Position: Director, Progressive Governance Academy
Status: Full Time
Location: Anywhere in the U.S. convenient to regular travel
Deadline: Open until filled

About the Progressive Governance Academy

The purpose of the Progressive Governance Academy (PGA) is to build and develop the leadership, governance skills, and collective impact of progressive state and local elected officials across the country. Since its founding three years ago, the PGA has trained nearly 1,000 state and local officials. The PGA is a shared venture of three values-aligned organizations committed to training, supporting and enhancing the capacity of elected officials to govern, all while building the larger progressive movement: Local Progress, State Innovation Exchange, re:power Fund. The PGA is our answer to the question so many elected officials ask us:

“Once I get into office, what comes next?”

We jointly launched the PGA in 2019 after seeing the significant and unique opportunity for the progressive movement to build infrastructure it has long been lacking—a national hub for training legislators, supporting newly elected leaders to successfully transition into governance and deepening the expertise of incumbents to build and strengthen the bench of leaders our country needs to ensure a thriving multiracial Democracy.

With the PGA, we are partnering together to strengthen elected officials’ capacity to govern by providing them with critical skills, training, and a supportive community of practice. Our curriculum emphasizes an organizing approach to governance, including training on skills like power mapping, relational organizing, and coalition building. We also focus significantly on models for collaborative and inclusive governance, working towards a new vision for progressives to hold and exercise governing power.

Read more about the PGA here.

About this Position

We’re looking for a deeply collaborative and strategic leader to evolve and elevate the PGA, both as a model for progressive leadership development and as a model for collective impact. As we move forward with momentum from our highly successful pilot phase, the Director will bring their energy and vision to shaping and formalizing the PGA as an enduring program by setting scale, strategy, and growth for the next 3-5 years. (Project budget is currently $1.5M with potential for significant growth.) Building on the shared history of collegiality, mutual respect, and productive interdependence between the three managing partner organizations—Local Progress, State Innovation Exchange, re:power Fund—the Director will seek to further cohere our shared vision and leverage our collective resources to creating the most powerful iteration of the PGA possible.

The Director of the PGA is responsible for the overall success of the project and leads a variety of executive-level functions to contribute to that success. In close collaboration with leaders from the three partner organizations and with full access to joint resources and executive team and staff expertise, this includes and setting and executing the project vision, providing clear communication and knowledge-sharing, stewarding resources for the PGA and overseeing the project’s budget, reporting on the successes and challenges of the project, and serving as its lead expert and spokesperson. The Director will convene and lead a cross-organizational staff team dedicated to project implementation, and will be responsible for developing the vision for and ultimately supervising a small dedicated staff team for the project.

The Director will be employed by re:power/ re:power Fund and report to its Executive Director, Karundi Williams.

In an effort to counter pay inequality, the PGA Director salary is nonnegotiable and benchmarked to highly competitive markets in the nonprofit sector. The starting salary for this position is $130,000. In addition, re:power offers a comprehensive benefits package with excellent health/life/disability insurance: 90% employer-paid health and dental insurance premiums for staff and their families; 100% employer-paid life and disability insurance; exceptionally generous and flexible paid time off; 401k retirement benefits with a 4% employer match; FSA enrollment; 12 weeks of paid parental leave; 12 weeks of paid sabbatical leave; and much more.

This position can be located anywhere in the United States convenient to regular travel.

Job Qualifications

10+ years of relevant experience, including:

  • Knowledge of and appreciation for the unique role elected officials hold in the progressive movement with a passion for being in service to this particular constituency;
  • Interest in leadership development and an enthusiasm for supporting elected officials achieve a progressive vision through gaining skills and building a community of practice;
  • Deep understanding of state/and local legislatures that can inform work;
  • Demonstrated experience building consensus and coalition, managing multi-level relationships, and maintaining mutual trust and collaborative processes across partnership and across lines of difference;
  • Experience grounding work in racial equity: analyzing and addressing the structural impacts of policies, practices, and decisions on different racial groups, and working to eliminate inequities;
  • Proven leadership skills and management experience, including the ability to develop team performance and a genuine desire to coach and mentor;
  • Experience developing and driving impact on successful programs, including budget management and ideally at least some fundraising experience (especially with institutional giving,) and able to inspire others to do the same;
  • Applies knowledge of pedagogy and adult learning techniques to curriculum design and to facilitation of trainings;
  • Superb organizational skills, with the ability to balance multiple and competing priorities, and effectively delegate tasks;
  • Demonstrated political acumen and intellectual curiosity, as well as the ability to view old problems with fresh perspectives;
  • Able to fluently navigate different movement spaces and issue areas, and bring various networks into relationship with the PGA;
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communications skills;
  • Willingness to work non-standard hours, including weekends, and travel frequently;
  • Knows, understands, incorporates and demonstrates the PGA’s mission vision and values in behaviors, practices and decisions. (See below for description of project values.

