Director, Center for Defense Information

companyCenter for Defense Information
locationWashington, DC, USA
PublishedPublished: 4/25/2024
ExpiresExpires: 6/24/2024
Full Time
3 - 5 Years
$91,000 to $100,000 per year

Director, Center for Defense Information

Founded in 1981 in partnership with whistleblowers, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that works to expose waste, corruption, abuse of power, and other instances where the government fails to serve the public. We champion reforms to achieve a more effective, ethical, and accountable federal government that safeguards constitutional principles. POGO has an over $7 million annual budget that supports a staff of over 50 employees.

POGO’s Center for Defense Information (CDI) focuses on bringing accountability to the Pentagon and ensuring effective defense spending decisions that prioritize the country, not defense contractors.

POGO’s CDI team is looking for a talented Director to oversee the planning and execution of CDI projects that work to identify policy solutions to systemic problems with the team’s issue area and works collaboratively with other teams to develop advocacy campaigns and strategies to advance those solutions. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in congressional and administrative procedures, with a deep understanding of defense spending, national security law and policy, government procurement, and/or protection of democratic values. The Director of CDI reports to the Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs.

We encourage potential applicants to apply even if they only have experience or familiarity in some of the areas described below. We fully recognize that many great candidates will not have experience in all of the areas we list, or may have relevant experiences and skills that we have not listed or considered.

Responsibilities include:

  • Oversee the development of CDI team’s policy recommendations and priorities. This includes directing and assisting team members to manage a fast-changing environment and setting short-term and long-term outcome objectives rooted in systemic policy change.
  • Direct in-depth research and analysis to develop and conduct investigations and analysis using legal research, the internet, source information, Freedom of Information Act requests, government and non-government documents, and other resources.
  • Coordinate with government affairs to oversee the development of CDI’s direct lobbying campaigns. This includes identifying targets for advocacy (either on Capitol Hill, in Executive Branch agencies, or in civil society), setting up advocacy meetings, distributing POGO’s investigative and analytical pieces to relevant offices, and recording the progress of advocacy campaigns.
  • Manage and provide support to day-to-day CDI team operations to accomplish approved objectives and organizational priorities.
  • Provide POGO with recommendations on public positions it should take on legislation and executive branch programs and initiatives within CDI’s scope of work.
  • Oversee analysis of legislative text and executive policy documents to determine whether POGO should offer an organizational endorsement, feedback, or commentary
  • Disseminate POGO’s work to congressional offices and various coalitions and listservs POGO participates in.
  • Independently identify executive branch policy makers relevant to subject matter portfolio, particularly the Pentagon and other national security agencies, and identify opportunities to strategically engage in direct advocacy with those executive offices.
  • Write public facing statements of policy positions, such as testimony, letters, analysis pieces, and public comments to government offices.
  • Represent POGO at meetings with executive branch officials and congressional staff and works with such offices to discuss and advocate for policy reforms and increased scrutiny and oversight on CDI-related issues within the context of POGO’s mission.
  • Other duties as required to accomplish POGO’s mission.

Qualifications include:

  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in the national security space or otherwise investigating, researching, advocating for, or working towards effective national security reform in the United States—or demonstrated equivalent experience.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience managing a team or organization—or demonstrated equivalent experience.
  • A strong working knowledge of congressional and/or administrative procedures
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to effectively work on internal teams, across external organizations, and independently when necessary.
  • Ability to think critically and apply POGO’s previous work/policy positions to new issue areas, with an eye toward identifying the systemic reform angle.
  • Demonstrated commitment to working in a nonpartisan manner with diverse stakeholders and policy makers.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and high standards of accuracy and ethics
  • Demonstrated track record of taking initiative to solve problems and adapt to changing circumstances
  • Commitment to creating, maintaining, and otherwise fostering an inclusive work environment.
  • Limited travel required for meetings
  • Ability to respond to occasional urgent matters during evenings/nights/weekend
  • Ability to deal with confidential information and/or issues using discretion and judgment for sources, methods, and advocacy.
  • (+) Military Service a plus, but not required
  • (+) Previous work in the Department of Defense or with a Congressional committee or office with defense oversight responsibilities a plus, but not required
  • (+) Expertise in Congressional oversight, the budget process, the appropriations process, the acquisition process, congressional war powers, building grassroots campaigns, and innovative advocacy tools a plus, but not required

    Compensation, benefits, and other information:

Washington, DC based preferred however remote work is available for this position, but candidates must be willing and able (with reasonable accommodations) to travel to DC for occasional in-person meetings on the Hill, with executive branch officials, and with other stakeholders in and around the DC area when needed. 

This is a full-time position and includes the listed benefits.

  • Competitive nonprofit salary in the range of $90K - $110K
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • 403(b) employee investment plan available, with employer retirement contribution once eligible
  • Life insurance, short-term and long-term disability coverage
  • Metro SmarTrip benefits participation available
  • Paid holiday, vacation, and sick leave

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume. No phone calls please

Application Deadline: May 14th, 2024

 POGO is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce and provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. We encourage all interested and qualified individuals to apply.

Years of experience

  • 3 - 5 Years

Salary range

  • $91,000 to $100,000 per year