Program Director

Program Director

Application deadline extended to: 11:59PM PDT on April 30, 2024

HD’s Program Directors manage our program development and implementation – and conduct ongoing outreach to cultivate new programs.

Who We Are

We bring together everyday people, from all walks of life, to tackle our most contentious issues.

We are an Oregon-based nonpartisan nonprofit that designs and coordinates cutting-edge deliberative democracy programs across the US and beyond. We work primarily with local governments to bring new kinds of public engagement to their communities.

We are a uniquely democratic organization – we manage our work collaboratively, on a sociocratic model. We value inclusion, representation, creativity, constructive communication, flexibility, continuous improvement, and an ability to work across differences. Our team is currently made up of four co-directors: two Program Directors, an Operations Director, and an Education Director.

For more details about us, please see the ‘What Makes Us Different’ section below.

Position Overview

Healthy Democracy’s Program Directors manage our program development and implementation – and conduct ongoing outreach to cultivate new programs. This position co-leads program innovation, cultivates new project partnerships, and, in general, builds the movement for lottery-deliberation by communicating programmatic impacts to diverse audiences. During active projects, Program Directors design and deliver HD’s complex deliberative democracy programs. As with all staff positions at HD, this position shares in executive duties, including strategic planning and administration.

The Program Director role at Healthy Democracy is a shared role held in common by at least two employees. Some responsibilities listed in this job description are fully shared, while others are collaboratively delegated to an individual Program Director based on each Director’s skills, experience, and interests – and subject to periodic reevaluation.

The shared nature of this role allows for a high level of collaborative leadership, personal camaraderie, and professional growth for the individuals involved, while also providing the organization with a high level of adaptability and resilience. Professional redundancy isn’t the only goal; we seek a Program Director with a variety of passions and skills that complement those of their colleagues. Great HD Program Directors have come in many varieties, from many backgrounds – and that diversity is essential to creating programs for folks from every walk of life. Your unique qualities are your best asset.

Key Roles & Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Project Management
    • Co-coordinate HD’s complex lottery-selected deliberative processes – including creating and managing budgets and project timelines, working with partner organizations, managing teams of moderators and other contractors, and implementing data-driven selection processes.
    • Design and oversee deliberative processes, and train small group moderators to execute detailed process plans.
    • Coordinate closely with other HD Co-Directors on project delivery (e.g., liaise with Ops Director on logistics, contracts, and Panelist care; liaise with Partnerships/Communications Director on development of media strategy, website, and external communications, etc.)
    • Help act as a spokesperson for the process (and help empower Panelists to do so themselves) – to a variety of audiences.
    • Work with tech-based tools to enhance deliberation, aid in information management, etc.
  • Program Development
    • Identify new potential projects through relationship-building, consulting, and/or public procurement processes.
    • Develop project proposals in collaboration with, or in response to, the needs of government partners; serve as the primary point of contact throughout project development.
    • Maintain current knowledge of best practices and designs in the field of deliberative democracy, and awareness of trends in the broader fields of civic engagement and democracy reform.
    • Develop project management systems that make program development and design more efficient. Create new project materials, and prototype new design elements as needed.
    • Develop and maintain policies related to core functions of HD’s programs.
    • Develop proposals for permanent, transformative reforms that use lotteries and deliberation.
  • Movement-Building and Outreach
    • Create and maintain relationships with public engagement practitioners, democracy reform advocates, and public sector partners in order to lay the groundwork for future project development. Spearhead joint project proposals and grants, as opportunities arise.
    • Represent HD’s programs at a variety of speaking engagements (e.g., conferences, presentations, media interviews).
    • Help identify and pursue new outreach activities, and coordinate staff involvement in them.
    • Represent HD within key coalitions and networks in the United States and overseas.
    • Work with other Directors to create and maintain educational, promotional, and other written materials (digital and print).
    • Collaborate with HD’s Education Director to develop and deliver training content for HD’s Capacity Building program area.
    • Participate in demonstration projects, project shadowing, and consulting.
  • Grant Development
    • Develop program descriptions for specific program areas that require grant funding.
    • Research new grant opportunities and develop grant proposals for these program areas, in collaboration with grants lead(s).
    • Write grant reports and/or complete grant evaluations, as necessary.
  • Strategic Planning & Internal Systems
    • Collaborate with HD’s Board of Directors and other staff in the development of strategic goals, program plans, financial, and budgetary plans
    • Work with other staff to develop and continuously improve internal policies and procedures related to HD’s horizontal structure and commitment to internal democracy.
    • Serve in internal co-governance roles, including as a Liaison to HD’s Board of Directors – in rotating yearlong terms with another Director.
    • Ensure relationships and correspondence are maintained in the organizational CRM.

Required Skills & Knowledge

  • Either a Bachelor’s degree, or five years of experience in facilitation, mediation, conflict resolution, public engagement, consensus building, restorative justice, group dialogue practices, and/or democracy reform advocacy (or equivalent combination of education and experience).
  • Passion for improving democratic systems through innovative reforms.
  • Understanding of traditional public engagement methodologies and a strong interest in learning the ins and outs of lottery-selected deliberative democracy programs.
  • Detailed eye for designing collaborative group decision-making processes.
  • Proficiency in managing complex projects with rapidly changing demands, including tracking deadlines, utilizing project management software, supervising subcontractors, coordinating schedules, and completing deliverables that fulfill contract needs.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with key stakeholders, including potential partners, our Board of Directors, community groups, and other external organizations.
  • Strong oral, nonverbal, and written communication skills.
  • Skilled at working as a highly collaborative member of a small team, while also able to work independently and engage with multiple projects.
  • Desire to work with team members and external partners with diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and political views.
  • Interest in and ability to actively include marginalized voices in both internal and external projects, activities, and practices.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to quick changes in organizational needs and opportunities.
  • Ability to accept and give feedback graciously, with a willingness to engage in productive disagreement.
  • Collaborative leadership skills, including negotiation, problem solving, and decision making.

Preferred Skills & Knowledge

  • Experience with local government decision making and civic engagement structures, and knowledge of the common needs, pressures, and motivations around engaging residents in public policy decisions.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of managing nonprofit organizations.
  • Interest in or experience working within non-hierarchical leadership structures and developing internal systems that align with programmatic values.
  • Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution, Urban Planning, Public Policy, Public Administration, Public Affairs, Strategic Communications, Nonprofit Management, Journalism, or another related field.
  • Experience working with political systems – e.g., drafting sample legislation, writing policy white papers, or conducting advocacy around systemic reforms.
  • Strong computer skills, such as:
    • Experience with word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations,
    • Experience with Google platforms for email, calendar-sharing, and document retention,
    • Experience with online meeting platforms, such as Zoom and Google Meet,
    • Experience with website management, especially using WordPress, and
    • Experience in managing outreach contacts and tasks within a CRM, such as Salesforce or (in our case) CiviCRM.

As for any small nonprofit, we are always on the lookout for folks with multifaceted backgrounds, interests, and skills, who will complement other members of staff. If you have additional skills that go beyond what’s listed in this description, please tell us about them! Over the years, HD has benefitted from Program Directors who have backgrounds in communications, web design, law, nonprofit management, and political organizing – just to name a few. These are conversation starters, not qualifications. They can only help your application.

Work Environment & Physical Requirements

  • Work Environment
    • We are based in Oregon and keep a small office in Portland, but we work nationally and internationally. Travel may be necessary, depending on future projects.
    • All Healthy Democracy staff primarily work from home, with most meetings held via Zoom.
    • For logistical reasons, we will give a slight preference to those located in Oregon and SW Washington, though we sincerely encourage all US residents to apply.
  • Physical Requirements
    • This position requires the ability to use a computer for extended periods of time.
    • As a small staff, we need all staff to participate in the execution of in-person events (including set-up and tear-down) to the extent each is physically able.

Hours, Compensation & Benefits

  • This is a full-time position at 32 hours/week.
  • This position will be salaried at $55,977 annually (the organization’s flat pay rate for all full-time employees).
  • Eligible employees receive 100% premium paid health insurance (currently a gold-level plan).
  • All employees receive paid time off (PTO), starting at 96 hours per year for full-time employees in their first two years with HD and incremental increases in subsequent years.
  • All employees receive 11 paid flexible “holidays” per year.
  • Daily schedules are flexible and are determined in cooperation with fellow staff members.
  • Healthy Democracy will provide a laptop and other technical equipment, as necessary.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to Applications will close at 11:59PM PDT on April 30, 2024. The selected applicant will start ASAP.


The information presented within this document indicates the general nature and level of work expected of employees in this classification. It is not designed to contain, or to be interpreted as, a comprehensive and exhaustive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and objectives required of employees assigned to this job.

What Makes Us Different

A Different Kind of Organization

We’re a democratic organization inside and out.

We have a shared-leadership structure, a flat pay-rate across all staff, and a strong ethos of camaraderie and collaboration throughout everything we do.

All staff members are responsible for helping to manage the organization, hold each other accountable, and make collective decisions about our future.

We aim for a new standard of proactive inclusion and universal accessibility, and we champion civic representation across many diversities – demographic, geographic, political, experiential. Our ability to uphold this mission directly depends on our ability to do the same within our organization. Therefore, we are committed to building a workplace that questions dominant norms and elevates marginalized voices.

We prioritize work-life balance to prevent burn-out. We’ve set “full-time” at 32 hours a week, and all staff receive paid time off and flexible holidays. Staff collaborate with their colleagues to set their own schedules and attend to their personal and collective wellbeing.

Finally, we have worked to build a culture of both positive support and continuous improvement. Even during the hiring process, we commit to – if anything – judging you more favorably for being candid in your feedback and helping us better live up to our values.

A Different Kind of Democracy

We design and advocate for decision-making processes that involve more folks in more in-depth ways.

We’re a leading organization in the international movement for lottery-selected deliberative democracy – an exciting new addition to our society’s decision-making toolbox.

These processes are different than most parts of our democracy today in two ways:

  1. Who’s at the Table: We select participants from the general public, using a democratic lottery, also known as a representative random sample or sortition. This ensures that first-time participants reflecting many different diversities are represented – a sort of “city in one room.”
  2. What Happens at the Table: We design unique public processes that encourage productive collaboration, proactive inclusion, fairness, and respect across differences.

Learn more on our website at