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Executive Director

American Oversight
Washington, DC
  • Expired: January 27, 2022. Applications are no longer accepted.

American Oversight is looking for an experienced, strategic, effective Executive Director to lead our team and help us shine a light on government misconduct and threats to democracy. We’re a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog that uses targeted public records requests and litigation for maximum impact to uncover evidence of corruption, abuse of power, or conflicts of interest.

We leverage our open records expertise to act where corruption and government power overlap. From the federal Freedom of Information Act to state transparency laws, we use carefully crafted record requests to extract information from the government. When the government fails to respond as required by law, our team has the expertise to take them to court and enforce the public’s right to hold our leaders accountable. American Oversight has obtained and published more than one million pages of emails, memos, calendars, text messages, and other records — ensuring accountability, exposing misconduct, and often driving significant corrective action, at all levels of government.

Job Responsibilities

Specific tasks will shift day by day with our work and with current events.

  • The Executive Director is responsible for the overall management and administration of the organization, including execution of organizational mission, fundraising, fiscal management, communication, board support, development of collaborative partnerships, and personnel.
  • Steward internal culture and values leadership and management. American Oversight is a formidable, ambitious accountability organization with a kind, inclusive, and humane culture. Maintaining that balance is core to the Executive Director’s mission. The Executive Director also has chief responsibility for identifying, centering, and helping the organization live up to its values, especially its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. The Executive Director is responsible for doing so in the context of our remote-first, hybrid work culture.
  • Provide overall leadership and vision for American Oversight. Lead organizational development, including setting strategy over the short-, medium-, and long-term. Prioritize and plan for open records litigation opportunities; including directing on those strategies, as needed.
  • Manage the overall mission workflow through collaboration and coordination with research, communications, and legal staff members. Provide direction and workload distribution to the team to ensure equity, engagement, and effectiveness.
  • Be an ambassador for American Oversight with partners, the media, and funders. American Oversight succeeds by working with others; the Executive Director plays a critical role in that process.
  • Serve as an effective communicator on behalf of the organization. Work with communications and investigations teams on messaging materials and communications. Oversee all external communications. Engage in rapid response to current events and document releases by mobilizing the team and speaking to the media.
  • Engage with, and be responsible to, the Board on strategic, financial, and corporate governance matters. Help build, sustain, and strengthen all Board functions, such as meetings, policy compliance, and committee work. Sustain an effective governance system that can guide the organization in accomplishing its mission.
  • The Executive Director is our chief fundraiser and liaison to existing and potential donors. Build, lead, and manage all aspects of the development program, including ongoing cultivation and stewardship of relationships. Solicit major gifts, work with the Board and relevant staff on fundraising plans. Cultivate new sources of revenue, fund solicitation, and donor stewardship.
  • Manage the organization’s financial affairs, develop and monitor its budget, and prioritize spending and resources.
  • Work with our operations staff to supervise operations, including making decisions about the right tools for collaboration, communication and compliance.
  • Implement and monitor systems and metrics to ensure compliance with all federal, state and local laws and adherence to the best practices in the nonprofit sector.
  • Work with our human resources team to hire, manage, coach, and develop staff. Ensure effective recruitment, retention, management, development, and compliance.


  • Expert judgment including the ability to create operational and organizational strategies.
  • Highest degree of professional ethics and integrity.
  • A keen insight into which priorities will contribute to American Oversight’s specific mission and toolset.
  • Proven experience developing and implementing a fundraising plan.
  • A thorough understanding and comfort operating within the community of organizations, partners, and funders fighting to defend democracy and promote accountability.
  • Practical, collaborative, and influential.
  • Exceptional communication skills with a broad range of audiences, internally and externally.
  • Experienced and effective manager of people. Ability to engage, motivate and unite staff around the organization’s vision, and drive teamwork and results across functions and work groups. Inspire confidence and provide leadership; demonstrating organizational values.
  • American Oversight is litigation-driven. A law degree and familiarity with litigation is required.

Relevant experience may include:

  • Minimum of 10+ years in the professional, government, or nonprofit sectors, with 3+ years of leadership/management experience.
  • Track record of success in a management role, including strategic planning, fundraising, development, managing budgets, organizational strategy, infrastructure administration, communications, and managing personnel. We are emphasizing experience managing “where the buck stops”--making final, consequential decisions.
  • Experience in organization-wide strategic planning.
  • Connecting individual projects and complex workflows to overall strategy; driving a team’s focus appropriately and making strategic decisions. American Oversight’s work is composed of scores of individual open records requests that must be organized and prioritized according to a strategic vision, resources constraints, and impact potential.
  • Experience with financial documents including budgets, cash flow, income statements, balance statements, and statements of functional expenses, as well as compliance and adherence to financial controls. 
  • Demonstrated familiarity and commitment to government ethics and accountability.
  • Experience in the subject matter of transparency, anti-corruption, oversight or investigations is a plus but not required.

Additional Information

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. Our hiring process is centered on assessing candidates with diverse lived experiences. We would encourage you to apply, even if you aren’t certain whether you meet every one of our qualifications described. If you are unsure of whether you meet the qualifications of this position, or how this would be determined, please contact us to discuss your application.

  • The salary range for this position is $270,000 to $300,000, commensurate with experience.
  • Generous and comprehensive benefits package, including health benefits, 403(b) match, vision and dental benefits, and paid parental leave.
  • The role is based in Washington, DC. Candidates must be in the DMV area or willing to relocate. Candidates will work at our office on a hybrid basis as appropriate under any pandemic-related restrictions, while managing a remote-first team. American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

American Oversight


Washington, DC



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