Associate Director, Just & Inclusive Society
Democracy Fund is a foundation working to defend American democracy and challenge it to be more open and just. Created by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, Democracy Fund has made more than $200 million in grants to support free and fair elections, a vibrant and diverse public square, effective and accountable government, and a just and inclusive society. In addition to grantmaking, Democracy Fund advocates for better solutions and works with partners to grow philanthropic support for our democracy. To learn more, visit www.democracyfund.org and www.democracyfundvoice.org.
Democracy Fund champions leaders and organizations who defend democracy and challenge our political system to be more open, just, resilient, and trustworthy. We believe that experimentation, learning, and adaptation are key to the health and resilience of any system, whether it is our organization or the American political system. As grantmakers, we focus on listening and being of service to our grantees, who are visionaries and our collaborators, and on ways we can more deeply embed diversity, equity, and inclusion as values central to the success of our work and mission.
The hypothesis behind the Just & Inclusive Society (JIS) program is that diverse organizations and communities working together can create safe and secure communities, decrease polarization, develop a shared sense of national identity, and make space to defend constitutional norms under attack. The program supports racialized and marginalized communities that have long endured the ravages of systemic racism in the United States.
JIS seeks to systematically shift the balance of power in the ongoing contest over whether our nation should be an inclusive, multiracial democracy. The program supports under-resourced or under-represented communities, particularly Black, African, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (BAMEMSA), and other migrant, refugee, and communities of color that face existential challenges posed by the combination of rising white supremacist authoritarianism and increasing mass migration exacerbated by climate change.
Democracy Fund is seeking a highly motivated and skilled associate director to support the work of the JIS program. The associate director will help lead and strengthen the program’s exploration of ways to undermine those who threaten the ideals of an inclusive, multiracial democracy. This position also will work and coordinate with Democracy Fund’s other programs, other foundations, and field leaders and organizations.
The associate director will report to the director of the JIS program and will manage an initiative and several staff across the program. This role will also focus on strengthening grantmaking processes, internal communications, and team operations. The associate director will launch our emerging strategy, lead learning and team growth, and contribute to shaping Democracy Fund’s position in the field. We are looking for a connector with a demonstrated track record of managing people and creating opportunities for growth, learning, and collaboration.
The associate director must be an exceptional collaborator, communicator, and project director. This role also supports the work of Democracy Fund Voice, a separate social welfare organization. The role’s primary responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, the following:
INITIATIVE DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGY
- Be responsible for strategy development, learning, and execution of the program’s exploration portfolio, including managing the grantmaking process, adjusting plans and activities, and contributing to board presentations and the board approval process.
- Identify, shape, and oversee the preparation of grants for consideration, and develop a strong portfolio of grants that can achieve the goals of the new initiative.
- Execute non-grant related tactics, projects, and interventions to advance JIS goals and strategies.
GRANTMAKING AND LEARNING
- Lead operations of the JIS team to foster collaboration and teamwork for efficient and effective execution of program strategies.
- Partner with Program Strategy and Learning staff on initiative strategy development, as well as internal activities to ensure that learning informs initiative strategy and its implementation.
- Develop and implement team grantmaking practices and planning processes and provide peer review, as needed.
- Maintain strong relationships with leaders across relevant fields for trendspotting, sense-making, grant pipeline development, and problem solving.
COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH
- Develop and execute external communications strategies for the JIS program, in collaboration with the Communications team.
- Speak on behalf of the program publicly and with media, and represent Democracy Fund publicly in a manner consistent with our mission and values.
- Support efforts to grow the philanthropic resources available to the field by maintaining strong relationships with partner funders, developing new relationships, and advising donors and foundations on their initiatives.
- Collaborate with the Philanthropic Partnerships team and its program director to gain financial support for and manage joint funds, and represent Democracy Fund in funder collaborations related to relevant initiatives.
TEAM LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
- Empower direct reports to do their best work by providing ongoing guidance, coaching, and feedback on their core day-to-day responsibilities, project management goals, and overall professional development.
- Contribute to a strong team culture that values DEI, collaboration, positivity, and transparency and that advances these priorities through continuous improvement and learning.
- Lead program team operations and develop team practices and workflows, manage team meetings and retreats, and ensure strong project management across JIS.
- Be responsible for budgeting and financial management across the JIS program and for budget management of the exploration portfolio.
- Supervise the team coordinator and program staff working on the exploration line of work, maintain regular check-ins with individual initiative team members, provide professional guidance and mentoring to team members, and use ongoing feedback to support their development.
- Contribute to the development of job descriptions, interviewing/hiring, and onboarding for initiative staff.
- Develop contracts and budgets for external consultants to ensure strong work products that are used by the organization and field.
- Lead or contribute to collaborative efforts and projects with overlapping programs.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS
- Passion for strengthening American democracy, and a nuanced understanding of issues related to anti-authoritarianism, racial justice, immigration, civic engagement, advocacy, and civil rights.
- A high level of integrity that embodies and reflects Democracy Fund values.
- At least 8 years of experience working in roles that engaged questions related to multiracial democracy, movements and power-building, at-risk and targeted communities, racial justice and advocacy, litigation/legal services/legal education, political violence, and civil rights.
- At least 4 years of demonstrated management responsibilities, with significant experience supervising staff and supporting their progress toward goals, and proven ability to provide useful feedback, develop, and inspire staff.
- Previous grantmaking experience, including developing projects, assessing nonprofit organizations, and managing grantee relationships preferred.
- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, including the willingness and ability to communicate and collaborate with diverse leaders and stakeholders from across the political spectrum and different walks of life.
- Strategic thinker and innovative problem-solver, including a proven ability to create and manage organizational change, and must be comfortable with ambiguity and working in a changing and fast-paced environment.
- Track record of successful project management and working across diverse teams, and ability to evaluate, improve, manage, and maintain systems and processes to help teams execute program strategies.
- Ability to work collaboratively with staff at all levels to execute duties, and proven talent in ensuring positive, proactive, responsive relationships within and across departments for compliance, efficiency, and effectiveness.
- Interest in employing a systems approach to change, bringing an ability to synthesize complex, nuanced information, and develop innovative solutions.
Democracy Fund follows a hybrid-remote and in-the-office model, which enables flexibility and meets collaboration needs. New staff are expected to reside in the DMV, though exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Personnel Committee. All employees, regardless of location, will be expected in the office several days a month.
Salary range begins at $155,160 per year.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to our Jobs page. Applications submitted without a cover letter or lacking the desired years of experience will not be considered. Take this opportunity to tell us about yourself and why you're interested in joining our team. No calls please.
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. 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.