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:

Operations and HR Director

Do you have the unusual combination of a knack for numbers and spreadsheets as well experience thinking creatively about organizational culture? Are you passionate about holding power accountable and fighting to defend our democracy?

American Oversight is a non-partisan, non-profit watchdog that uses targeted public records requests and litigation to expose evidence of corruption, misconduct and conflicts of interest.  We are seeking an Operations and HR Director to ensure the smooth operation of our organization and to support our high-performing team. This organizational leader will oversee our internal operations, HR, and administrative functions, and build and manage the systems needed to ensure organizational health and stability.

We’ve grown rapidly in the three years since our founding, now with over 30 staff members. A core part of this job will be helping to mature American Oversight’s operations to match its growth and complexity.

The Operations and HR Director will be a key part of creating and managing the people and systems to help us continue our aggressive accountability efforts while helping to ensure our internal systems remain strong and our dedicated workforce happy.

This position is based in Washington, DC, and reports to the executive director.

WHAT YOU’ll DO

The newly created Operations and HR Director position will be in charge of ensuring that our human resources, information technology, accounting, and administrative functions all run efficiently and effectively. They will manage a staff member assigned to operations responsibilities.

  • Organizational Culture and Leadership
    • Help us keep our finger on the pulse of the culture of the organization and use your sphere of influence to constantly try to improve our staff experience.
    • Design staff meetings and assist in leading administrative meetings.
    • Work with leadership and staff to further American Oversight’s efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Identify opportunities for training and education for the American Oversight team.
  • Human Resources
    • Provide a welcoming and seamless onboarding to all new employees.
    • Serve as a liaison between staff and American Oversight’s benefits and payroll manager to ensure systems are operating properly and employees receive and understand their benefits, leave balances, etc.
    • Recommend new benefits or benefit improvements.
    • Own and improve our performance evaluation system by working with leadership to improve employee check-in processes, developing tools for upward and parallel evaluation, and updating our annual review program.
    • Develop approaches for staff development and retention.
    • With support from leadership, promote feedback from staff and facilitate the resolution of staff concerns.
  • Administration
    • Work closely with American Oversight’s external accounting firm to ensure bills are paid, credit card transactions are appropriately cataloged, and contracts are managed.
    • Support American Oversight’s audit and tax filing processes.
    • Ensure all staff have the tools they need to do their work, including facilitating technology support through our outside contractor.
    • Manage the relations with the property management team for our building to ensure a safe, clean working environment.
    • Manage the organization’s business insurance and business licenses.
    • Procure and maintain office equipment/supplies.
    • Coordinate Information Technology systems need, including managing the services provided by IT technicians
    • As necessary, support the Executive Director in producing materials for funder and board meetings.

If you’d been in this role in the past year, for example, you would have done new employee orientation for 10+ folks; implemented a new staff survey system and assisted in responding to staff suggestions; managed an external payroll system and coordinated with outside vendors; and helped figure out how to administratively support shifts in an organizational structure. In the next year, we expect a new wave of challenges and developments, including adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, navigating the transition to 2021, and integrating our programs.

WHO YOU ARE

To be successful in this job, you will demonstrate the judgment, work, and wisdom of a senior leader who is a model of our organizational culture. Fundamentally, we want someone who loves making things work, directly and through others, and who has the skills and seasoning to do that in our context. You may have managed staff directly, and if not, you’ve got significant experience managing complex projects involving staff who didn’t report directly to you.

More specifically, you will be most of the following:

  • Fast-paced and detail-oriented, bringing a passion for making things work well and an ability to handle assignments impeccably in a high performing environment, including strategically prioritizing the most important projects while keeping the others on track as well.
  • Solutions-oriented, flexible, and systems-minded, with the ability to adapt to the evolving needs of our growing organization and to think three (or 30) steps ahead to ensure things run smoothly.
  • Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, with demonstrated successes in previous work and awareness of where you need to grow. You have the ability to work effectively with a talented and racially diverse team, and to proactively spot issues of equity and inclusion across multiple identities and bring practical solutions.
  • A very strong critical thinker and problem solver, with senior perspective and a strong ability to communicate in writing and in person. People describe you as organized, quick, and sharp.
  • Strong relationship-building, quickly gaining trust, especially across lines of difference. You’re able to build strong rapport through warmth, humility, optimism, humor, etc.
  • Strongly aligned with our organizational values of impact, inclusion, helpfulness, high bar, humility and realness. You will model our motto of excellence with heart, and staff would say you have added to our organizational culture.
  • Experience with the tools of the trade. Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, QuickBooks, database software, and payroll systems, and experience in nonprofit bookkeeping.

