Associate Director, Criminal Justice Reform

  • Reports to: Vice President, Criminal Justice Reform
  • Staff reporting to this position: None
  • Department: Criminal Justice
  • Position classification: Exempt, full time


The Associate Director on the Criminal Justice Reform team at American Progress will manage a distinct portfolio of issue areas consistent with the team’s priorities to shrink the size of the criminal justice system, make the system fairer and more equitable, and provide opportunities for people who have been directly impacted by mass incarceration. The Associate Director should have a working knowledge of a wide range of criminal justice reform issues as well as demonstrated expertise on a select number of these topics. The position requires the ability to analyze problems as well as craft policy solutions and to translate those ideas into reports or other written products. The Associate Director must have not only policy expertise but also the ability to work with American Progress’ Press, Digital Strategy, Events, and Video teams to creatively disseminate ideas to their target audience, which is often policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels.


  • Develop criminal justice reform policy ideas consistent with the goals of the Criminal Justice Reform team’s goals.
  • Produce reports, issue briefs, or other written products with minimal supervision.
  • Collaborate with other teams at American Progress to design campaigns that amplify written products to get maximum visibility and interest from the intended audience.
  • Collaborate with the Government Affairs team to create a strategy for outreach to federal, state, and local lawmakers.
  • Collaborate with the Events team to coordinate and execute public and private events for the team, including Hill briefings, private roundtables, and public events.
  • Develop, manage, and strengthen external coalitions of which the Criminal Justice Reform team is a member.
  • Speak on behalf of the team at conferences and events or to members of the press.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Ability to draft written products in multiple formats that are concise and easy to follow while maintaining important nuances.
  • Experience working with people involved in or affected by the criminal justice system; expertise on the impacts of the criminal justice system, including lived experiences, is a plus.
  • An understanding of the politics of the criminal justice reform movement.
  • Comfort speaking to different audiences on a variety of criminal justice reform topics.
  • Ability to handle multiple projects and deadlines while maintaining a high level of work quality.
  • At least seven years of experience in the criminal justice reform field, preferably in a variety of roles—such as practitioner, advocate, researcher, or policymaker.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.

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.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

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