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Senior Director, Democracy

Third Plateau

Third Plateau

100,000 – 135,000 USD per year
Posted on Monday, February 6, 2023

Position Overview: Third Plateau, a full-service social impact consulting firm, is looking for a talented and self-directed professional to serve as a Senior Director on our democracy team. The Senior Director will serve as Director of the Democracy Communications Fund, a pooled donor fund that invests in research and communications work to build public support for U.S. democracy, with an initial focus on building trust in elections.

Third Plateau manages the Fund. The Senior Director will report to one of Third Plateau’s Principals and will be part of the firm’s democracy team, which helps convene, connect, and advise funders, organizational leaders, scholars, opinion influencers, and other key stakeholders working to improve American democracy.

The Senior Director will work closely with leading organizations and funders in the democracy space, including Issue One, Protect Democracy, Voting Rights Lab, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and will oversee a small grants committee to make grantmaking decisions for the Fund.

Top candidates will bring direct experience communicating for social change, including narrative development and storytelling, strategic communications, public opinion research, “listening” strategies, and audience targeting; be highly effective project managers and facilitators; and be able to be open-minded and non-judgmental while working with people across a variety of identities and political ideologies in service of the greater democratic good. Prior grantmaking experience is helpful but not necessary.

Application Deadline: Rolling, with initial reviews beginning March 1

Start Date: ASAP, ideally by April 2023

Location: Remote. The company is headquartered in Northern California, but you can be based anywhere in the United States. Please note that being authorized to work in the U.S. is a precondition of employment and Third Plateau, as we are not able to sponsor applicants for work visas at this time.

Starting Annual Salary (Exempt): $100,000-$135,000 dependent upon experience (position will be eligible for annual year-end bonus and salary increase after completion of first year)

*The default assumption is that this position will be full-time, but we are open to discussing part-time options for the right person.

Benefits: In addition to collaborating with an incredible team of social impact professionals, benefits include:

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • Retirement plan with employer matching
  • Regular high fives
  • Unlimited paid time off
  • Wellness program ($500/year)
  • Dedicated professional development budget
  • Cell phone and home internet reimbursement ($110/month)


To be successful in this job, you will excel in the following key areas:

  • Communications- You have a nuanced understanding of, and multifaceted experience, with communicating for social change, including narrative development and storytelling, strategic communications, public opinion research, “listening” strategies, and audience targeting.
  • Facilitation- You are able to energetically command a room (virtual or physical). You are an active listener, you ask relevant follow-up questions that further group learning, you are able to navigate tension and unpredictability, and you are adept at creating spaces for diverse perspectives to be heard.
  • Learning orientation- We don’t expect you to know everything, but we do expect you to be an eager and perceptive learner. You are prepared to challenge your own beliefs and assumptions.
  • Expression- You are an exceptionally strong communicator who can speak and write clearly and succinctly. You are able to adapt your communication style to different audiences, and you ask for clarity when you or others need it.
  • Passion for democracy- You recognize that American democracy is highly imperfect and that its benefits have been experienced unevenly, but you also celebrate it as a historic achievement worth fighting for and improving upon.
  • Composure- You are practiced at staying calm and focused in the presence of tension. You are an experienced project manager who can set and manage timelines and juggle competing priorities.
  • Interpersonal ability- You value relationships and are able to build trust and goodwill with individuals across political, religious, economic, racial, and other differences. You are able to weave and deepen relationships with an eye towards field-building.
  • Organization- You stay on top of your work, can handle many moving parts with ease, and have a habit of building sound processes where there were none before.


The Senior Director will serve as an integral part of Third Plateau’s democracy team, providing leadership and programmatic support to the Democracy Communications Fund, a pooled donor fund that invests in research and communications work to build public support for U.S. democracy, with an initial focus on building trust in elections.

Potential duties include, but are not limited to:

Grantmaking Strategy and Oversight

  1. Work with a group of funders and practitioners to set strategy for the Democracy Communications Fund;
  2. Design grantmaking process, which may include creating and leading calls for proposals, reviewing applications, and communicating with prospective grantees;
  3. Connect with field leaders and experts to source and develop potential projects;
  4. Identify, connect with, and vet potential grantees of the Fund;
  5. Work with a small grants committee to execute all grantmaking decisions; and
  6. Develop systems for measuring progress and effectiveness of the Fund’s grantmaking.

Research, Facilitation, and Learning

  1. Stay up-to-date through reading, conversations, and convenings on the latest ideas, activities, and trends in the cross-ideological democracy and communications fields;
  2. Help plan for and facilitate meetings for leading organizations and funders in the democracy space;
  3. Create high-quality tools, written materials, and learning opportunities for leading organizations and funders in the democracy space; and
  4. Participate in external meetings and conferences and share/incorporate learnings.

Field and Fund Development

  1. Engage, educate, and expand the universe of donors who prioritize funding to improve the communications competencies of the democracy movement; identify opportunities and set goals for aligned and direct fundraising.
  2. Work with field leaders and experts to identify gaps in communications capacities and resourcing among groups working to build Americans’ support for democracy.

Other important things to note:

  • Top candidates will be: comfortable working alongside people with whom they may have deep disagreements; able to be transparent about their own beliefs without being restricted by them; and invested in building bridges and finding common ground.
  • Top candidates firmly believe that diversity of experiences and voices leads to better outcomes, and they will have demonstrated a consistent commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion both personally and professionally.
  • We are a decentralized, remote team. You should be comfortable with working remotely, and comfortable with the prospect of travel when it is safe. The position will likely entail 5-10 domestic trips per year lasting several days each. Hours are generally regular full-time but overtime, nights, and weekends may be required periodically, including during travel.
  • Basic fluency in Microsoft Office, Social Media platforms, marketing platforms (e.g. Mailchimp, Canva, Wordpress, Squarespace), database management platforms (e.g. Airtable) or ability to learn.
  • Experience in democracy-related work, civic engagement, politics, and/or advocacy, and knowledge of democracy issues in the United States and around the world, are strongly preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree or comparable experience.


Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend to only apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you're new to this field, returning to work after a gap in employment, looking to transition, or take the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar.

If are you interested in applying, please take some time to reviewing Who We Are, Our Values, and Our Commitment to DEI. After learning about us, submit your application using the following form as soon as you can, with first reviews happening March 1 and continuing on a rolling basis.

Application Form:

Third Plateau is an equal opportunity employer.
See more open positions at Third Plateau