Demos is pleased to invite nominations and applications for the newly constituted Director of Democracy position. Demos is the think tank for the racial justice movement. Through research, advocacy, strategic communications, litigation, and deep partnerships with grassroots organizations across the country, we build power for Black and brown communities. Since 2000, Demos has built relationships with grassroots partners, legal and policy experts, and policymakers to champion, advance, and realize pro-democracy and economic justice laws and policy. Demos is valued and trusted for its deep relationships with movement leaders and its ability to prioritize what the movement needs. Demos’ policy, litigation, and advocacy work has moved to the center of the national conversation, and even become law. From debt free college to getting money out of politics to expanding voting rights, our policy recommendations and advocacy have become reality. We don’t just develop policy papers with big ideas—we put them into action. Individually and as coalition partners, we’ve beat back anti-voter laws in multiple states, expanded access to the ballot for formerly incarcerated Americans, and protected the National Voter Registration Act.
The Director of Democracy will be an innovative leader, excellent manager, and brilliant Democracy strategist motivated to lead Demos’ Democracy team, an amalgamation of the organization’s nationally recognized efforts in policy development, legal strategies, litigation, and advocacy. Reporting to the Chief of Programs, the Director of Democracy will have a well-developed understanding of the progressive and racial justice movements and policy landscapes, bringing fresh strategy ideas to further Demos’ goals. Working in concert with the Director of Movement Building, the Director of Democracy will bring a movement-building lens to the Democracy team, ensuring that all of Demos’ partners remain committed to the racial equity lens and the racial justice principles that Demos centers in every facet of their work.
Success in this role will require someone who is:
OPPORTUNITIES FACING THE DIRECTOR OF DEMOCRACY
The Director of Democracy will assume leadership of the newly restructured Democracy team, a product of Demos’ strategic pivot to an issue-based team structure that draws on the organization’s collective strength to drive positive outcomes for Black and brown communities. The Director of Democracy will have the opportunity to:
Implement a Strategy for the Democracy Team
The Director of Democracy will lead the development and strategy execution of the Democracy team. Utilizing their expertise in advocacy efforts, litigation, and/or policy development, the successful Director will model the cross-team issue-focused approach that Demos has adopted as a result of their strategic planning efforts. Strategy development will include an emphasis on maintaining and growing the fundraising pipeline that supports the work of the team, and Demos as a whole.
Leadership on Racial Equity and Racial Justice
The Director of Democracy will take an active leadership role in Demos’ racial equity work, possessing a sophisticated understanding of how structural racism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness influence supervisory relationships, organizational culture, partnership development and stewardship, campaigns, and coalition work. Utilizing their knowledge of the impact of systemic racism on present-day systems, the Director will advance racial equity goals through legal strategies that seek to address the myriad legal and policy-based roadblocks that hamper racial justice efforts across the country. Internally, the Director will model Demos’ culture of respect, shared responsibility, and consistent feedback, seeking to deepen our racial justice approach across the organization, and within their team, and ensure it is deeply embedded in our partnerships and campaigns.
Relationship Building and Partnership Development
The Director of Democracy will be an excellent relationship builder, maintaining strong, transformative relationships both within and outside the organization. The successful candidate will be comfortable working across lines of difference, including race, gender, and class, among other dimensions of identity. The Director will be effective at surfacing shared values of individuals, groups, and communities, leveraging that understanding to forge (where possible) investment and consensus. In partnership with the Director of Movement Building, the Director of Democracy will craft an integrated policy approach that supports the Movement Building team, strategically deploying policy development research, and legal strategies in conjunction with a co-created communications plan to augment Demos’ coalition building and partnership development efforts.
Strong People Leader Committed to Collaborative Leadership
The Director of Democracy will support the development of, and provide day-to-day leadership to, a high-impact team of professionals. They will be responsible for the overall effectiveness of the Democracy team, including overseeing team work plans, systems, and processes that drive toward organizational goals. The Director will lead in establishing mentorship and professional development plans that develop each team member's strengths and provide structured opportunities for professional growth. The Director will be focused on delivering results and reframing challenges as opportunities for team and organizational growth. They will periodically manage consultants, including the scope of work arrangements and oversight of agreed deliverables.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate will be first and foremost committed to Demos’ mission and the visionary evolution of the organization. They will be a distinguished leader in centering racial equity and racial justice principles at the core of their team leadership, have exposure to promising practices concerning organizational development, and be a successful people-developer grounded in an asset-based approach.
While no one person will embody all the qualities enumerated below, the most competitive candidate will possess several of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
Additionally, candidates need to bring a strong commitment to excellence and an ability to work in an evolving environment.
COMPENSATION, BENEFITS & WORK LOCATION
Work Location: Demos staff are currently working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Demos will adopt a hybrid, remote-first work model once it reopens offices in New York City and Washington D.C. Candidates based in any continental U.S. location with ability to travel are encouraged to apply (New York City or Washington DC preferred).
Salary and Benefits: The salary range for this position is $155,000 - $165,000. For purposes of internal equity, Demos will not negotiate salaries outside of this posted range. Demos has a generous benefits package, which includes health insurance, dental and vision insurance, 11 paid holidays, 18 vacation days per year, 5 floating holidays per year, 12 sick days per year, paid time off the last week of August and Dec. 24 – through the first week of January, and a voluntary 403b plan.
For more information about Demos, please visit: www.demos.org
This search is being led by Julian Jackson, Alejandra Villa, and Robert Diggs of NPAG. Candidates may submit their cover letter outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume, via NPAG’s website.
Demos is an Equal Opportunity Employer--people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.