Policy Advocate, Research and Thought Leadership

  • Protect Democracy
  • Jul 28, 2023
Full time Public Policy

Job Description

Protect Democracy seeks Policy Advocates who are innovative and strategic thinkers and passionate about protecting and strengthening our democracy. Policy Advocates transform ideas and strategic visions about how to improve our democracy into actionable policy proposals that advance the organization’s mission. For example, our report Towards Non-Recurrence: Accountability Options for Trump-Era Transgressions (December 2019) helped us introduce ideas into the public discourse about the value of and framework for accountability to prevent future abuses after the Trump era. That work provided the foundation for our advocacy and additional written products to create accountability for the January 6th insurrection. You can find other examples here.

Ideal candidates combine skills in research, writing, policy analysis, communications, and project management to develop coherent theories of change that address the short- and long-term problems impacting our democracy. Policy Advocates use their subject-matter expertise to produce timely and high-quality policy analysis that serves as the basis for democratic reform efforts. This is a role for experienced candidates.

Candidates from diverse backgrounds and with policy views across the political and ideological spectrum are strongly encouraged to apply. Our team values diversity of viewpoints and includes people who have Republican, Democratic, and independent backgrounds.

We plan to hire multiple candidates, and as a result, we do not expect that any one candidate will have all of the experiences and requirements listed below. You can work remotely from any location in the United States.

Policy Advocates will:

  • Develop, propose, and lead strategic initiatives to tackle some of the most difficult obstacles facing our democracy. We are particularly interested in candidates who have interest or expertise in the following substantive areas:
    • Election and voting law and administration

    • Rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances

    • Electoral system reform (e.g. proportional representation and fusion voting)

    • Constitutional reform and/or institutional reform (courts, Congress, civil service)

  • Develop clearly defined organizational policy priorities and implement strategies to achieve them.

  • Conceive, author, and supervise policy reports, briefs, memos, blogposts, op-eds, and other written products.

  • Generate and sharpen creative policy proposals to strengthen American democracy.

  • Build support among nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the general public for specific pro-democracy reforms.

  • Build and manage coalitions of leaders, organizations, and activists in support of strategic campaigns to protect, rebuild, and perfect our democracy.

  • Write, publish, and present at conferences and convenings to help establish the conditions for pro-democracy reform.

  • Brief reporters and provide expert commentary on complex policy issues and solutions.

  • Liaise with legislators, their staffs, agency leaders, experts, and coalition partners to understand and advance policy ideas.

  • Partner with colleagues to develop integrated advocacy campaigns that combine legal, policy, and communications strategies.

The ideal candidate brings:

  • At least 7 years of relevant professional experience, or 4 or more years of relevant professional experience and a relevant advanced degree.

  • Demonstrated ability to generate ideas and transform those ideas into practical policy solutions.

  • Strong commitment to our cross-ideological advocacy approach and awareness of potential weaknesses in advocacy campaigns and how to mitigate them.

  • Experience managing complex projects and teams from idea to execution.

  • Exceptional writing and oral communication skills.

  • Ability to persuasively present policy proposals to high-level decision-makers, potential coalition partners, or think tanks/symposia through oral presentations and written products.

  • Excellent judgment about political activism, including what levers can make change happen with limited resources.

  • Ability to foster collaborative relationships and work in a team environment with people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

  • Growth mindset and enthusiasm for giving and receiving feedback up, down and sideways.

  • Passion for protecting and improving our democracy.


The starting salary range is $103,828 to $122,151 for mid-career candidates (typically with 7 or more years of relevant experience), $128,638 to $151,340 for more experienced candidates (typically with 12 or more years of relevant experience), commensurate with the candidate’s relevant experience, capabilities and skills and in alignment with internal equity.

About Protect Democracy

  • Flexible location. You can work from any location in the United States as long as your location allows you to complete the demands of the position and mission. All staff are required to travel at least two times per year to internal team retreats, and occasionally for project-related travel. (Accommodations to this requirement will be made only in exceptional circumstances.) We currently have staff in Washington, DC, New York, Massachusetts, California, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Utah, Kentucky, Washington, Florida, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado, Maryland, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Texas. We offer shared workspaces in many of these locations for staff members who enjoy working in an office environment.

  • Commitment to a diverse workplace. Protect Democracy is an equal opportunity employer. Our culture principles emphasize that there is strength in diversity as we believe diverse teams are more innovative, creative, and productive. Protect Democracy encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.

  • Competitive pay and phenomenal benefits. In addition to a competitive salary, our benefits package includes an unlimited vacation and sick leave policy, along with 12 paid holidays, 4 weeks of paid family medical leave, and 18 weeks of paid parental leave. We also offer a 401(k) plan with up to 6% employer match that vests immediately, full coverage for an excellent health care plan that includes both dental and vision insurance, long-term disability and life insurance for all employees, a home office stipend, and as budget allows, discretionary bonuses.

  • Ample opportunities for personal & professional development. Candidates who do not meet all listed criteria should still apply, as our organizational structure focuses on providing mentorship and opportunities for professional growth.

To apply for this position, please complete the application linked below. As part of your application, you will be asked to upload your resume and cover letter as a single PDF. Applications missing any of the required materials will be considered incomplete and not reviewed. Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Please contact hiring@protectdemocracy.org if you require accommodations at any point in the application process.



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