About the job

Director of Democracy Programs

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Boston, MA

Who We Are

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities.

We at the Kennedy Institute believe that civic education and engagement includes learning about important historic and contemporary policy issues, understanding how the issues are addressed inside and outside our democratic structures of government, and taking action on civic issues in ways that reinforce democratic practices and broaden democratic participation.

The Kennedy Institute strives to provide balanced, transparent, and inclusive civics education experiences that make room for conversations between people of broad ideologies and perspectives in respectful, productive ways.

Position Overview:

The Director of the U.S. Democracy Programs supports the Kennedy Institute’s efforts to actively protect the principles and structures of American democracy and to support bipartisan and productive policy deliberation in the U.S. Senate and in all politics. These efforts include hosting discussions and convening national leaders, spearheading initiatives to improve how the Senate functions, overseeing the Institute’s fellowships program, and organizing events that educate the public about the role of the U.S. Senate in American democracy today. The Director is responsible for building and supporting a national network of individuals and organizations with expertise in the U.S. Senate, and the Director will work closely with the CEO to develop strategies to advance the Institute as a leader in ongoing national conversations about the upper chamber. The Director will oversee a new national program to map and support the nation’s elections infrastructure.

The Director of Democracy reports to the CEO. This is a hybrid position, and the Director should expect to be on-site at least 2 days per week.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Oversee the day-to-day management of program activities, staff, and budget.
  • Work closely with the CEO to implement existing Democracy program initiatives and workstreams, which include bipartisan dialogue sessions at the Kennedy Cape House, the Senate Project, Senate 2030, JustVote, and a fellowship program.
  • Responsible for the successful execution of each Democracy work stream including the development of project management, subject matter content, background research, partnership development, and coordination with relevant Kennedy Institute team members.
  • Develop additional projects aimed at contributing to the advancement of the US Senate in consultation with the CEO.
  • Plan and organize public-facing events to raise the Kennedy Institute’s profile and create public education opportunities.
  • Work closely with the Development team to secure funding to support all U.S. Democracy program activities.
  • Other duties as assigned.


● Bachelor’s degree is required for this role.

● Expertise in American democracy, politics, and the U.S. Senate through a minimum of 8–10 years of relevant experience.

● A self-directed leader, with a growth mentality, who is flexible and willing to contribute to a small but growing team as circumstances require.

● Excellent and demonstrable project management skills and a successful track record as a team manager within a nonprofit, political, academic or government context.

● Experience building and leading diverse teams, developing and managing budgets, and executing administrative tasks as needed.

● Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ability to synthesize and summarize research findings and recommendations for a variety of audiences.

● Ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a team environment.

● Committed to inclusion and creating a workplace that is supportive of difference; experience with diverse teams and success at navigating cross-cultural communication.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to do this job. The above is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required.

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for The United States Senate is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

External and internal applicants, as well as position incumbents who become disabled as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act must be able to perform the essential job functions (as listed) either unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation to be determined by management on a case-by-case basis.

Please, no phone calls. No solicitation calls will be entertained.

Pay range in Boston, MA

Exact compensation may vary based on skills, experience, and location.

Base salary

$100,000/yr – $120,000/yr

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