Careers

American Oversight is always looking for new team members to help us hold the government accountable through public records requests backed by aggressive litigation, communications, investigations, and research.

We are actively hiring for the positions listed below; however, if you are interested in joining our mission please reach out even if there is not a specific job posting for your skillset.

Are you an attorney who wants to go to court to extract information from the administration? Get in touch. Are you a researcher or investigator who wants to help uncover misconduct? Email us. Are you in college or law school and want to spend a semester or summer working with us? Send us a note. Our email address is [email protected]. We check it all the time.

Read more from our team about what it’s like to work here.

 

See our current openings and job descriptions below:

Counsel

Come join a team of extraordinary lawyers bringing accountability to bear on the Trump administration. Through open records requests, backed by aggressive litigation, American Oversight attorneys shine a light on corruption, malfeasance, and other misconduct. The organization is uniquely positioned to drive accountability in 2019 and 2020, working in parallel with congressional investigators to ensure that facts matter and bad actors are scrutinized.

If you’ve thought about jumping into the fight and putting your legal and litigation skills to work for the truth, American Oversight wants to hear from you. You can make a difference here. You can make administration officials answer for their conduct. You can help supercharge congressional investigations and investigative journalism. You also get to wake up in the morning feeling like you’re fighting the good fight alongside an extraordinary team of amazing and friendly professionals.

While working on a broad range of substantive issues — from EPA policy, to corruption concerns at DOJ, to interference with the 2020 Census — our lawyers are litigators first and foremost. They file pleadings, engage in extended meet-and-confers with opposing counsel, and battle to enforce the public’s right to transparency. The organization shares the fruits of our litigation with others, including the press, other nonprofits, Congress, and the public, to ensure they have an impact. Our litigators are key to the entire mission.

Lawyers also play a key role, in conjunction with our investigations team, in identifying ideas for potential Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, developing investigation strategies, crafting effective FOIA requests, and identifying issues in records produced in response to our requests.

American Oversight is looking for attorneys with preferably at least three years of legal experience, including at least one year of civil litigation. Responsibilities and salary will vary based on experience and skills.

We are a small team in a fast-paced environment. Collegiality and ability to work effectively on multiple projects, balance priorities, and excel in a team-based environment is essential.

This position is based in Washington, DC, and reports to the Chief Counsel.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Litigate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records act requests on behalf of American Oversight and other clients.
  • Draft court pleadings, including complaints, motions, and briefs.
  • Engage in legal and factual research, motions practice, and brief writing.
  • When appropriate, engage in drafting of discovery requests, appellate briefs, amicus briefs, and regulatory comments.
  • Draft FOIA and state open records act requests and administrative appeals.
  • Review and research current events to spot potential legal issues and to identify opportunities to uncover government malfeasance or unethical conduct.
  • Work with investigations team to research and develop investigation strategies.
  • Engage in frequent negotiations with executive branch FOIA and state agency open records personnel and with government counsel in litigation.
  • Prepare demand letters to advance ethics and transparency of executive branch.
  • Work with communications and investigations teams on messaging materials and blog posts as needed.
  • Represent American Oversight in meetings with coalition partners and congressional committees.
  • Participating in internal organizational development initiatives.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Law degree and admission to practice in at least one state (with eligibility to join DC bar).
  • Preferably at least three years of legal experience, including a preference for at least one year in civil litigation.
  • Commitment to public interest advocacy.
  • An interest in American Oversight’s mission of government accountability and transparency.
  • Exceptional legal writing, research, and verbal communications skills.
  • Strong organizational and project-management abilities.
  • Sound judgment and ability to analyze situations and information.
  • Ability to work collaboratively.
  • High degree of professional ethics and integrity.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Freedom of Information Act and/or government ethics laws helpful but not required.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. People of color, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and/or veterans are encouraged to apply.

The salary range for this position is $80,000 to $125,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send application materials, including a one-page cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, resume, and writing sample to [email protected] with “Counsel Position” in the subject line. Please indicate in your email how you heard about this opening.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will begin our first round of review by October 18, 2019.

State Program Coordinator

American Oversight is seeking an extraordinary candidate to coordinate a major new initiative to bring our investigative watchdog expertise to bear on the problem of voter suppression and the corruption of democracy at the state level.

