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Associate Director for Press Freedom

 

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

Democracy Fund’s Public Square program focuses on sustaining a vibrant media and engaged citizens. We believe the American people must have effective ways to understand and be a part of the democratic process. As the internet transforms political life, it opens exciting new pathways for public engagement while challenging models that used to work. We seek to support media models that serve the needs and preferences of communities today as well as taking on challenges related to sustainability and press freedom.

Earlier this year, the Democracy Fund announced more than $10 million in commitments in support of press freedom and hard-hitting, nonprofit journalism. We are now seeking an Associate Director for Press Freedom to create and lead a new initiative around ensuring the future of a free and functioning press that holds government accountable.

The Associate Director, who will report to the Director of the Democracy Fund’s Public Square program, will be expected to quickly engage with the field to ensure that it is able to stand up for the rights of journalists to fulfill their rightful role in our democracy at this important moment in our nation’s history. This will include working to build a larger, more effective coalition of advocates and ensure that key leaders in the field have the resources they need to be effective. In parallel, the Associate Director will work with the Public Square team to develop and execute a long-term strategy to strengthen press freedom in the United States. The strategy development process will consider the broadest range of possibilities and the strategy itself is expected to include both grant making and deep engagement within the field. Candidates must be comfortable working in a small, highly collaborative team within a fast-paced, start-up environment.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Advocacy, Engagement, and Grant Making

  • Work with the field of press freedom advocates to respond to critical threats and opportunities and ensure that the field has adequate resources to be effective.
  • Enlist new supporters to the field of press freedom to expand the press freedom coalition of support, including providing new funders with an easy path into the space.
  • Support existing and new grantees to help them to be as effective as possible. Promote collaboration and communication between grantees.
  • Identify, shape, and prepare for consideration of potential grants related to press freedom.
  • Monitor, engage and capture learnings from grantees as they execute their grants.

Press Freedom Strategy Development

  • Lead a strategy development process to develop a multi-year strategy for Democracy Fund to address threats to press freedom and build public support for the news media.
  • Contribute insight to the strategy setting process based on knowledge of the field.
  • Engage with key stakeholders within the organization and across the field of press freedom and those concerned with freedom of expression.

Experimentation, Learning, and Thought Leadership

  • Work with the Democracy Fund’s Strategy, Impact, and Learning team to develop a sound approach to our Press Freedom Initiative in which the Democracy Fund can iteratively experiment, learn, and refine its approach.
  • Play a leadership role in the development and maintenance of short- and long-term indicators to measure the organization’s progress against its goals, and share progress with key internal and external audiences.
  • Monitor trends, research, and new publications to inform our strategy and update our understanding of potential threats to domestic press freedom.
  • Disseminate learnings and cultivate field building through writing, public speaking, convening, and relationship building.

Team Member

  • Collaborate with the larger Public Square team to support activities aimed at combatting misinformation, increasing trust in journalism, and strengthening local journalism.
  • 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. 

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS

  • Bachelor’s degree required, higher level degree strongly preferred
  • More than 7 years of experience in the press freedom field or closely related area
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and rigorous attention to detail required
  • Professional maturity, high sense of personal responsibility and integrity, proven ability to exercise discretion and good judgment
  • Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills and highly developed emotional intelligence
  • Successful in developing and maintaining institutional, political, and personal relationships
  • Willingness to work across the political spectrum with leaders, advocates, and media
  • Must be comfortable with ambiguity and working in a changing and fast paced environment
  • Collaborative, thoughtful, and trustworthy by nature—especially when approaching work and planning
  • Deep passion for strengthening American democracy
  • Position is based in the Washington, D.C. area 

HOW TO APPLY

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter explaining their interest in the position and the organization and resume. No phone 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.

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