- District of Columbia
2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
District of Columbia
In his farewell address, President Obama reminded us that while our founding principles may have been self-evident, they have never been self-executing. It has been the responsibility of each generation of Americans to uphold and strengthen the pillars of our democracy. That democracy is currently facing unprecedented challenges, with political currents that threaten to slide the United States further down the road towards authoritarianism than previously assumed possible.
Protect Democracy is a new nonpartisan nonprofit formed to prevent that slide, and to take up President Obama’s call to make our democracy stronger in the process. Protect Democracy will hold our government accountable to the laws and longstanding practices that have underpinned our democracy through both Democratic and Republican Administrations.
We were conceived and are led by a group of former White House and Administration lawyers and communications professionals, all with a deep understanding of how the federal government works. As we were the ones tasked with implementing and enforcing the norms that have constrained presidential power for decades, we know what those guardrails are and when those in power may be tempted to violate them.
We are working to assemble a staff of the highest caliber to leverage tools outside government to prevent the exploitation of power within it, specifically in ways that reflect the authoritarian threat. That team will lead our efforts to monitor, investigate, report on, educate the public about, and organize and litigate against any actions taken by the Executive Branch that could erode the rules, practices and freedoms that underpin our ability as a self-governing people to hold our leaders accountable. The kinds of activities we will undertake could include:
- Challenging attempts to politicize the civil service through ideological or political litmus tests or other attempts to bully, intimidate or purge non-partisan federal workers;
- Filing FOIA requests to monitor actions by the executive branch that could violate longstanding norms that protect the democratic nature of our government, such as preventing political interference in the investigatory, regulatory, data reporting and enforcement activities of the executive branch;
- Coordinating legal and grassroots and grasstops organizing responses to attempts by the President or other Administration officials to bully or intimidate private citizens or companies in order to silence civic discourse;
- Preparing legal challenges to governmental actions that violate democratic laws and constitutional norms;
- Setting up a safe method for whistleblowers to report on any unlawful or improper actions undertaken by the Executive Branch.
But this list is only a sampling of the kinds of actions we will need to take in order to achieve our mission of ensuring that our constitutional democracy functions properly and future elections are as free, fair and informed as traditional American elections and that Americans are able to fully exercise our self-governing role.
Excellent candidates will share a deep commitment to this mission, be creative and entrepreneurial in conceiving strategies for achieving it, be excellent executors and project managers with experience in the types of work that will be required, and be able to wholeheartedly embrace and embody our organizational culture principles and a start-up environment, including collaboration, constant feedback, excellence, efficiency, and integrity.
All positions are full-time and offer competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience. The office will be virtual initially and therefore the only location requirements are that your location be one that allows you to complete the demands of the position and mission (e.g., those directly involved in Hill work will need to be in DC).
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 teams. 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, and veteran status.