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 role is between $85,000–$110,000, with exact salary depending on experience and new staff rarely starting at the top of the range. Generous and comprehensive benefits package available.

Also, 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 here.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send a one-page cover letter describing your relevant experience and interest along with your resume to [email protected] with “Operations Director” in the subject line. Please indicate in your submission 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 complete our first round by April 17, 2020.

Digital Engagement Editor

How can government officials be held accountable for misconduct if no one knows about it? American Oversight is a non-partisan, non-profit watchdog that uses targeted public records requests and litigation to expose evidence of corruption, misconduct, or conflicts of interest.

American Oversight’s work exposed hundreds of pages of Ukraine documents that were withheld from Congress, we prompted the discovery of Ivanka Trump’s extensive use of a private email system, and we’ve investigated and uncovered widespread conflicts of interest across the cabinet. Through our State Accountability Project, we’re investigating voter suppression in multiple states.  

We’re looking for an energetic, driven, media-savvy, digital storyteller to join our team as the Digital Engagement Editor. Part digital journalism, part anti-corruption advocacy, and part rapid-response information sharing, the Digital Engagement Editor will help ensure American Oversight’s work, expertise, and resources are part of the online conversation.  

UPDATE: This position is open to candidates anywhere in the United States, although many internal meetings and deadlines are scheduled during Eastern Time Zone business hours. For those candidates who are based in Washington, D.C., the office is located downtown and will again be easily accessible by multiple metro and bus lines once we are no longer teleworking.

RESPONSIBILITIES

You’ll be the digital spokesperson for American Oversight and our voice on social media, managing a Twitter account with more than 100,000 followers that is regularly quoted by the media. You’ll be responsible for developing new strategies to highlight our work, calling attention to the government misconduct and corruption that we uncover, and making sure our channels are a useful resource for journalists, government investigators, and the public. 

On a daily basis, you will collaborate with the communications director, web editor, and the legal and investigations teams to create compelling digital content for social media, emails, and other projects as needed. 

Specific tasks will shift day by day along with our work and the news cycle, but in a typical week, your job will probably include:

  • Sharing breaking news based on documents that American Oversight has uncovered, including stories that we break ourselves as well as those written and published by news outlets;
  • Managing AO’s current social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) and exploring new platforms that could help share our work with a broader audience;
  • Creating compelling copy, as well as graphics and other visually engaging content, that highlights our work and drives response online;
  • Monitoring the news and the conversation on social media to identify opportunities for our current or previous work to inform the public on key issues;
  • Drawing upon the AO team’s expertise in government ethics, congressional oversight, FOIA litigation, or related topics to create and share content that helps our followers understand current events;
  • Working with the web editor and other members of the communications team to develop and execute plans to announce new investigations, new lawsuits, or important developments in our ongoing work;
  • Being the in-house expert in how to use social media to inform the public, and creating and maintaining short- and long-term digital strategy plans to make the most of the opportunities we have; 
  • Participating in brainstorms and planning meetings with an eye toward surfacing new and creative ways to communicate AO’s message;
  • Engaging in rapid response to current events, developments, and document releases in AO’s FOIAs and litigation; 
  • Occasionally (but definitely not most of the time) engaging after business hours or on weekends to promote new developments in American Oversight’s investigations or to respond to breaking news that relates to our work.

QUALIFICATIONS

We don’t have a hard and fast checklist of requirements for this position, but the following attributes will likely describe the successful candidate: 

  • Excellent writing skills with a focus on accuracy and detail, and the ability to rapidly synthesize complex legal and policy documents into clear, engaging content;
  • 2–5 years previous experience directly managing social media accounts for an organization engaged in journalism, public policy, or related work; OR significant experience as a journalist or researcher who has actively and routinely used social media channels as part of your work;
  • Proficiency in the strategic use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, as well as social media management systems;
  • Can handle high-pressure, quick-deadline projects on high-profile, breaking news topics; 
  • Fluency in federal policy, current politics, and the way they are discussed online, as well as the ability to quickly learn new topics as they arise;
  • Team player, comfortable working in a fast-paced, collaborative environment;
  • Integrity and commitment to high journalistic standards of quality and accuracy. It’s great to be first, and we like to get attention, but it is always far more important to be correct, honest, and trustworthy;
  • Solid organizational skills with the ability to complete projects and handle multiple tasks simultaneously, as well as the ability to keep track of American Oversight’s several and varying areas of investigation;
  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite (including Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects or Animate) and previous experience in creating videos for distribution on social media are also very helpful.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and retaining 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 $65,000 – $80,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

Also, 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.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send application materials, including a résumé and a one-page cover letter that contains links to social media accounts you have managed, to [email protected] with “Digital Engagement Editor” 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 next round of review by April 15, 2019.

