Director of State & Partner Engagement

Washington, D.C. /
Program – State & Partner Engagement /
Position: Director of State & Partner Engagement

Reports to: Vice President and Managing Director of Program

Organization Description: The Voter Participation Center (VPC) is the nation’s largest non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to registering and mobilizing voters from the New American Majority (NAM) – people of color, unmarried women and young people – who make up the majority of the potential electorate but have been historically under-represented in political participation and power. Using direct mail, digital and social media outreach, guided by rigorous data science and experimentation, and working closely with a multitude of partner organizations, VPC connects with millions of voters each year, building the foundation for a more representative democracy.

Over 17 years VPC has helped more than 5.6 million people register to vote. In 2020, as COVID-19 shut down most forms of in-person voter contact, VPC helped more than 4.6 million people apply to vote by mail & cast ballots, registered more than 1.6 million people, and assisted millions of voters in voting early and safely to reduce pressures on polling places on Election Day.

VPC programs are flexible, nimble and scalable. VPC is driven by a commitment to constant research, testing, experimentation and evaluation, and thus offers many of the most cost-effective, proven, high-impact programs in the civic engagement field.

The Center for Voter Information (CVI) is VPC’s partner organization, and is a separate but affiliated 501(c)4 non-profit that works to engage both the NAM as well as members of the broader electorate who share their values.

Position Description:VPC and CVI are seeking a full-time Director of State & Partner Engagement, to lead three crucial elements of the organizations’ strategy and program:

Engagement with allied and partner groups in states, to establish respectful, collaborative and mutually supportive relationships, identify and meet shared goals for increased participation and power by the NAM, and assure transparency and communication around VPC and CVI programs.

Organizations and coalitions representing the NAM are critical leaders and engines of change in states, and their constituencies often overlap closely with VPC’s and CVI’s.  VPC and CVI seek to both support and complement the programs and agendas of partner groups on the ground in the states where it is most active.

Engagement with national allies and partner groups, to expand opportunities for collaboration around programs to register and mobilize the New American Majority, ensure transparency and collaboration, and help to address any concerns that arise.

VPC and CVI conduct some of the largest voter engagement programs in the national civic engagement community, and generate a steady stream of learnings, innovations and best practices, based on unparalleled research and testing capacity.  VPC and CVI seek to collaborate thoughtfully, widely and strategically, in order to help the community overall, and individual organizations within it, be more successful in increasing the political power and participation of the NAM.

Liaison with state and local election officials and agencies, to establish communications and transparency, seek cooperation, and address issues and potential problems

VPC’s and CVI’s programs are large enough to significantly impact the work of state and local elections officials. VPC and CVI seek to engage such officials regularly and early, in order to solicit feedback on voter engagement materials, ensure scrupulous compliance with all laws and regulations, and maintain open lines of communications to address potential questions, issues and challenges.

The Director of State & Partner Engagement will build and lead a small team to accomplish this work, coordinating closely with other VPC and CVI departments and directors.

Primary Responsibilities:

    • Develop and build a dynamic new department within VPC and CVI dedicated to regular outreach and deepening engagement with civic engagement groups nationally and in key states
    • Craft and execute a strategy for establishing and maintaining relationships with state and local elected officials in 15-20 targeted states
    • Assist VPC and CVI’s program team and others in developing concrete collaborations and managing relationships with partner groups nationally and in states around mail and digital voter engagement
    • Advise the President and CEO and the Vice President on strategies to expand and deepen relations with partner groups, and position VPC and CVI within the wider civic engagement community
    • Participate as a member of the senior staff in all appropriate decision-making and organizational functions, and work internally to represent the views of partner groups and ensure that their voice is ‘heard’
    • Supervise two team members to conduct the work in states
    • Cultivate and maintain relationships with national and state-based civic engagement organizations and leaders, including in organizing networks, the labor movement, issue and advocacy coalitions, as well as other allies, colleagues and potential clients and partners
    • Work with the communications department to help shape the narrative of our program, and respond when necessary to external events
    • Ensure that the values of racial and gender justice, equity, mutual respect and representative leadership are reflected throughout VPC and CVI’s partnerships and relationships within the civic engagement community

Qualifications for Successful Applicants:

    • Must have:
    • 5-7 years in positions of responsibility in non-profits, campaigns, public interest or public sector organizations
    • Direct experience with grassroots civic and voter engagement campaigns, advocacy campaigns, or electoral campaigns
    • An understanding of the broader civic engagement landscape
    • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
    • Excellent organizational, management and interpersonal skills
    • Ability to work independently in a highly collaborative and team-oriented environment
    • A commitment to erasing inequities and gaps in political participation in this country
    • A track record of getting results in a fast-paced professional environment

    • Nice to have:
    • Experience working in coalitions or with multiple organizational partners
    • A track record of working within multi-state programs
    • Familiarity or experience with direct mail and digital programs
    • Experience working with voter files or other political data
    • An understanding of randomized controlled trials and/or other ways to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of programs
    • Experience working with election officials and/or other public officials, or interest in learning to do so
Salary range is $95,000 to $105,000 per year. This is a full-time position. Preference is for candidates in Washington DC, once the pandemic is over. Ability and willingness to travel will be required post-pandemic. VPC and CVI offer an excellent benefits package, including 100% coverage of healthcare premiums.

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter and at least three professional references. References will not be contacted without your permission.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, until no later than January 28th. Priority will be given to applications submitted by January 22nd. Our goal is to have the new Director of State & Partner Engagement begin work with a tentative start date of March 22nd.

VPC/CVI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly value the leadership of people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and other traditionally marginalized communities, and encourage diverse candidates to apply.