Associate Director/Director, Racial Equity and Justice

  • Reports to: Senior Director/Managing Director, Racial Equity and Justice; in the interim, this position reports to Senior Vice President, Rights and Justice
  • Staff reporting to this position: Racial Equity and Justice staff
  • Department: Rights and Justice
  • Position classification: Exempt, full time
  • Minimum compensation: $75,000/$90,000


American Progress is seeking an Associate Director or Director for Racial Equity and Justice. The Associate Director/Director will help lead American Progress’ efforts to develop, communicate, and implement policy ideas that provide a new way forward for a range of equity challenges in an increasingly diverse America, with a particular focus on race and equity. They will help coordinate policy analysis and substantial research and writing for the team while also working regularly on relevant ideas and issues with other American Progress teams. The Associate Director/Director will also help build relationships with outside stakeholders, including allied organizations, policymakers, and the media.

They will be driven by American Progress’ mission “to improve the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country.” This work will also include a focus on identifying and executing on points of connectivity between racial equity and justice issues and the organization’s five cross-cutting priorities:

  • Strengthening public health and ending the pandemic
  • Building an economy for all
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Restoring social trust and strengthening democracy

This leader will think strategically about turning ideas into action by working with the Racial Equity and Justice team; collaborating with the Rights and Justice Department and other teams across American Progress; and working in coalition with other organizations in this space. The ideal candidate will have a strong command and understanding of America’s racial history and structural inequality; facility with government institutions at the local, state, or federal level; executive or legislative branch experience; and relationships with key players in the field.


  • Work collaboratively with the team to develop a policy research, advocacy, and communications agenda, and actively participate in connecting the team’s work with that of the Rights and Justice Department and American Progress’ cross-cutting priorities.
  • Research, draft, and manage the production and distribution of a variety of written products, including reports, issue briefs, columns, and op-eds, that advance racial equity and justice and translate research findings for a broader audience.
  • Participate in efforts to craft timely policy reports and rapid-response documents to ensure relevant participation in policy debates.
  • Analyze federal and state legislative proposals, administrative policies, and regulatory changes.
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Represent American Progress with the public, media, policymakers, and other outside groups and individuals.
  • Build and maintain key relationships across the racial equity and justice field, including with allied organizations and policymakers.
  • Promote team priorities and work products both inside and outside the organization.
  • Keep American Progress staff updated on news and events related to relevant policy debates.
  • Support American Progress’ cross-cutting work through the Rights and Justice Department and Racial Equity and Justice team work plans.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Knowledge and experiential expertise, as well as a proven track record working on racial justice issues, are required; advanced degree is a plus.
  • Knowledge of federal policymaking and experience working with Congress and federal agencies.
  • Established relationships with policymakers, advocates, and community leaders within Washington, D.C., and in the states are a plus.
  • Excellent presentation and written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong analytical skills; quantitative skills are a plus.
  • Deep knowledge of racial justice, discrimination issues, and civil rights policy and/or law; familiarity with U.S. history is a plus.
  • Proven team player who works well and effectively with colleagues.
  • Strong political instincts and experience working with coalitions.
  • Ability to prioritize, multitask, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Commitment to the American Progress’ mission and goals.

American Progress provides a competitive compensation and benefits package. This position is not represented by a union. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. The starting salary for the Associate Director position is $75,000. The starting salary for the Director position is $90,000.

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.
Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.
Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to