Paralegal

American Oversight is a nonprofit organization dedicated to holding the executive branch accountable to the people. Through open records requests and the power of the courts, we work every day to promote accountability; to uncover corruption, malfeasance, or other misconduct; and to expose federal and state governments to public scrutiny. As a result of our lawsuits: the Trump administration shut down its sham voter fraud commission when faced with the prospect of transparency; the public learned that Scott Pruitt used the EPA for his personal benefit and outsourced policy to polluters and chemical companies; the Department of Justice admitted that the President lied about being wiretapped at Trump Tower; and a judge ordered the State Department to release records related to Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine that the agency had refused to turn over to Congress.

Litigation and legal work are central to our efforts, and we are looking for a highly motivated paralegal to join our rapidly growing team.

The ideal candidate will have at least one year of work experience, be comfortable managing complex organizational systems, and have an interest in American Oversight’s mission of promoting government transparency and accountability. Some familiarity with the operations of the federal government would also be helpful, but is not required.

We are a small team in a fast-paced environment. Collegiality and the ability to work effectively on multiple projects, balance priorities, and excel in a team-based environment are essential. The Paralegal reports to the Chief Counsel.

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

CORE RESPONSIBILITIES 

  • Assist lawyers with all phases of litigation case support, including conducting legal research, editing and cite checking legal briefs.
  • Coordinate service of process and/or case filings.
  • Organize and maintain internal case files.
  • Review and research current events to spot potential issues for investigation.
  • Assist both legal and investigations team with document review and factual research.
  • Assist both legal and investigations teams with drafting and filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state-level open records act requests.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • An interest in American Oversight’s mission of government transparency and accountability.
  • At least one year of work experience.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Strong organizational abilities.
  • Ability to work proactively to solve problems.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and in coordination with multiple teams.
  • Ability to work with little supervision.
  • High degree of professional ethics and integrity.
  • Outstanding communications skills.
  • Familiarity with a variety of computer systems, including word processors and spreadsheets.

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 $45,000 to $60,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package available.

Also, 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 here.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send a 1-page cover letter describing your relevant experience and interest along with your resume to [email protected] with “Paralegal” in the subject line. Please indicate in your submission 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 complete our first round by February 7, 2020.

Spring 2020 Communications Intern

American Oversight is a non-profit organization dedicated to holding the government accountable to the American people. Through open records requests and the power of the courts, we are working every day to promote accountability; to uncover corruption, malfeasance, or other misconduct; and to expose federal and state governments to public scrutiny. American Oversight’s investigations helped uncover Ivanka Trump’s personal email use, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s special treatment of projects from her home state of Kentucky, and insider access for Trump associates across the government, along with dozens of other stories detailing conflicts of interest at the highest levels of the cabinet.

American Oversight is hiring a communications intern to support our media outreach and website content creation and help us hold the Trump administration and state governments accountable. The communications intern reports to the communications director.

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

ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES 

As an intern:

  • You’ll work with the whole communications team to help share our work with the public through press outreach, website content creation, and social media channels.
  • You’ll help create write-ups of our investigations and work with the content manager to ensure accuracy with the organization of public documents on our website.
  • You’ll conduct media research to identify news outlets and reporters working on issues that American Oversight is investigating.
  • You’ll draft press releases and background memos highlighting new actions we’re taking and explaining key findings uncovered by our research team.
  • You’ll monitor the news on key issue areas to find opportunities for American Oversight to share our work or submit new public records requests.
  • You’ll work with the investigations and legal teams to track ongoing investigations and draft updates on major developments in our lawsuits.
  • You’ll take on other tasks within the communications team as needed.

QUALIFICATIONS

This position is open to students and recent graduates who are interested in building their communications skills in preparation for careers in fields such as public relations, journalism, law, campaign communications, or digital media.

The ideal candidate will have excellent writing and research skills, engagement in political news and interest in the workings of the federal government, exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail, comfort handling multiple projects in a fast-paced environment, and a positive, can-do attitude.

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 veterans are encouraged to apply.

Internships are full-time or part-time temporary positions. Interns who are not receiving an additional stipend for the internship are paid at $15 an hour. Start and end dates are flexible and can be adjusted to fit the intern’s schedule.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send application materials, including a résumé and a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, 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 complete our first round of review for winter/spring internships by Mar. 2, 2020.

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