Director, Legal Progress

  • Reports to: Senior Vice President
  • Staff reporting to this position: Legal Progress staff
  • Department: Legal Progress
  • Position classification: Exempt, full time


American Progress seeks a highly motivated, creative professional with a background in advocacy campaigns and communications to serve as the Director of Legal Progress. Legal Progress is the legal policy and communications program at American Progress. Its mission is to make the American legal system more progressive.

Over the past 40-plus years, conservatives have executed a rigorous strategy to utilize the courts to advance their ideological priorities. From strengthening corporations and weakening labor unions, to undercutting civil rights and constraining government, the courts have served as the primary venue for some of the largest conservative gains over the past few decades.

Progressives have, for their part, overwhelmingly focused on advancing legislative solutions to address the major issues of the day, only to be repeatedly stymied by a court system that conservatives have increasingly titled in their favor. As such, the courts remain a significant barrier to addressing many of the major threats and challenges facing the country from climate change and structural racism to income inequality and corporate control of our democracy.

As part of a multi-issue think tank with capacity across virtually every issue area, Legal Progress is uniquely situated within the progressive space to elevate the courts as a priority. The Director of Legal Progress will build a vision and strategy for working with progressives to engage in judicial fights including helping defeat Trump’s most radical nominees. A core part of the Director of Legal Progress’ work will be building campaigns that leverage the policy expertise and advocacy capacity within the Center for American Progress and Center for American Progress Action Fund, in addition to partnering closely with progressive allies. In addition, American Progress is looking for an individual who can develop a longer-term communications strategy to help highlight the profound impact court decisions have on our lives and in shaping the country.


  • Lead the Legal Progress team in designing and executing campaign strategies that build political and public support for progressive engagement in judicial nominees.
  • Develop a communications and messaging strategy to elevate the salience of the courts and in helping the public understand the importance of judicial nominees.
  • Engage with elected officials and their staff to build political support for key strategic priorities.
  • Work closely with progressive allies to align strategic priorities and goals.
  • Conduct outreach to the media on Legal Progress’ priorities.
  • Prepare and review reports to donors on Legal Progress’ work; engage with donors to build the program.
  • Direct work of Legal Progress staff.
  • Work closely with the Center for American Progress Action Fund (c4) advocacy, policy, government affairs, online, and American Progress communications staff to drive narratives and advance goals.
  • Lead the development of new campaign ideas in this issue area.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Master’s degree is preferred.
  • At least eight years of experience in campaigns or communications.
  • An interest and ability to translate complex issues into compelling and resonate messages for the public.
  • Fluency and appreciation for digital communication tools and strategies as a critical avenue for reaching mass audiences.
  • Experience working closely across multiple teams and an ability to establish productive collaborations and coalitions.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategic long-term plans and implement them successfully.
  • Appreciation for the importance of the court system and judicial selections in shaping the country and a passion for helping make them more progressive.
  • Familiarity with the federal judicial nominations process and the prominent legal issues that arise in federal courts preferred.
  • Excellent written and oral communications and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced
  • Management experience is required.
  • Demonstrated aptitude at being self-sufficient and self-directed.

To Apply

Please follow the link below to the online application. When completing the application, be sure to combine your cover letter and resume/CV into one Word or PDF file and upload this combined document. The system does not allow for multiple files.

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.
Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.
Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to