Policy Director

24 Jan, 2023


Policy Director

Democracy North Carolina
Morrisville, NC

Organization Overview

Democracy North Carolina (Democracy NC) works to strengthen democratic structures, build power in disenfranchised communities, and inspire confidence in a transformed political process that works for all. Through grassroots organizing, policy advocacy and research, and strategic communications, the nonpartisan organization aims to protect  and advance voting access, ensure fair representation, and increase the participation of  those historically underrepresented in the political process, especially people of color. For 30 years, this 501(c)3 nonprofit (and its predecessor, Democracy South) has taken on powerful institutions and politicians, regardless of party, and promoted reforms  that expand public involvement in civic life. Democracy NC works closely and in coalition with reform-minded local, state, and national partners to achieve the policy  outcomes and grassroots participation necessary for a just and equitable democracy. 


Position Overview

Democracy North Carolina seeks an experienced advocate, leader, and coalition-builder for the position of Policy Director. This position is responsible for determining substantive policy advocacy and research priorities, planning and implementing legislative and administrative agency advocacy strategies, and working closely with staff responsible for the design of organizing and mobilization campaigns in coordination with those advocacy strategies.This department also leads the organization’s voter protection programming, which assists voters through a hotline and network of volunteers placed at voting locations. 

The Policy Director is closely involved in joint efforts with coalition partners, including organizing, racial justice, and legal advocacy organizations, and direct advocacy to public officials. The Policy Director oversees a team of 4, and serves as the direct supervisor of the Policy and Program Manager, Senior Research Manager, and Election Protection Research Manager.

This position reports to Democracy North Carolina’s Co-Executive Directors, serves on the organization’s leadership team, and is based in the organization’s Morrisville office. We are currently operating in a hybrid model. 


Policy, Advocacy, and Strategy

  • Identify policy goals and strategies and timely research topics and priorities, in collaboration with other staff and under the supervision of the Co-Executive Directors. 
  • Oversee legislative and administrative advocacy efforts on issues that impact the electoral process and democratic practice. Among other duties, provide written and oral testimony to policymakers, monitor and lobby relevant stakeholders, and coordinate closely with the Communications Director on digital advocacy strategies.
  • Coordinate with partner organizations on shared advocacy goals and strategies.
  • Serve as in-house expert on North Carolina election law, administrative policy, and practice; and increase staff-wide expertise on these topics. 
  • Oversee Election Protection Program 
    • Poll Monitoring/Vote Protector and Elections Advocacy Programs:  
      • Monitor advocacy outcomes related to State Board of Elections, county-level Early Voting plans, and county Boards of Elections. Works alongside the Elections Advocacy Program team to execute strategies.
      • Ensure effective cross-departmental collaboration to implement programs, including materials and assignment processes. 
      • Ensure information sharing, documentation, and reporting during and after programs.
      • Manage communication and relationships with partner organizations, County Boards of Elections, and the State Board of Elections.
      • Work closely with the Election Protection Research Manager to evaluate program data for reporting and policy recommendations.  
    • Voter Hotline 
      • Works closely with Policy and Program Manager to coordinate a statewide voter hotline alongside coalition partners.  

Research Supervision 

  • Supervise research related to issues that impact the electoral process and democratic practice in North Carolina. 
  • Determine substantive policy priority areas and research work product calendar with input from staff and in partnership with the Policy team. 
  • Edit and/or author public-facing, written research pieces ranging in length from brief analyses to longer reports. 
  • Assist with message development related to research findings and policy goals. 

Organizing and Campaign Support

  • Provide research support and policy guidance to the Organizing Director, organizing staff, and other involved staff to help inform campaigns, projects, and organizing efforts, as needed. 
  • In close coordination with the Communications team, contribute to the development of public-facing reports, fact sheets, and other materials that apply subject-matter knowledge to the advancement of advocacy and organizing goals.   
  • Respond to and screen requests from allied individuals, community groups and state organizations for research and policy information that is consistent with the mission, priorities, and time constraints of Democracy NC as a statewide resource on democracy issues.
  • Conduct speaking engagements and participate in training in line with our priorities and strategies to help educate the staff, organizational allies, and the public on research and policies related to money in politics, voting rights, election law, and other structural democracy issues. 

Team Management and Organizational Leadership

  • Direct supervision of Policy and Program Manager, Senior Research Manager, and Election Protection Research Manager.
  • Serve on the organization’s Director’s team with other department leads and executive leadership.
  • With support from staff, develop and manage a departmental budget. 
  • Build and implement the Democracy Summer program for Advocacy interns.



  • 5-7 years of senior-level work experience in a related field, OR 3-5 years of senior-level work experience in a related field and a relevant graduate degree (JD, MSW, MPA, MPP, Journalism)
  • Basic knowledge of North Carolina election law, with ability and interest in building deep expertise on the details of policy and practice (both at statewide and local levels).
  • Versatile and creative researcher, with both qualitative and quantitative research experience.
  • Experienced program manager.
  • Excellent supervisory skills and ability to manage and mentor staff working on multiple projects.
  • Commitment to North Carolina and the South.
  • Commitment to Democracy NC’s mission and values, including racial equity; ability and willingness to work with diverse groups, including low-income North Carolinians, people of color, and residents of varying political ideologies; and in diverse settings, including both rural and urban environments. 


Skills and Attributes

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Sharp, strategic thinker.
  • Experienced and confident policy advocate with coalitional experience.
  • Capacity to lead policy advocacy efforts and understand their connection to long-term organizing directed toward power-building.
  • Close attention to and experience managing details.
  • Comfortable in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment.
  • Ability to calmly navigate amid a fluid and sometimes unpredictable legislative environment.


Salary & Benefits

  • Hiring range: $82,000 – $93,000 based on experience. 
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance with 100% employee premium coverage and 50% premium coverage for domestic partner/spouse and/or children
  • Health Reimbursement Arrangement for out-of-pocket medical expenses up to 76% for employees and 38% for covered family members
  • Free telehealth for all employees and family members
  • Employer-provided life insurance and ADD
  • 30 days PTO, 9 paid holidays + 1-week office closure at the end of the year
  • 403(b) retirement option with employer contribution
  • Individual and team professional development opportunities
  • Casual, flexible work environment with a commitment to employee wellbeing and work/life balance, currently operating as hybrid in-person/remote
  • For specific questions about Democracy NC’s benefits, please contact Hannah James (HR Associate) at hannahj@democracync.org


How to Apply

Please send the following to jobs@democracync.org with the subject line “Policy Director:”

  • Cover letter with an overview of your professional background and interest in the position
  • Resume
  • In your email, please share how you first learned about this position

Hiring Process 

  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with a priority deadline of February 10, 2023. The role will remain open until filled.
  • Applicants whose skills and qualifications most closely match the needs of this role will be invited to participate in up to two panel interviews with Democracy NC staff in February.
  • Job offers are contingent upon successful completion of reference and background checks. Only prior convictions that risk the safety of our staff or the security of the organization will be considered disqualifying.
  • Should you require any accommodation during the application process, please contact Hannah James (HR Associate) hannahj@democracync.org and we will work with you to meet your accessibility needs.

Democracy North Carolina is an equal opportunity employer committed to workplace equity through ongoing learning, discussion, investment in training, and continual recommitment to our core values. Our organization considers applicants equally of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ability, marital status, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or prior record of arrest or conviction. We seek a workplace that reflects and embraces the full range of the nation and state’s diversity.

Job posted: 2023-01-24