American Oversight uses state and federal open records requests, backed by aggressive litigation, to expose corruption in government. Now, in addition to American Oversight’s extensive federal anti-corruption mission, we are using the same tools to uncover the paper trail left behind when politicians, activist groups, and dark money conspire to entrench themselves in power by limiting who can vote. Secrecy makes their efforts possible. The evidence we uncover will inform the public, support civil rights litigation, and augment policy advocacy for change.

As State Program Coordinator, you will be American Oversight’s internal and external hub for anti-voter suppression efforts, coordinating our litigators, investigators, and communicators with like-minded organizations and actors. You will help us identify investigative targets and find ways to put the evidence we obtain to use for change.

An ideal candidate is an excellent organizer and relationship builder, a sponge for information, and a master at distilling complex or voluminous information to make it compelling. A typical day will involve tracking the news, digging into substance with American Oversight staff, reviewing documents, and staying in close contact with partner organizations at the state and federal levels. American Oversight currently is active in Florida, Georgia, and Texas, but is exploring expansion into new jurisdictions. In the future, American Oversight’s state-level work may expand beyond voter defense to other corruption issues.

The State Program Coordinator will work closely with American Oversight’s leadership to chart strategy and inform resource allocation decisions. At the same time, they will be close to the work, often jumping on opportunities as they arise to ensure maximum impact.

The position is located in downtown Washington, DC, and is easily accessible by multiple metro and bus lines.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Coordinate and develop strategies for open records investigations in individual states, as well as for American Oversight’s broader state-level program.
  • Develop and manage upward and downward communications about the state program to keep everyone informed and working together.
  • Work with American Oversight management to coordinate efforts of American Oversight staff focused on state-based work.
  • Read widely to stay abreast of relevant news and identify information germane to existing investigations or potential new ones.
  • Cultivate relationships with other organizations at the state and national levels to identify potential lines of inquiry, understand local dynamics, and discover opportunities for impact.
  • Participate in the drafting and review of open records requests. Review documents obtained through open records requests.
  • Work with American Oversight’s investigations team and partner organizations to identify significant information in the documents we uncover.
  • Work with American Oversight’s communications and investigations teams as well as partner organizations to leverage and publicize finds and create messaging materials.
  • Represent American Oversight in meetings with coalition partners.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Four or more years of experience in organizing or issue advocacy. Familiarity with working in coalitions or with partner organizations.
  • A strong foundation in voting rights issues preferred.
  • Excellent organizational and project management abilities.
  • Demonstrated people management experience.
  • Exceptional writing, research, and verbal communications skills.
  • Sound judgment and analysis.
  • Familiarity with open records laws or tools is helpful but not required.
  • A passion for details and for seeing the full puzzle from a handful of pieces.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and passion for helping American Oversight build something new.
  • Comfortable in an evolving startup environment.
  • Ability to work effectively on multiple projects, balance priorities, and excel in a team-based, collegial environment is essential.
  • Spanish language skills are helpful but not required.
  • We believe the above qualifications do a good job describing the kind of candidate we are seeking; however, if you think you’re perfect for the job but don’t check every box, please apply and tell us why you’d be a great fit.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. People of color, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and/or veterans are encouraged to apply.
  • The salary range for this position is $80,000 to $100,000, commensurate with experience. We offer a 403(b) plan with an employer match and generous health-care benefits.
  • We are biased, but we think American Oversight is a great place to work! Take a look at the testimonials from members of our wonderful team.
  • American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send application materials, including a one-page cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, resume, and writing sample to [email protected] with “State Program Coordinator Position” in the subject line. Please indicate in your email how you heard about this opening.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will begin our first round of review by October 25, 2019.

Researcher

American Oversight is seeking an exceptional researcher to join a growing team investigating corruption in the Trump administration and combatting attacks on voting rights in the states.

The researcher will play an important part in our efforts to use open records requests, backed by aggressive litigation, to shed light on the workings of the Trump administration and state governments.

