American Oversight is looking for a tenacious, strategic Deputy Research Director to join our team and help us shine a light on government misconduct and threats to democracy. We’re a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog that uses targeted public records requests and litigation to advance the truth, accountability, and democracy.

From the federal Freedom of Information Act to state transparency laws, we use carefully crafted records requests to extract information from the government. When the government fails to respond as required by law, our team has the expertise to take them to court and enforce the public’s right to hold our leaders accountable. American Oversight has obtained and published more than one million pages of emails, memos, calendars, text messages, and other records — ensuring accountability, exposing misconduct, and often driving significant corrective action, at all levels of government.

The Deputy Research Director will work with the Research Director to ensure the research team has the leadership and support it needs to drive the organization’s investigative strategy. They will mentor and manage multiple members of the research team, and lead investigations to uncover the facts and help the public understand critical accountability issues facing the country.

Job Responsibilities

Specific tasks will shift day by day with our work, but in a typical week, you will:

Advise the Research Director on long-term strategic priorities and resource allocation.

Manage multiple researchers, ensuring they have the guidance and resources needed to advance organizational mission.

Review the work product of the research team, with exceptional attention to detail and strong judgment. Written products that the Deputy Research Director has edited should require no additional editing or revision.

Ensure all research team projects are executed in line with quality and timing expectation. Use strong judgment to make day-to-day decisions on priorities and resource allocation.

Contribute productively and creatively to leadership discussions of organizational strategy, showing strong understanding on how to leverage AO’s research team to achieve the broader mission.

Stay abreast of major news in every area of AO investigation, and regularly identify new avenues of research based on new developments.

Speak comfortably and with strong judgment to both internal and external audiences about every aspect of AO’s research work and the organization’s larger mission.

Engage in rapid response to current events, developments, and document releases in AO’s records requests and litigation.


At least five years’ previous research or investigatory experience.

An understanding of AO’s mission and how the research team works to advance it.

Proficiency with the Freedom of Information Act and public records requests as well as commonly used research tools.

Ability to communicate and express ideas effectively. Excellent writing and editing skills that convey our work in a persuasive and effective manner.

An understanding of and fluency in relevant news developments, the political landscape and how public records can inform news coverage and government action.

Ability to manage staff and drive a team’s performance by setting clear goals and expectations, tracking progress against goals, ensuring constructive feedback, and investing in the development and growth of staff members.

Prioritization and project management expertise. Can accurately assess the time and resources needed to accomplish tasks as well as organizational priorities.

Exceptional judgment in internal and external interpersonal interactions.

Demonstrated commitment to building positive and collaborative relationships.

High degree of professional ethics and integrity.

Cares deeply about how government actions impact the lives of ordinary people.

Additional Information

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they have every one of the qualifications listed. We are dedicated to finding the best candidate for the job.

Our hiring process is centered on assessing candidates with diverse lived experiences. We would encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of our qualifications described. If you are unsure of whether you meet the qualifications of this position, or how this would be determined, please contact us to discuss your application.

The salary range for this position is $93,000 to $108,000, commensurate with experience.

Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

American Oversight is a remote-first organization, and our employees can work from anywhere in the country.  Our office in downtown Washington, DC, is an optional workspace when pandemic-related restrictions allow.

How to Apply

To apply, please visit our Careers page.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, with a first-round review by January 13, 2023.