Job Responsibilities

STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP & PEOPLE MANAGEMENT

Sets and manages execution of project vision, goals, and annual plan with PGA staff, developing and facilitating processes for creating planning timelines, articulating values, programming priorities and goals, and other key outcomes for the project that make best use of each partner’s expertise and assets. These activities include:

  • Serves as internal and external spokesperson for the PGA, holding responsibility as the key expert, storyteller, and resource on its structure, programming, purpose, and potential.
  • Furthers collaborative team culture for PGA work that is supportive of the PGA and reflective of partner organizations’ shared values.
  • Monitors and adapts staffing and management plan to include cross-staffing across the partner organizations as well as dedicated PGA staff, ensuring through active and organized communications that roles and responsibilities are clear and deliverables are on track.
  • Participates in all meetings and trainings, carrying out related reporting to partners and stakeholders, and maintaining coalition documentation.
  • Designs internal communications strategy that will allow for communicating updates—including accomplishments, challenges, and needs—to PGA partners and across organizations through a structured process, conversations, and written communication to maintain effective partner organization engagement and involvement.
  • Supports partner organizations in their efforts and strategy to incorporate PGA further into their own organizational planning, engagement, and existing work.
  • Builds upon existing operating processes and structures, seeking opportunities for strengthening and streamlining where possible to increase operational effectiveness of PGA.
  • Guides project to annually evaluate project impact and opportunity, gathering and interpreting learnings from PGA participants, external consultants, staff feedback, and seeking continuous learning and improvement.

FISCAL MANAGEMENT & RESOURCE GENERATION

Oversees all aspects of project budget, including creating and implementing systems of financial management, reporting to partnership team, gathering and allocating resources, including working across the partnership organizations related departments (finance, development, operations) to share data and recommendations, making best use of collective resources. These activities include:

  • Sets a budget for the project based on annual goals and manages distribution of funds across organizations.
  • Designs process for regularly communicating budget status updates, gaps, surpluses and making recommendations for adjustments to budget team attention for feedback and approval.
  • Works in partnership with PGA team to track, allocate, and assess program-related expenses, including brokering vendor agreements, monitoring travel budgets, staffing, and other costs.
  • Identifies fundraising prospects and manages the fundraising process with support and involvement from partner organizations’ leadership.
  • In close partnership with PGA partner organizations, meaningful contributes to PGA funder relationships, including communicating regular updates, engagement and reporting as needed.
  • Regularly communicates and coordinates PGA fundraising efforts with partner organizations.

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT, DELIVERY, EVALUATION & OVERSIGHT

Working across the partner organizations to draw on their expertise and networks, ensure that PGA programming reflects stated values and impact, provides excellent and enriching programs, iterating as needed to incorporate feedback and opportunities for improvement and expansion:

  • Serves as program lead, external spokesperson, and as a visible presence, attending all PGA trainings, traveling as needed to participate.
  • Sets annual goals and manages project team members to their completion.
  • Creates or organizes the creation of updated materials, toolkits, digital tools for use in program.
  • Works in close partnership with partner staff responsible for developing curriculum, supporting them in monitoring and evaluating impact and designing processes to gather feedback from trainings.
  • Works in close partnership with partner staff responsible for identifying and training pool of qualified and effective trainers, supporting them in monitoring and evaluating impact and designing processes to gather feedback from trainings.
  • Work with staff at Local Progress and SiX to connect participants into these networks, and integrate the core concepts of the trainings into the broader community and culture of both networks.      
  • Seek opportunities for community-building and continued engagement with training participants in order to deepen ongoing collective impact, including designing and monitoring a communications strategy centered on engagement and retention.

Alignment with Organizational Missions and Values

As a partnership between Local Progress, re:power Fund, and SiX, it is critical that the PGA Director be aligned with and agree to each organization’s mission and shared values as outlined below:

Local Progress Local Progress (LP) is a movement of local elected officials advancing a racial and economic justice agenda through all levels of local government. We are elected leaders who build power with underrepresented communities, share bold ideas and policy among our network and fight to reshape what is possible in our localities all across the country. Hand-in-hand with community-based organizations and unions committed to advancing a social justice agenda, the elected officials and staff of Local Progress are building the network to facilitate a genuine “inside/outside” strategy to reforming municipal policy and politics. Founded in 2012, Local Progress has grown to nearly 1,300 local elected official members representing cities, counties, and towns in 48 states.

re:power Fund re:power(c4) & re:power Fund (c3), together are the progressive movement’s largest and most-trusted capacity-building and training organization, with over 100,000 alumni and 250 partner organizations. Founded in 2003 as Wellstone Action—and rebranded in 2018 as re:power—we are a team of organizers, strategists, and technologists dedicated to building transformative political power with Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities (BIPOC). We envision a future of inclusive politics where decisions about our communities are made by our communities at every level. We intentionally focus on BIPOC communities in recognition of the decades of movement work these communities have led while also being denied access to resources and decision-making power.

