• American Oversight
  • Washington D.C., DC, USA
  • Oct 15, 2019
Full time Research

Job Description

American Oversight is seeking an exceptional researcher to join a growing team investigating corruption in the Trump administration and combatting attacks on voting rights in the states.

The researcher will play an important part in our efforts to use open records requests, backed by aggressive litigation, to shed light on the workings of the Trump administration and state governments.

American Oversight’s investigations have helped uncover stories including Trump administration actions against asylum-seekers; Ivanka Trump’s use of personal email; and favoritism by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for priorities promoted by the office of her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. We are currently suing the State Department for records related to President Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival. As we expand, we’re bringing our model to the states and using transparency tools to hold state governments accountable for attacks on voting rights.

American Oversight researchers help to move our work forward by identifying opportunities for high-impact investigations, writing public records requests, and reviewing public records for new and important information. Successful researchers are avid consumers of the news and have keen political instincts, exceptional attention to detail, the utmost honesty and integrity, and a passion for holding the government accountable to the people. The researcher reports to the Investigations Director.

The position is located in downtown Washington, DC, and is easily accessible by multiple metro and bus lines.


As a researcher, your responsibilities will include:

  • Investigation: You’ll use publicly available research databases, documents obtained through public records requests, and a broad range of news sources to identify corruption and other wrongdoing in the Trump administration and state governments and uncover avenues for future research.
  • Public records requests: You’ll work with the legal team to draft public records requests aimed at uncovering corruption and malfeasance and promoting government transparency.
  • Analysis: You’ll review records that American Oversight obtains through public records requests to identify underreported trends and stories.
  • Writing: You’ll work with the investigations and communications teams to tell the stories we find with blog posts, background documents, and other written products.
  • Rapid response: You’ll respond to breaking news by doing rapid-response research and drafting public records requests on tight deadlines.


This position is open to individuals with diverse backgrounds, including journalism, opposition research, policy analysis, corporate investigations, and government oversight. The ideal candidate will have proven research and writing experience, familiarity with the workings of the federal government at the state and federal levels, and an avid interest in politics and policy.

We are seeking individuals with the following qualifications:

  • One to three years’ cumulative work and/or internship experience in journalism, opposition research, or another investigative or research field
  • The drive to uncover hidden stories of corruption and wrongdoing and an understanding of how government corruption harms everyday people
  • Exceptional attention to detail, with the ability to find the key detail in a mountain of documents
  • A sharp news sense and enthusiasm for keeping up with a rapidly changing political environment
  • Strong writing skills and the ability to use documents to tell clear, compelling stories
  • Comfort handling multiple projects in a fast-paced environment
  • Self-motivation and an ability to work both collaboratively and independently
  • High degree of professional ethics and integrity
  • Previous work related to voting rights and/or voter protection is a plus, but not required


American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team.  People of color, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and/or veterans are encouraged to apply.

The salary range for this position is $55,000 to $65,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.


Please send application materials, including a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, résumé, and a brief writing sample to Please indicate in your email how you heard about this opening.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will complete our first round of review by October 25, 2019.


$55,000 - $65,000