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Program Associate, Oversight and Congressional Capacity

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 is seeking a Program Associate to support the Oversight and Congressional Capacity strategies within the Governance Program. The Oversight strategy seeks to strengthen and increase transparency and accountability in the Executive Branch.  The Congressional Capacity strategy seeks to expand and deepen bipartisan relationships and increase legislative productivity, including through relationship building, training, and constituent outreach, as well as innovative approaches to improving Congressional rules and procedures, office operations, and efficiency.  Both programs include grant making, coalition building, advocacy, conducting research, and working with a diverse group of leaders from across the political spectrum.

We are looking for candidates who are passionate about making our political system, especially its checks and balances, work better. Strong candidates will possess a nuanced understanding of how Congress and the Executive Branch work, 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 to the Associate Director for Oversight and 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 Oversight and Congressional Capacity goals through research, thought leadership, convenings, and collaboration with a network of partners and peer funders. 

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

Strategy and Execution of Initiative Plan

Support the development and execution of Government Oversight and Congressional Capacity strategies, which includes grant making, coalition building, advocacy, research, and program development 
Provide support 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.
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

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

Grant Making

Work with the team to identify, develop, and evaluate grant-making opportunities for the Oversight and Congressional Capacity strategies, 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

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.

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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