing the big picture and pursuing a systems approach to change
  • 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
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills and highly developed emotional intelligence
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office: 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
  • Proven success in developing and maintaining institutional, political, and personal relationships 
  • Experience in contract management preferred
  • Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Willingness to travel, but with a D.C. base.

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.

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