CEO

Democracy Works

Sector:

Civil Rights

Function:

General Management / Strategic Planning

Location:

NY - New York metropolitan area
Flexible

About the Organization

Democracy Works is a nonpartisan civic tech organization on a mission to help Americans vote no matter what. They build the tools needed to upgrade the infrastructure of our democracy and improve the voting experience for voters and election officials alike. In the past year, Democracy Works successfully covered 2,933 elections, spanning all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 2,806 jurisdictions. Collaboration is key for achieving Democracy Works' goals. To get things done, Democracy Works partners with a broad range of colleges and universities, election officials, peer institutions, and corporate and nonprofit partners. Since its first initiative, Democracy Works has continued to build technology for both voter and election administrators:

  • TurboVote is a tool designed to help voters register, request their ballot, and make their voice heard in every election, from local to national. Democracy Works has connected over ten million Americans with TurboVote by building the largest college, nonprofit, and corporate voter engagement coalition in the country, including more than 300 campuses, nonprofits - like Headcount, Color of Change, and the Hispanic Federation--and companies like Starbucks, Univision, Facebook, Google, and Snap. In 2020 TurboVote sent 68,310,826 personalized notifications to voters.

  • As the only comprehensive official election dataset, the Voting Information Project (VIP) helps Americans find their polling site and available ballot dropbox locations where they look for it most: online. Last year, The Voting Information Project hosted over 125,000 polling sites including 22,859 dropbox locations, maintaining the largest official nationwide set of election data.

  • Released in 2020, How To Vote breaks down all the options each state offers for voting, their voter registration rules, as well as unique circumstances like voting overseas and voting rights restoration for the formerly incarcerated. Across Google products, VIP's official data and How To Vote's state-level guidance were viewed over 500M times in 2020.

  • Ballot Scout brings transparency and accountability to the vote-by-mail process by allowing elections administrators and voters to track every ballot with the same ease as an Amazon package. Ballot Scout helps election administrators track absentee ballots through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry. 15,432,000 voters had the ability to track their mail ballot through Ballot Scout, this past year.

  • Co-founded by Democracy Works and the CAA Foundation, Civic Alliance is a nonpartisan group of businesses working together to build a future where everyone participates in shaping our country. In 2020, Civic Alliance recruited 750,000 poll workers and offered 245 physical spaces to serve as polling sites, while membership grew to over 1,000 companies with an employee reach of 5M+.

About the Position

Democracy Works seeks a strategic, committed leader to serve as its Chief Executive Officer. Democracy Works' rise over the last 11 years was led by its Founding Chief Executive Officer who will be stepping down at the end of 2021. The incoming CEO will step into an organization in strong financial and strategic health, with an exceptional team.

Reporting to Democracy Works' Board of Directors, the CEO will serve as the organization's most senior external advocate and fundraiser, overseeing the organization's continued growth in its current moment and beyond. The CEO will also set organizational strategy, enabling Democracy Works to continue to deliver consistent, high-quality products, research, and expert assistance in pursuit of a fairer voting system.

As the organization's primary strategic leader, the CEO will support Democracy Works' leadership team and staff to achieve exceptional results and impact at scale. Upon starting, it is anticipated that the CEO will lead an organizational strategic review and a foundational analysis of organizational strengths and opportunities in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access working closely with staff to chart its course into the future. The CEO will play a critical leadership role to foster an inclusive workplace that not only values and is responsive to the diversity of staff and the audiences it serves, but elevates all voices and identities across its work internally and with external partners. CEO will also build the organization's internal capacity to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are central tenets of Democracy Works and are embedded across the organization.

The CEO will directly manage a senior leadership team of 8 and an organization of over 60 staff.

The Chief Executive Officer's responsibilities will include, but will not be limited to, the following areas of focus:

  • Organizational Mission - Lead, with the support of the senior leadership team and staff, all operations, with ultimate accountability for ensuring alignment between Democracy Works' products and the organization's mission
  • Strategic Leadership - Serve as Democracy Works' senior-most executive, leading the organization's next strategic planning process, ensuring the organization executes its mission in the most impactful way, while continuing to both excel in its current work and develop the infrastructure necessary for enhancements
  • Team Leadership - Develop and mentor a high-performing senior management team, while inspiring the organization as a whole to deliver high-impact products, with an eye toward building a culture and developing policies that promote inclusion and human dignity across all staff
  • Board Stewardship - Act as lead liaison to the Board of Directors, engaging Board members in fundraising, strategy, and governance; and expand the Board, as appropriate
  • Fundraising - Drive fundraising strategies and activities, partnering with individual, philanthropic and corporate partners to raise six and seven-figure deals and diversify revenue streams; engage staff leaders in cultivation and stewardship, providing them with the support they need so that they secure funding
  • Culture Building - Steward a culture defined by its commitment to centering equity, inclusion, and anti-racism that works tirelessly to increase voter participation and champion its commitment to its values
  • Thought Leadership - Amplify the work of Democracy Works' teams, ensuring that Democracy Works continues to contribute to the national efforts around voter and election reform; act as an advocate in the movement to improve the use of technology to power democracy
  • Relationship Management - Serve as the leading voice for the organization, enhancing Democracy Works' reputation, partnerships, and credibility; building deep, trusting relationships across lines of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion as well as other dimensions of diversity

Candidate Requirements:

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of ten years of leadership experience, with experience leading teams to achieve ambitious results
  • An authentic passion for Democracy Works' mission and model; believes in the power of creative empathetic technology as a tool for social good and system change and a strong understanding of how voter participation is impacted by policy and information, and an appetite for addressing power gaps in American democracy
  • Track record of securing six and seven figure gifts, grants, and partnerships, with experience leveraging existing relationships to expand and fortify an organization's health
  • Strong cross-cultural competence, with experience engaging deeply on issues of racial justice, both internally and externally, leading complex discussions and building strong relationships with stakeholders from a range of professional backgrounds and identities -- across issues of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion as well as other dimensions of diversity and geographies
  • Exceptional team-building skills, with a track record of recruiting, motivating, directing, and retaining a group of professionals with different work styles; commitment to creating a culture of transparency, belonging, goodwill, and accountability
  • Commitment to Democracy Works mission, ready to inspire, unite, recognize, and engage a diverse and talented staff of elections and technology experts
  • Excellent relationship-building skills, with demonstrated success establishing and nurturing relationships with a diverse body of stakeholders (policy makers, corporate partners, funders, etc.) in different locations, rallying them towards shared goals
  • Strong strategic and critical thinking, with experience designing a strategy with a clear theory of impact, and then building and nurturing a functional structure with an effective management style that executes effectively on that vision
  • An orientation toward continuous learning and the capacity to deeply understand the elections ecosystem in order to be able to successfully guide the organization through these complicated external dynamics
  • A belief in and commitment to working in a nonprofit, non-partisan, unionized civic leadership organization

Compensation and benefits:

Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous vacation policy; parental leave; long-term disability; employee assistance program

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything it does and aspires to have a team that is representative of the voters they serve. Democracy Works promotes an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, Democracy Works strongly encourages applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service.

On-Ramps is an executive search and consulting firm serving mission-driven organizations in the social sector. Like Democracy Works, On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose.