Deputy Director

Deputy Director

Deputy Director 150 150
National Institute for Civil Discourse
October 10, 2020
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Martha Ethington


The Deputy Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) works with the Executive Director to lead our nationally recognized work to build the nation’s capacity to engage differences more constructively. As partisan polarization and rancor in the United States escalate to historic levels, NICD’s work has never been more important.

NICD was established by the University of Arizona in the aftermath of the 2011 Tucson shooting that killed six and injured another 13, including US Representative Gabby Giffords. Founded by honorary co-chairs George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, NICD's national advisory board is the most impressive bipartisan group of leaders in the nation working to bridge the bitter partisan divide. Today, the board is led by co-chairs Tom Daschle and Christine Todd Whitman and includes Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Katie Couric, Olympia Snowe, Dan Glickman, and Alan Simpson, among others.

NICD’s offices are located in the University of Arizona’s new DC Center for Outreach and Collaboration at 1301 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC. These offices include a state-of-the art convening space that accommodates 100 in-person participants as well as the latest technology to engage participants across the nation virtually.

The Deputy Director will play crucial leadership roles that include direct engagement with Members of Congress and their staff, senior leaders of non-profits in the bridging space, and think tank policy experts. The Deputy Director will also play significant leadership roles in managing NICD staff. They will lead high profile virtual and in-person events, particularly in the convening space at the new DC Center. The ideal candidate possesses exceptional leadership skills including strategic thinking and execution, written and oral communication, and data analysis. Competitive candidates should also have a keen interest in, and understanding of, American politics and the US Congress.

Compensation is $100,000 to $140,000 (DOE, includes base salary and geographical stipend). Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, holidays; and more.

Duties and Responsibilities:

•  Work with the Executive Director in developing and executing high impact, scalable strategies for building the nation’s capacity to engage differences more constructively

•  Direct NICD’s CommonSense American program, including:

  • Writing thorough policy briefs on three potential areas of federal legislation chosen each year by the more than 20,000 citizen members from across the country and political spectrum
    Extensive work briefing Members of Congress and their staff on the results from the review of briefs by citizen members (have conducted more than 100 briefings in last three months)
  • Leading citizen member engagement and recruiting, including through social media

•  Manage the directors of NICD’s Next Generation, Engaging Differences, and Golden Rule 2020 (A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics) programs
•  Manage communications and finance staff


Minimum Qualifications:

  • B.A. or B.S. degree
  • Two years of post-college experience
  • Exceptional writing skills, including the ability to write policy briefs that are both accessible to everyday Americans and substantive in articulating the strongest arguments for and against proposed legislation
  • Driven, tenacious, organized, and resourceful in the pursuit of extraordinary results
  • Orientation as a team player who understands internal and external stakeholders from a diverse range of backgrounds and political perspectives, treats them with dignity and respect, and delivers excellent service to them
  • Politically savvy and diplomatic
  • Impeccable attention to detail and organizational skills
  • Highly organized and proficient at leading multiple initiatives at one time
  • Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization and the nation
  • Flexible, capable of navigating ambiguity, and succeeding in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong technical skills, including in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, and Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Strong analytical skills with a mindset that embraces data and the ability to critically evaluate relevant evidence in support of or opposition to proposed legislation
  • Excellent judgment, integrity, and commitment to personal responsibility and accountability

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate degree in public policy, public administration, business administration, journalism, law, or related fields
  • Five or more years of post-college experience
  • Three or more years of management experience
  • Congressional or agency staff, management consulting, policy analysis, or journalism experience are all pluses but not required

How To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume to