Director, Center for Defense Information

Founded in 1981 in partnership with whistleblowers, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that works to expose waste, corruption, abuse of power, and other instances where the government fails to serve the public. We champion reforms to achieve a more effective, ethical, and accountable federal government that safeguards constitutional principles. POGO has an over $7 million annual budget that supports a staff of over 50 employees.
POGO’s Center for Defense Information (CDI) works to create a more effective national security policy that protects our country and the service members fighting for it rather than one that lines the pockets of defense contractors.
POGO’s CDI team is looking for a talented Director to oversee the planning and execution of CDI’s projects and programs. The CDI Director works with the policy and civic engagement teams and other subject matter experts to develop advocacy solutions and strategies to correct problems identified. The CDI Director reports to the Executive Editorial Director.
We encourage potential applicants to apply even if they only have experience or familiarity in some of the areas described below. We fully recognize that many great candidates will not have experience in all of the areas we list, or may have relevant experiences and skills that we have not listed or considered.
Responsibilities include:
• Manages the Center for Defense Information team by identifying topics of inquiry, setting programmatic goals and priorities, proposing legislative and policy solutions, designing, and directing public policy advocacy campaigns, editing written products, and managing workflow. This includes oversight of CDI’s internship.
• Directs in-depth research and analysis using the internet, source information, Freedom of Information Act requests, government and non-government documents, and other resources.
• Independently monitors CDI subject areas and works with team members to determine what new developments warrant further investigation, analysis, and advocacy.
• Conveys findings by drafting reports, articles, letters, public comments, testimony, and legislative and policy proposals.
• Oversees the development of CDI team written products.
• Represents POGO at meetings with executive branch officials and congressional staff and works with such offices to discuss and advocate for policy reforms and increased scrutiny and oversight on CDI-related issues within the context of POGO’s mission.
• Works with POGO’s communications team to get placement for the CDI team in print, radio, television, and other media to discuss and advocate for policy reforms on defense-related issues within the context of CDI’s mission.
• Assists and collaborates with POGO’s policy team to ensure effective information sharing and to coordinate Congressional and executive branch outreach to advocate for reforms based on findings.
• Works with POGO’s civic engagement team and civil society partners to make CDI content more accessible to a broader audience beyond defense policy wonks.
• Supports the development team in writing grants, developing programmatic goals, and communicating with donors and POGO supporters.
• Edits the weekly “Bunker” newsletter.
• Other duties as required to accomplish POGO’s mission.
Qualifications include:
• Minimum of 5 years of experience in the national security space or otherwise investigating, researching, advocating for, or working towards effective national security reform in the United States—or demonstrated equivalent experience.
• Minimum of 3 years of experience managing a team or organization—or demonstrated equivalent experience.
• Outstanding written and verbal communication skills including writing clearly, organizing information in a compelling manner, and making effective arguments. Written work includes public facing statements of policy positions, letters to policy makers, letters to senior government officials, or Congressional testimony and supervise the team in doing so.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to effectively work on internal teams, across external organizations, and independently when necessary.
• Must have the ability to think critically about and apply POGO’s previous work/policy positions to new issue areas, with an eye toward identifying the systemic reform angle.
• Must be able to cultivate and work with sources and whistleblowers.
• Must be able to proactively seek opportunities to further POGO’s policy work, keeping a particularly close eye on Congressional developments such as hearing announcements, and communicate those to the larger POGO team as necessary.
• Strong media skills in addition to keen news judgment and a passion for reforming the Pentagon for more effective, affordable, and ethical national security policy
• Demonstrated commitment to working in a nonpartisan manner with diverse stakeholders and policy makers.
• Limited travel required for meetings outside DC, less than 5% of time.
• Must be able to respond to urgent matters during evenings/nights/weekend as required.
• Deals with confidential information and/or issues using discretion and judgment for sources, methods, and advocacy.
• Demonstrated commitment to creating, maintaining, and otherwise fostering an inclusive work environment.
• (+) Military Service a plus, but not required
• (+) Previous work in the Department of Defense or with a Congressional committee or office with defense oversight responsibilities a plus, but not required
• (+) Expertise in Congressional oversight, the budget process, the appropriations process, the acquisition process, congressional war powers, building grassroots campaigns, and innovative advocacy tools a plus, but not required

Compensation, benefits, and other information:
This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC and includes the listed benefits.
• Competitive nonprofit salary starting at $90K
• Health, dental, and vision insurance
• 403(b) employee investment plan available, with employer retirement contribution through a SEP IRA once eligible
• Life insurance and long-term disability coverage
• Metro SmarTrip benefits participation available
• Paid holiday, vacation, and sick leave

To Apply: Use POGO’s career application portal. No phone calls please.
Application Deadline: April 18th

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