• American Oversight
  • Washington, DC (remote possible)
  • Apr 22, 2020
Full time Research

Job Description

How can government officials be held accountable for misconduct if no one knows about it? American Oversight is a non-partisan, non-profit watchdog that uses targeted public records requests and litigation to expose evidence of corruption, misconduct, or conflicts of interest.

American Oversight’s work exposed hundreds of pages of Ukraine documents that were withheld from Congress, we prompted the discovery of Ivanka Trump’s extensive use of a private email system, and we’ve investigated and uncovered widespread conflicts of interest across the cabinet. Through our State Accountability Project, we’re investigating voter suppression in multiple states.

We’re looking for an exceptional researcher to help us identify and execute high-impact investigations. American Oversight’s researchers are avid consumers of the news with an eye for how small details fit meaningfully into larger stories. Researchers also care deeply about how government misconduct affects everyday people, and in particular marginalized communities.

This position is open to candidates anywhere in the United States, although many internal meetings and deadlines are scheduled during Eastern Time Zone business hours. For those candidates who are based in Washington, D.C., while we are currently teleworking, the office is located downtown and is easily accessible by multiple metro and bus lines. Researchers report to the research director.


As a researcher, you’ll join a small and dedicated team that works to identify opportunities to shed light on government corruption and misconduct using public records requests.

The researcher will:

  • Closely follow the news – including mainstream outlets, industry newsletters, and other sources – to identify opportunities to shed light on important stories using public records requests.
  • Work with American Oversight’s legal team to conceptualize and draft targeted, strategic, litigation-ready public records requests on important issues to federal and state agencies.
  • Analyze documents that we receive from public records requests to identify unreported details, trends, and stories.
  • Work with the communications team to tell the stories we find by writing blog posts, background documents, and other written products.
  • Build relationships with allied organizations, government watchdogs, and members of the press to share and enhance our work.


We are open to applications from individuals with a broad range of types of experience and experience levels. The qualifications that we’re looking for are:

  • One to five years’ cumulative work and/or internship experience in journalism, campaign research, government oversight and accountability, or another investigative or research field
  • Proven ability to think strategically about and execute complex investigations with clear goals and a focus on outcomes
  • Exceptional attention to detail, with the ability to find the key fact in a mountain of documents and place it into a larger context
  • A wide-ranging news diet and an ability to spot important, underreported stories
  • Success handling multiple projects in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong writing skills and the ability to use documents to tell clear, compelling stories
  • Self-motivation, collegiality, and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently
  • The highest degree of professional ethics and integrity

If you think you’d be a great candidate for this position but do not fit every part of this description, please don’t hesitate to apply and tell us why you’d be a great fit for the job.


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 $75,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

Also, we are biased, but we think American Oversight is a great place to work! Take a look at the testimonials from members of our wonderful team here.


Please send application materials, including a résumé and a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, 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 We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will complete our first round by May 6, 2020.



The salary range for this position is $55,000 to $75,000, commensurate with experience.