Director/Senior Director, Democratic Accountability

Reports to: Senior Vice President, National Security and International Policy
Staff reporting to this position: To be determined
Department: National Security and International Policy
Position classification: Exempt, full time; N/A
Minimum compensation: $92,000/$112,000
Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


American Progress has an immediate opening for a Director or Senior Director of Democratic Accountability in its National Security and International Policy department to lead American Progress’ efforts to craft and advocate for a new “age of accountability” agenda at the global level. Democratic political systems around the world are struggling to meet the justified expectations of their citizenry; rein in misinformation and the consequent distrust in institutions; and promote the rule of law by holding to account those responsible for corruption, tax evasion, human rights abuses, and widespread citizen insecurity. Many citizens have lost faith that democratic systems can deliver tangible improvements in their lives, while illiberal political actors have tapped into this discontent to build power, undercut democratic checks and balances, and erode the post-Cold War international order.

The Director or Senior Director will direct a work plan to advance an international political accountability agenda, which identifies and prioritizes policy ideas for how the United States can drive action to address current and emerging political accountability challenges, and lead work with colleagues across the organization to drive solutions. The successful candidate will bring regional and country expertise to assess these challenges, draw connections between domestic and international accountability efforts, and devise solutions that can succeed at the country, regional, or global level. The Director or Senior Director will lead policy outreach and coalition efforts, conceptualize a substantial research and advocacy agenda, and manage relationships with other American Progress departments and outside stakeholders, such as allied organizations, policymakers, and the media.

The Senior Director or Director’s work will be driven by American Progress’ mission to improve the lives of all through bold, progressive ideas and leadership that changes not only the conversation, but the country. American Progress focuses on building connectivity between national security and international policy issues and 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 help further build and manage a dynamic, high-performing team and collaborate with experts across American Progress and at other organizations in this policy space. The ideal candidate will have a strong command and understanding of the political and policy challenges to democratic governance in foreign countries and the transnational connections to the political accountability circumstances in the United States, executive and/or legislative branch experience, and relationships with key players in the field.


  • Provide day-to-day leadership of the international political accountability policy efforts within the National Security and International Policy department and partner with senior staff within the Structural Reform and Governance and Inclusive Growth departments to directly coordinate this work with domestic and transnational accountability initiatives.
  • Develop a policy, research, and communications agenda; maintain expertise in the field of political accountability.
  • Work with the department’s Senior Vice President, the Senior Vice President for Structural Reform and Governance, and American Progress’ executive leadership to set the strategic direction for the organization’s priorities related to political accountability in the transnational context, including the development of crosscutting efforts.
  • Work closely with other policy experts at American Progress to find areas of collaboration and define shared messages and policy strategies.
  • Oversee the development of products—including reports, issue briefs, columns, op-eds, related events, and other routes—to disseminate information that advances the human security agenda in ways that increase opportunities to improve policy outcomes.
  • Assist the department’s Senior Vice President and the American Progress Development department in fundraising to meet the department’s work plan.
  • Promote department priorities and work products both inside and outside the organization.
  • Represent American Progress with respect to international political accountability policy with the public, media, and other outside groups and individuals.
  • Build and maintain key relationships across the political accountability policy community, including with allied organizations and policymakers.
  • Keep American Progress staff updated on news and events related to relevant policy debates in Congress, the administration, international organizations, and abroad.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience; a master’s, J.D., or doctorate is a plus.
  • Seven to 10 years of experience is required for the Director role; at least 10 years of experience is required for the Senior Director role.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and extensive experience working on political accountability issues are required.
  • Expertise at a regional level on political accountability matters; Africa or Europe expertise is a plus.
  • Knowledge of federal policymaking and experience working with Congress, federal agencies, and/or relevant international organizations.
  • Established relationships with U.S. and foreign policymakers, advocates, and research community leaders in the political accountability policy space.
  • Excellent presentation, written, and oral communication skills.
  • Strong analytical skills; quantitative skills are a plus.
  • Deep knowledge of the political and policy challenges to democratic governance in foreign countries and the transnational connections to the political accountability circumstances in the United States.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement strategic, long-term plans.
  • Significant management experience.
  • Ability to prioritize, multitask, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.

American Progress offers a full and competitive benefit package. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is not represented by a union. The Director role has a minimum salary of $92,000, and the Senior Director role has a minimum salary of $112,000.

American Progress’ hybrid work policy is posted on our Jobs page. Please visit this page for updates. Any changes to this policy will also be communicated at the time of hire.

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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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