Program Associate, Governance Initiative

The Democracy Fund seeks to hire a Program Associate to support our Governance Initiative, which is focused on how we can help major governing institutions to work more effectively in the face of increasing polarization. We are looking for candidates who are passionate about making our political system work better and have a strong understanding about how Congress and other governing institutions work. Strong candidates will be excellent writers, have strong research skills, work well with others, have an ability to think systemically, and have a proven track record of being able to get things done in a complex professional environment. As a bipartisan organization, we welcome applications from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – a willingness to work across the aisle is essential.

A major area of responsibility for the Program Associate will be to work with the Program Director of our Governance Initiative in sourcing and evaluating grant opportunities, as well as working with our portfolio of grantee organizations to help them succeed. Among our existing grantees within this initiative are the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Congressional Institute, the No Labels Foundation, the Aspen Institute’s Congressional Program, and the Faith & Politics Institute. Beyond grant making, Program Associates will work with the Democracy Fund team to design and implement strategies to more directly advance our goals through research, convening, and advocacy.

Specific responsibilities include:

Grant Making

  • Work with team to evaluate grant making opportunities that are in line with our strategy and budget. Support due diligence, negotiation, and grant structuring
  • Manage the operational procedures and documentation associated with making grants, including proposal materials, organizational documentation, grant agreements, record keeping, and reporting requirements
  • Provide support to and oversight of grantees to help ensure their success

Research, Policy, Learning, and Impact

  • Work with the team to analyze how the systems that we seek to influence operate and identify points of leverage that we may influence
  • Monitor trends, research, and new publications in the field to inform our strategy
  • Conduct research to support the development of new programs and policies within our initiatives and across the foundation
  • Participate in the development and deployment of the initiative’s communications strategy
  • Help to share our learning with the field and establish the Democracy Fund brand through research, writing, and public speaking

Convener and Collaborator

  • Work with the Democracy Fund team to convene reform leaders, academics, political leaders, and others to facilitate increased dialogue and collaboration in the field. Manage logistics associated with events as appropriate
  • Maintain relationships with program officers at other foundations, participate in philanthropic conferences, organize regular funder conversations, and otherwise support collaboration with peer funders

Team Member

  • Actively work to support other members of the Democracy Fund team and cultivate an organizational culture that is highly collaborative and supportive
  • Collaborate internally to advance Democracy Fund strategy and mission
  • Represent the Democracy Fund in a manner that is consistent with our mission

Education, Experience, and Skills Requirements

  • Deep passion for strengthening American democracy
  • 3-5 years of experience working in Congress, political reform, or collaborative governance.
  • Strong relationships with organizational leaders and experts in the field
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills required
  • Strong strategic skills and proven ability to translate strategy into action
  • Success in developing and maintaining institutional, political, and personal relationships
  • Ability to travel periodically for project work
  • Demonstrated experience handling multiple assignments simultaneously
  • Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a team
  • MPP, MBA, JD, or equivalent preferred
  • Willingness to live in the Washington DC area is required

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Betsy Hawkings at bhawkings (at) democracyfund (dot) org with the subject line “Governance Application.” No phone calls please.

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