Executive Vice President, Program & Strategy

New York City, NY

Executive Vice President, Program & Strategy. Demos is seeking an experienced, creative, entrepreneurial leader to help drive Demos’ program work.  This is an exciting opportunity for someone to partner with the President and the Executive Steering Committee in develop and implement strategies that leverage both our think tank capacities and our deep relationships with movement partners to drive impact in the “war of ideas.”  The ideal candidate will understand the vision of the President and proactively propose and develop program interventions, spot gaps in the field, bring new ideas to the organization, and seize opportunities for Demos’ ideas leadership. The strongest candidates will have change management experience, having led teams or an organization to adopt new bodies of work or to move in a new direction. The Executive Vice President will sit on the Executive Steering Committee, will report directly to the President, and will directly supervise Program Directors and the Communications Director.  

Principal responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

Programmatic strategy 

  • Build on the long-term strategic vision of the President, primary responsibility for designing and adjusting programmatic strategies needed to integrate the organization’s program ideas, issues, and narratives into the public discourse and policy arenas to fight the “war of ideas”, and connect the work to strategies to build progressive governing power of Black and brown communities, adjusting strategy in response to changing events;  
  • Leverage Demos’ unique abilities to drive “ideas leadership,” win the “war of ideas”, and pioneer new approaches to shifting structural power and advancing racial equity; 
  • Work closely with the President, and programmatic senior leadership team to design and execute organizational program strategy; 
  • Stay abreast of developments in relevant fields, including an ability to spot emerging gaps and opportunities for impact in advancing bold new policies and ideas that shift power and promote structural reforms to building a more equitable democracy and economy;

Staff management and organizational leadership 

  • Recruit, hire, assess, supervise Program Directors (Communications, Policy & Research, Legal, Movement-Building); 
  • Ensure relevant Directors have the skills, tools, support, input, and feedback they need to effectively lead high performing, high impact teams; 
  • Supervise staff and lead teams during gaps in Director-level positions, as needed; 
  • In partnership with the Executive Steering Committee, respond and attend to organizational crises and work to adequately protect the organization while living our values; 
  • In partnership with the Executive Steering Committee and Director bodies, ensure the availability, alignment, and good stewardship of Demos resources in the long and short-term, setting priorities and designing programs that optimize the impact of Demos resources. 
  • In partnership with the Finance leadership, regularly review organizational financial documents and identify areas of concerns and opportunities; 

Represent Demos and manage effective external relationships 

  • Represent Dēmos at conferences, high-level strategy meetings, retreats, key national tables, philanthropic gatherings, etc.; 
  • Grow strategic relationships with external partners within the movement, political eco-system, think tanks, funders, or other spheres to further position Demos as a leading resource for policy, narrative, and legal ideas that advance a multi-racial populist agenda;  
  • Other responsibilities as requested by the President. 

The successful candidate must demonstrate the following experience and skills: 

Leading on racial equity and building an effective organizational culture. Ability to hold and inspire a diverse, multiracial, multifunction team to execute strategy and advance a vision of an organization and society premised on racial equity; creativity in building an effective organizational culture committed to racial equity, and a demonstrated history of successfully intervening in problematic dynamics and deepening a racial justice approach within an organization, team, or table. 

Creative, strategic leader. Ability to lead on crafting and executing strategies for impact in the “war of ideas”, guiding our think tank to identify gaps in the field, generate bold new ideas, and drive impact through those ideas; a passion for how a movement-centered think tank can advance structural change through the “war of ideas”; ability and interest in creating new initiatives and comfort with the ambiguity that stems from starting new bodies of work; and the ability to work in partnership with researchers, communications experts, and policy and legal staff to achieve shared goals and concrete outcomes; demonstrated organizational leadership skills in creating a clear vision for staff, championing the implementation of strategy, taking responsibility for major decisions, and marshaling resources. 

Exceptional management skills. Ability to lead people, building cohesive teams, coaching and developing staff, and empowering managers to own their functional areas; proven project management experience that includes scoping, planning, and integration of people and resources, managing risk and planning for contingencies; ability to manage multiple, complex priorities within demanding timeframes.   

Passion for Demos’ Mission and Fluency with Core Issues. Desire to work to build program strategies that help build power for Black and brown communities; prior experience with the progressive movement and/or think tank ecosystem, with a focus on social and racial justice issues.  

The strongest candidates will also have some of the following skills and experience: 

Fundraising experience. You have prior experience in a senior-level position with responsibility fundraising. You have a proven track record of substantial and diverse fund development and experience with foundation and individual giving, including experience cultivating and asking for major gifts. 

Communications management experience. You have prior experience with management responsibility over external affairs, public relations, communications and/or other related functions. You understand strategies for increasing brand awareness and implementing effective marketing strategies to influence public policy. 

Candidates need to bring a strong commitment to excellence and an ability to work in a fast-paced environment.   

Please note: While Demos staff are currently working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current expectation is that applicants will need to be able to eventually report to our offices when we return to the workplace. Workplace attendance criteria is still being determined as public health conditions continue to evolve. For the most highly qualified candidates, other locations will be considered.

Salary and Benefits: The salary range for this position starts at $185,000.00 and commensurate with experience.  We have a generous benefits package which includes health insurance, dental and vision insurance, 10 paid holidays, 18 vacation days per year, 5 floating holidays per year, paid time off Dec. 25- Jan. 1, 12 sick days per year, and the opportunity to contribute to a 403b plan.

How to Apply: Upload a thoughtful cover letter and résumé. We are looking for an immediate hire so applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  No phone calls please. 

Dēmos is an Equal Opportunity Employer--people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.  We are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.