Advocacy Director

  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Close Date: September 15, 2019
  • Hiring Organization: Democracy NC
  • Contact Name: Adrienne Kelly
  • Contact Email:
  • Job Website

Job Description

Democracy North Carolina seeks an experienced advocate and coalition-builder for the position of Advocacy Director. This position is responsible for determining substantive policy advocacy and research priorities, planning and implementing legislative and administrative agency advocacy strategies, and working closely with staff responsible for the design of organizing and mobilization campaigns in coordination with those advocacy strategies.

The Advocacy Director is closely involved in joint efforts with coalitional partners, including organizing, racial justice, and legal advocacy organization, and direct advocacy to public officials. The person in this position supervises a Senior Researcher and, during the 2020 election cycle, staff responsible for implementing a large-scale volunteer voter protection network.

This position reports to the Executive Director serves on the organization’s leadership team and is based in the organization’s Durham office.


Policy Advocacy and Strategy
● Lead the identification of policy goals and strategies and timely research topics and priorities, in collaboration with other staff and under the supervision of the Executive Director.
● Oversee legislative and administrative advocacy efforts on issues that impact the electoral process and democratic practice. Among other duties, provide written and oral testimony to policymakers, monitor and lobby relevant stakeholders, and coordinate closely with the Director of Communications & Digital Strategy on digital advocacy strategies.
● Lead coordination with partner organizations on shared advocacy goals and strategies.
● Serve as in-house expert on North Carolina election law, administrative policy, and practice; and increase staff-wide expertise on these topics.
● Oversee programs designed to achieve advocacy outcomes (advocacy concerning county-level Early Voting plans, monitoring of county Boards of Elections) and/or ensure voting access during elections (Voter Protection network).

Research Supervision
● Supervise research related to issues that impact the electoral process and democratic practice in North Carolina.
● With the Executive Director and Senior Researcher, in particular, determine substantive policy priority areas and research work product calendar.
● Edit and/or author public-facing, written research pieces ranging in length from brief analyses to longer reports.
● Assist with message development related to research findings and policy goals.

Communications and Organizing Campaign Support
● Provide research support and policy guidance to the Organizing Director and campaign staff to help inform campaigns, projects, and organizing efforts, as needed.
● In close coordination with the Communications team, lead the development of “research products” (print and non-print), such as reports, fact sheets, and other materials that are easily popularized and distributed through relevant outlets and networks.
● Respond to requests from allied individuals, community groups and state organizations for research and policy information that is consistent with the mission, priorities, and time constraints of Democracy NC as a statewide resource on democracy issues.
● Conduct speaking engagements and participate in training as necessary to help educate the staff, organizational allies and the public on research and policies related to money in politics, voting rights, election law, and other structural democracy issues.

Team Management
● Supervise Senior Researcher and two Voter Protection staff members (2020).
● With Operations staff and the Executive Director, hire Voter Protection staff members.
● With support from staff, develop and implement team budget concerning advocacy and research agenda.


● Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
● Sharp, strategic thinker.
● Experienced and confident policy advocate with coalitional experience.
● Capacity to lead policy advocacy efforts and understand their connection to long-term organizing directed toward power-building.
● Close attention to and experience managing details.
● Comfortable in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment.

● 5-7 years of senior-level work experience in a related field, OR 3-5 years of senior-level work experience in a related field and a relevant graduate degree (JD, MSW, MPA, MPP, Journalism)
● Basic knowledge of North Carolina election law, with ability and interest in building deep expertise on the details of policy and practice (both at statewide and local levels).
● Versatile and creative researcher, with both qualitative and quantitative research experience.
● Strong program manager.
● Commitment to North Carolina and the South.
● Commitment to Democracy NC’s mission and values, including racial equity; ability and willingness to work with diverse groups, including low-income North Carolinians, people of color, and residents of varying political ideologies; and in diverse settings, including both rural and urban environments.

Salary / Compensation

$70,000 to $80,000, depending on experience. Full benefits including paid time off, medical, dental, vision, life, and AD&D insurance and a retirement plan.

Applications Instructions

Send your cover letter, resume and contact information for three references to Enter Advocacy Director and your Name in the subject line. No phone calls, please.