Director of Democracy – Demos

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:
• A resourceful leader able to articulate and communicate a clear and compelling vision for the advocacy, legal strategies, litigation, and policy development goals of the organization in a manner that galvanizes the new Democracy team; and
• An exceptional relationship builder, increasing rapport, trust, and transparency across a diverse and growing community of robust, passionate, and talented stakeholders, including staff, funders and supporters, and racial justice movement partners.

For the full position description and to apply, please visit:


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:
• A Juris Doctor (JD) degree with an active license to practice is strongly preferred; experience managing a Democracy team that included litigation work is also strongly preferred.
• Lived experience that promotes knowledge of and sensitivity to the challenges vulnerable communities face, including an 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 relational skills in ways that facilitate strong collaboration with both internal and external partners.
• Successful experience leading a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds. Experience managing or leading a team build or reorganization process that centered equity and the experiences of team members and colleagues in a wholistic manner.
• Demonstrated success in crafting and implementing a strategy for a Democracy team, either at a think tank, advocacy organization, in government, or on political campaigns, or experience leading and/or participating in litigation efforts in defense of Black and brown communities. This includes deep expertise within a democracy policy area: voting rights access, court reform, money in politics, campaign finance reform, or similar.
• Excellent writing, editing, analytical, and oral communication skills, including the ability to collect, review, synthesize, and present information and findings tailored to myriad audiences.
• Ability to multitask and meet deadlines within designated timeframes and demonstrate 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 serving as a spokesperson at national and regional convenings as a panelist or speaker.
• A hands-on strategic leader who brings empathy and humility when building and maintaining relationships with new and existing funding partners and with leaders and power builders in the field.
• An optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, kindness, and patience necessary to work within a transformative environment.

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


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:

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.

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