Associate Director/Director, Democracy

Reports to: Managing Director, Democracy
Staff reporting to this position: None
Department: Structural Reform and Governance
Position classification: Exempt, full time
Minimum compensation: $77,000/$92,000
Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


American Progress has an immediate opening for an Associate Director or Director on the Democracy team in the Structural Reform and Governance department. This position will manage a broad policy portfolio that includes work on structural and electoral reforms, reducing political extremism, combating election subversion, and other topics. The Associate Director or Director will help drive policy analysis and conduct substantial original research and writing while also collaborating regularly across the institution. The Associate Director or Director will help build relationships with outside stakeholders, including allied organizations, policymakers, and the media.

They will be driven by American Progress’ mission to improve the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country. This work will also include a focus on identifying and supporting points of connectivity between democracy and elections and each of the organization’s five crosscutting priorities:

  • Building an economy for all
  • Restoring social trust in democracy
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Strengthening health

This leader will think strategically about turning ideas into action and have facility with government institutions at the local, state, or federal level; executive or legislative branch experience; and relationships with key players in the field.


  • Lead American Progress’ work to push long-term electoral reforms that will reduce political extremism, counter gerrymandering, and promote other pro-voter reforms. Additionally, work across the organization to aid American Progress’ work around norms countering political violence and combating misinformation and disinformation.
  • Work collaboratively to develop a policy research, advocacy, and communications agenda, and actively participate in supporting American Progress’ crosscutting priorities.
  • Research, draft, and manage the production and distribution of a variety of written products, including reports, issue briefs, columns, and op-eds, that advance American Progress’ voting rights priorities and translate research findings for a broader audience.
  • Participate in efforts to craft timely policy reports and rapid-response documents to ensure relevant impact on policy debates.
  • Analyze federal and state legislative proposals, administrative policies, and regulatory changes.
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Represent American Progress with the public, media, policymakers, and other outside groups and individuals.
  • Build and maintain key relationships across the democracy field, including with allied organizations and policymakers.
  • Promote organizational priorities and work products both inside and outside the organization.
  • Keep American Progress staff updated on news and events related to relevant policy debates.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Knowledge and experiential expertise, as well as a proven track record working on democracy issues, are required; a law degree (or other advanced degree in a relevant field) is strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of federal policymaking and experience working with Congress and federal agencies.
  • At least six years of experience for the Associate Director role; 7 to 10 years of experience for the Director role.
  • Established relationships with policymakers, advocates, stakeholders, and community leaders within Washington, D.C., and in the states are a plus.
  • Excellent presentation and written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong analytical skills; quantitative skills are a plus.
  • Deep knowledge of election law and policy issues and the history surrounding election policy are a plus.
  • Proven team player who works well and effectively with colleagues.
  • Strong political instincts and experience working with coalitions.
  • Ability to prioritize, multitask, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.

American Progress provides a competitive compensation and benefits package. This position is not represented by a union. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. The minimum salary for the Associate Director position is $77,000. The minimum salary for the Director position is $92,000.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the levels of community spread and adjust plans as needed for in-office work. Any changes to our current hybrid work policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page.

Apply Now

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

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