American Oversight’s investigations have helped uncover stories including Trump administration actions against asylum-seekers; Ivanka Trump’s use of personal email; and favoritism by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for priorities promoted by the office of her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. We are currently suing the State Department for records related to President Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival. As we expand, we’re bringing our model to the states and using transparency tools to hold state governments accountable for attacks on voting rights.

American Oversight researchers help to move our work forward by identifying opportunities for high-impact investigations, writing public records requests, and reviewing public records for new and important information. Successful researchers are avid consumers of the news and have keen political instincts, exceptional attention to detail, the utmost honesty and integrity, and a passion for holding the government accountable to the people. The researcher reports to the Investigations Director.

The position is located in downtown Washington, DC, and is easily accessible by multiple metro and bus lines.

ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

As a researcher, your responsibilities will include:

  • Investigation: You’ll use publicly available research databases, documents obtained through public records requests, and a broad range of news sources to identify corruption and other wrongdoing in the Trump administration and state governments and uncover avenues for future research.
  • Public records requests: You’ll work with the legal team to draft public records requests aimed at uncovering corruption and malfeasance and promoting government transparency.
  • Analysis: You’ll review records that American Oversight obtains through public records requests to identify underreported trends and stories.
  • Writing: You’ll work with the investigations and communications teams to tell the stories we find with blog posts, background documents, and other written products.
  • Rapid response: You’ll respond to breaking news by doing rapid-response research and drafting public records requests on tight deadlines.

QUALIFICATIONS

This position is open to individuals with diverse backgrounds, including journalism, opposition research, policy analysis, corporate investigations, and government oversight. The ideal candidate will have proven research and writing experience, familiarity with the workings of the federal government at the state and federal levels, and an avid interest in politics and policy.

We are seeking individuals with the following qualifications:

  • One to three years’ cumulative work and/or internship experience in journalism, opposition research, or another investigative or research field
  • The drive to uncover hidden stories of corruption and wrongdoing and an understanding of how government corruption harms everyday people
  • Exceptional attention to detail, with the ability to find the key detail in a mountain of documents
  • A sharp news sense and enthusiasm for keeping up with a rapidly changing political environment
  • Strong writing skills and the ability to use documents to tell clear, compelling stories
  • Comfort handling multiple projects in a fast-paced environment
  • Self-motivation and an ability to work both collaboratively and independently
  • High degree of professional ethics and integrity
  • Previous work related to voting rights and/or voter protection is a plus, but not required

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team.  People of color, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and/or veterans are encouraged to apply.

The salary range for this position is $55,000 to $65,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send application materials, including a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, résumé, and a brief writing sample to [email protected]. Please indicate in your email how you heard about this opening.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will begin our first round of review by October 25, 2019.

Notes from Our Team: Why Work at American Oversight

“Before joining American Oversight, I was working long hours at a stressful job. After the 2016 election, I was frustrated with the way things turned out and with my total lack of time for putting any thought into what I, personally, could do in response, let alone for taking any real action. I needed a change, and American Oversight’s mission — holding the government accountable and exposing corruption — was a great way to take my existing litigation skill-set and apply it to making a difference in the real world. In addition, while I had always cared about policy issues and their impact on people, I had never been tuned in to politics, nor did I feel like I had particularly useful or unique knowledge of any one policy issue. American Oversight was extra appealing, as it offered a means to participate and make a difference even without policy or political experience. Our work applies to all aspects of public policy, and it transcends the political, partisan system.” Katie, Counsel

“After the 2016 election, I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines helplessly reading headline after headline. I wanted to work in a place where I could have both the opportunity to expand my skill set and take action on issues I care about, and I’ve found that here at American Oversight. As a member of the communications team, I’ve really enjoyed taking on new projects and seeing our growth into new areas, and generally being a part of the team. Our office culture is really kind, and people are accommodating to others’ needs here.” Christina, Digital Associate

“I wanted to use my law degree in a way that reflected my interest in public policy and ethics. American Oversight beautifully married those two interests and I feel that my work has a direct impact on the world around me. I am eager to see how some cases pending in litigation will pan out. I’m also really interested in our project with state records requests, seeing the organization expand beyond federal oversight… I really value the atmosphere here: collegiality and collaboration build a supportive environment. Even though the organization is growing, there’s a pervasive feeling that we’re part of a team.” Khahilia, Counsel