Chief of Programs

Demos is pleased to invite nominations and applications for its Chief of Programs position. With a visionary President, evolving leadership team, and high impact staff, Demos works at the intersection of democracy and racial and economic justice, to achieve transformative social change for Black and brown communities. Demos’ work recognizes the importance of power building in service of creating a society that is equitable and that works to ensure that Black and brown communities are fully thriving. In doing so, Demos helps create the conditions for all of us to thrive. Demos moves ideas powerful enough to improve the lives of everyday Americans through the full life cycle of change. Through championing over-the-horizon policy solutions and shifting the dominant narrative, Demos works to galvanize acceptance and support for radical change and commits to sustain advocacy until that change is implemented. Demos’ program model leverages litigation, policy research, strategic communications, and movement building to meet the ever complex and shifting demands of the moment. This braided approach to impact has translated into real victories, from landmark credit card reforms to over 3 million new voter registration applications from low-income citizens. Throughout all their work, Demos is advocating not just for people, but for the very idea of the people- of one nation, united by shared fate.

The Chief of Programs will be a results-driven and experienced leader, who will champion and lead Demos’ programmatic teams. This strategic leader will work closely with the President and other leadership team members in designing and implementing strategies that leverage Demos’ institutional think tank capacities (legal strategies, policy and research, strategic communications, and Demos’ deep relationships with movement partners) to drive policy and systems change that leads to a more inclusive democracy and functional economy that centers equitable outcomes. The Chief of Programs will be joining Demos at an exciting inflection point in the strategic planning process that will help to clarify the organization’s mission, values, and vision while also providing greater connection to Demos’ external work and creating greater synergy between Demos’ internal program teams. The ideal candidate will be a strategic thinker, experienced in change management, having led teams or an organization to adopt new bodies of work or implement new strategies. The Chief of Programs should also understand the vision of the organization and proactively propose and develop program interventions, spot gaps in the field, and bring new ideas to the organization. The Chief of Programs will report directly to Taifa Smith Butler, President of Demos.

Success in this role will require someone who is:
• A visionary strategic leader able to articulate and communicate a clear and compelling vision for the programmatic work that inspires, mobilizes and galvanizes Demos’ programmatic staff and to ensure the long-term impact and sustainability of this vibrant enterprise;
• An exceptional relationship builder, increasing rapport, trust, and transparency across a diverse and growing community of robust, passionate, talented stakeholders, including staff, funders, supporters, and nonprofit partners; and
• A strong listener, public communicator, and storyteller who can articulate and amplify the values, lived experiences, and lessons that demonstrate the potential and impact of the work in meeting communities where they are.

The ideal candidate will be first and foremost committed to Demos’ mission and the visionary evolution of the organization. They will be eager to step in and help Demos leverage design thinking and collaborative organizational development to increase investment from staff and movement partners resulting in more sustainable impact. They will be distinguished as a leader in racial equity and organizational development, and as a successful people-developer grounded in an asset-based approach.

While no one person will embody all of the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
• A hands-on strategic leader who balances a sense of urgency with empathy and humility when building and maintaining relationships with new and existing funding partners and with leaders and power builders in the field;
• Lived experience that promotes knowledge of and sensitivity to the challenges vulnerable communities face including appreciation for historical context, discernment of relationship nuances and power dynamics, and understanding of social, racial, and ethnic realities;
• Highly developed emotional intelligence and active listening skills, and the ability to use interpersonal and political skills in collaborative ways;
• Successful experience leading a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds; willingness to set aside a personal agenda in favor of organizational and/or community goals and objectives;
• Strong relationship building and communication skills with the ability to have authentic dialogue around sensitive issues including strategic priorities and ecosystem partner concerns;
• Excellent writing, editing, analytical, and oral communication skills including the ability to collect, review, synthesize, and present information and findings;
• Ability to multitask and meet deadlines within designated timeframes as well as demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities; strong organizational skills and exceptional attention to detail with the ability to work both independently, take initiative and contribute ideas for enhancing performance;
• Exemplary public communication skills and experience participating in national and regional convenings as a panelist or keynote speaker; and
• An optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, kindness, and patience necessary to work within a transformative environment.

The strongest candidates will also have some of the following skills and experience:
• Fundraising Experience. You have prior experience in a senior-level position with a proven track record of substantial and diverse fund development and experience with foundation and individual giving. Direct experience cultivating and asking for major gifts would be ideal.
• Communications Management Experience. You have prior experience with management responsibility over external affairs, public relations, communications and/or other related functions. You understand strategies for increasing brand awareness and implementing effective marketing strategies to influence public policy.

Additionally, candidates need to bring a strong commitment to excellence and an ability to work in a fast-paced environment.

Work Location: While Demos staff are currently working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current expectation is that applicants will need to be able to eventually report to our offices when we return to the workplace. Workplace attendance criteria is still being determined as public health conditions continue to evolve. This is a full-time position and will ideally be based in the New York City or Washington D.C. area. For the most highly qualified candidates, other locations will be considered.

Salary and Benefits: The salary range for this position starts at $185,000 and is negotiable depending on experience. Demos has a generous benefits package which includes health insurance, dental and vision insurance, 10 paid holidays, 18 vacation days per year, 5 floating holidays per year, 12 sick days per year, paid time off Dec. 25- Jan. 1, and a voluntary 403b plan.


For more information about Demos, please visit:

This search is being led by Julian Jackson, Sarah Hecklau, and Robert Diggs of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 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.

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