We work towards our vision of inclusive politics by offering training and strategic support to leaders and organizations across the progressive ecosystem, focusing on movements, civic engagement, and governance. Our Movement Building Programs train community and labor organizers, activists, and those who are building power in the grassroots domain. Through our Civic Engagement Programs, we train electoral campaigners and candidates running for public office. And finally, our Governance Programs train and support progressive legislators who are newly elected to office.

SiX The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) is a 501(c)(3) policy, strategy, and resource center for progressive state legislators. We empower, embolden, and equip state legislators to build and wield progressive governing power by/with/for the people they represent. We do this by providing legislators with the tools needed to shape impactful public policy and building their capacity to lead with their constituents. We foster long-term collaboration between legislators- across chambers, across regions, and across state lines—and with grassroots movements. Our vision is an equitable, resilient, healthy, and prosperous future for every person in the United States, which is secured and safeguarded by progressive state legislators. SiX’s sister organization, SiX Action is a 501(c)(4) that works alongside SiX to build the capacity of state legislators by providing policy development, communications tools, and technical assistance.

SHARED VALUES

These shared values were collectively adopted by the PGA team, and are equally applicable to all of our partner organizations. The PGA Director will be responsible for demonstrating the following values in carrying out the day-to-day work:

Equity and Inclusion. Actively practice our commitment to racial, gender, economic, and social justice. Demonstrate an openness to cultivating progressive, inclusive leadership and welcoming different learning and leadership styles. Seek and accept feedback about ways to strengthen your awareness and understanding of how to create more inclusiveness in your speech and behavior. Practice humility and continuous learning. Commit to repairing relationships with your speech or behavior has promoted inequity or exclusion.

Collaboration. Proactively build relationships with your colleagues and partners. Demonstrate respectful speech and behavior. Be honest, kind, and direct in instances of conflict. Adopt a stance of “having each other’s back.” Resist habits of individualism and competition in favor of turning toward and building with one another

Accountability. Demonstrate the ability to own and achieve your responsibilities at work. Attend to both the results and the process by which you achieve your results. Pay attention to details, anticipate roadblocks, offer solutions, drive work forward, include relevant stakeholders when making decisions, follow through with delivering high-quality work on time.

Integrity and Trust. Do not withhold information but democratize knowledge. Acknowledge both your successes and your mistakes. Practice forthrightness, “saying the thing,” graciously giving and receiving feedback, and building your own skills and capacity as well as that of your colleagues.

Initiative and Tenacity. Take responsibility for your success and the success of your teammates. Demonstrate the ability to manage and successfully execute on the work in the context of a remote organization. Offer and seek answers and options proactively, in consultation with your supervisor, colleagues, and partners. Challenge implicit assumptions and create explicit agreements.

Flexibility. Embody a “getting to yes” attitude and a propensity for working through roadblocks, building consensus, and course correcting when necessary. Engage in continuous learning and reflection. Seek feedback. Apply your learnings to subsequent projects and responsibilities. Welcome change and seek ways to adapt to new information, people, and circumstances.

Innovation. Commit to learning and growing the organization’s work. Stay open to possibility. Greet new opportunities with curiosity and a sense of possibility and openness. Contribute to a culture that lets us grow, try new things, succeed (or fail), and learn from our efforts.

Application Deadline and Instructions

This position is open until filled, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Please submit a resume along with a cover letter detailing your interest in this position. We encourage applicants to also include additional relevant samples of their previous work. Written reports, links to web-based publications, curriculum, meeting agendas, grant proposals, event invitations, podcasts, pitch letters, press releases, videos, and any other materials demonstrating communication skills or subject matter expertise are welcome, but not required at this stage.

Hiring Process

Nonprofit talent agency People Power is the search partner for this hire. We appreciate your time and interest in contributing your talents to the PGA’s mission. Thank you! You will receive an email auto-reply to your application. We wish we could respond personally to all applicants, but only those chosen to interview will be contacted. Please do not contact re:power directly to inquire about the status of your application.

Selected applicants will be invited to an initial brief screening interview via phone. Finalists will then be invited to 3 longer-form interviews via video with the re:power’s Executive Director and other members of the executive teams and staff across the partner organizations. You may also be asked for additional writing samples and/or to meet informally with additional team members.

We welcome your interest and feedback. If you would like to make a confidential inquiry and/or have questions regarding your qualifications for this position, compensation or benefits, our process or internal timeline for hiring, or suggestions for how to improve this announcement or the opportunity itself, please email Kate Brumage at People Power: kate@peoplepowerproject.org


re:power is an equal opportunity employer. We eagerly invite people of color, Native American and Indigenous people, immigrants, women, genderqueer and nonbinary people, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and others to apply for all open positions at re:power.

re:power offers a lively and highly rewarding professional environment; we are committed to creating a world where our lived experiences, perspectives and ideas are fully represented and that starts first within our organization.This position can be located anywhere in the United States convenient to regular travel.

We believe in a future of inclusive politics where decisions about our communities are made by our communities at all levels.

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