General Counsel; Senior Vice President, Legal

Reports to: President and CEO
Staff reporting to this position: Various Legal team staff
Department: Administration
Position classification: Exempt, full time
Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


American Progress has an immediate opening for an experienced General Counsel and Senior Vice President on its in-house Legal team. The Legal team manages legal and compliance matters for both the Center for American Progress (CAP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and educational think tank, as well as its affiliated organization, the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP Action), a 501(c)(4) organization.

The General Counsel and Senior Vice President oversees all aspects of legal compliance and risk management, participates in executive management as one of seven executive committee members, and leads corporate governance for both organizations. A successful candidate will work with the Legal team, management, and staff to respond to daily legal and institutional needs; provide legal and strategic advice; and ensure ongoing compliance in a fast-paced and mission-driven environment.


  • Ensure compliance with a broad array of complex and intersecting legal regimes, including IRS rules governing 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations; federal and state lobbying laws; campaign finance and election laws; ethics; corporate governance; intellectual property; data privacy; media; employment and labor; and contract law.
  • Design and implement internal compliance and tracking measures, including staff legal guidance and training, time sheets, cost-sharing agreements, grant agreements, financial controls, contract administration, and conflict management procedures.
  • Provide legal and strategic advice to help staff plan and structure new projects in compliance with applicable law.
  • Oversee and manage corporate filings such as IRS Form 990s, Lobbying Disclosure Act reports, and state charitable registrations.
  • Respond to government audits and official inquiries, as well as threats of litigation or other adverse action.
  • Coordinate and consult with the Human Resources team on employment matters, including internal investigations and employment-related policies.
  • Manage the Legal team, including two lawyers and three legal assistants, to meet legal needs throughout CAP and CAP Action.
  • Provide legal advice and support to the board of directors for CAP and CAP Action.

Specific areas of executive responsibility include:

  • Co-manage CAP and CAP Action as part of a seven-member executive committee that advises the CEO on major institutional strategies and decisions, including higher-level policy and messaging, resource allocation, personnel, relationships with outside parties, and internal operations.
  • Lead or co-manage development and implementation of new internal procedures, institutional responses, and complex projects.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • License to practice law.
  • J.D. and at least 10 years of experience practicing law.
  • Preferred candidates will have significant experience in 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) nonprofit law, as well as demonstrated knowledge of government lobbying and ethics, employment and labor, and media and/or intellectual property law.
  • Preferred candidates will have demonstrated executive management experience, as well as experience with corporate governance.
  • Proven ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Agility to manage shifting priorities, exercise good judgment with complex matters, and quickly respond to the unexpected.
  • Demonstrated success working on broad topics and balancing multiple projects at once.
  • Positive attitude and team-oriented ethic.
  • Sense of humor.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.

American Progress offers a full and competitive benefits package. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is not represented by a union.

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.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to

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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