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Associate Director, Public Square Program

ABOUT DEMOCRACY FUND

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 $70 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

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 to join our team to help us build out new initiatives to support a strong and robust fourth estate.

The Associate Director, who will report to the Director of the Democracy Fund’s Public Square team, will be expected to quickly engage with the field to lead the team’s work related to issues around the role of misinformation and the loss of trust in our public square.  This work will be a critical new component of our work that builds on parallel tracks related to journalism and engagement, sustainability of local news, and press freedom. The person will manage a growing portfolio of grants and work directly with grantees and leaders within journalism, media, and with technology companies. In parallel, the Associate Director will work with others on the Public Square team to develop and execute a long-term strategy, manage a range of projects, and build strong coalitions and partnership with other foundations. 

Democracy Fund is committed to working on systems level changes to address complex problems facing our democracy.  Grant making is just one tool we use to support the change we want to see.  We are looking for candidates who can bring a range of experiences and expertise to bear on the challenges our media and democracy face.  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 to respond to critical threats and opportunities facing journalism in America today
  • Develop partnerships with organizations and foundations that can bring new support into the field to support a robust fourth estate, expand trust and combat misinformation.
  • Project management of large scale efforts, events, and programs.  Supervision of staff and collaboration with teams across the Democracy Fund
  • Support existing and new grantees to help them to be as effective as possible.  Promote collaboration with teams across the Democracy Fund
  • Identify, shape, and prepare for consideration of potential grants related trust and truth in the public square as well as press freedom.
  • Monitor, engage, and capture learnings from grantees as they execute their grants

STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT

  • 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 news and civic information and those concerned with misinformation in the public square and press freedom

EXPERIMENTATION

  • Work with the Democracy Fund's Strategy, Impact, and Learning team to develop a sound approach to help us iterate, experiment, learn, and refine our 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
  • Disseminate learnings and cultivate field building through writing, public speaking, convening, and relationship building

TEAM LEADER AND MEMBER

  • Collaborate with the larger Public Square team to support activities aimed at combatting misinformation, increasing trust in journalism, press freedom, 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 Democracy Fund colleagues on complementary approaches.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS

  • Passion for strengthening American democracy
  • BA required, higher level degree strongly preferred
  • More than 7 years of experience working in roles that engaged questions related to news, technology, and civic information
  • Nuanced understanding of the role of technology companies and platforms in how people are informed and engaged
  • 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
  • Proven ability to work in a bipartisan environment and with stakeholders from across the political spectrum
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills and highly developed emotional intelligence
  • Successful in developing and maintaining institutional, political, and personal relationships
  • Willingness to work with leaders, advocates, and media from all walks of life.
  • 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
  • Position is based in the Washington, D.C. area.

HOW TO APPLY

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, 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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