Position Summary

The Civic Engagement Manager leads engagement strategies to foster students’ knowledge, skills, and active involvement in civic life. Central to the Gephardt Institute’s Engage Democracy Initiative, this position leverages national and local elections as a primary strategy for fostering a culture of civic engagement at Washington University that engages undergraduate and graduate/professional students through a year-round approach.

The Gephardt Institute envisions that Washington University students will graduate with the knowledge, skills, and commitment to actively engage in the process of democracy and in the pursuit of a thriving democracy through political participation, public problem-solving, and civic dialogue. This position focuses on the institute’s goals to educate students for lifelong engaged citizenship and infuse civic engagement throughout the Washington University student experience.

The Civic Engagement Manager leads program strategy and implementation through close coordination and partnerships with student leaders, university schools and departments, the Gephardt Institute staff, and local and national organizations. This position applies the institute’s theory of change, data-informed strategies, and leading practices in civic learning, civic engagement, and voter engagement, with particular attention to engaging diverse audiences.

This position requires a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and access. This position also requires a strong commitment to non-partisanship and to engagement of all Washington University students regardless of their political positions.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Leads the development and implementation of a data-informed strategy for voter registration, education, and turnout within the Washington University student community, with a particular commitment to developing strategies for inclusion, diversity, equity, and access of all students (this includes undergraduates, graduate/professional students, and non-voters) in the process of democracy.

Responsibilities include:

Leads voter registration efforts for Washington University by coordinating the WashU Votes Campus Network, which includes an undergraduate student committee, graduate/professional student committee, and faculty/staff steering committee.

Researches national best practices for voter engagement, consults with regional and national colleagues and leaders, and reviews Washington University voting data and voter engagement reports to develop a comprehensive voter engagement strategy.

Develops and implements campus programming and communications to encourage voter registration and answer common questions.

Manages TurboVote, the Gephardt Institute’s online platform for voter registration and reminders.

Collaborates with and trains student groups, academic and administrative departments, voter engagement hubs, and individuals who are invested in voter registration and turnout.

Collaborates with Marketing and Communications team in the development of strategy and content to ensure a robust website, strong social media presence, and relevant print materials.

· Collaborates with the Evaluation and Assessment team to support the development and administration of the voter feedback survey and other relevant assessment strategies.

· Coordinates with national partners to align resources and share promising practices.

· Maintains regular contact with the St. Louis County Board of Elections and campus officials responsible for ensuring federal and local compliance with election law and coordination of an on-campus polling place.

Collaborates on written proposals, plans, and reports related to voter engagement efforts, including national coalitions and designations.

Handles inquiries and collaboration requests from on-campus and off-campus organizations.

Supervises relevant graduate assistants and student interns.

Manages year-round programming and initiatives that educate and engage the student body, with a focus on voting rights, the voter registration and voting process, understanding the process of policy-making and policy change, civic dialogue, and related avenues for year-round citizen and non-citizen engagement with the process of democracy. Responsibilities include:


Develops and coordinates Gephardt Institute initiatives such as voter registration drives, Constitution and Citizenship Day, National Voter Registration Day, Civic Action Week, Civic Café, Food For Thought, Civic Life Project and Youth Film Challenge, debate watch gatherings, strategies for engaging incoming students, post-election programming and communications, and emergent strategies.

Collaborates with Engage Democracy team (graduate fellows, graduate assistants, and student interns) and volunteers on development, implementation, and continuous improvement of education and engagement strategies such as podcasts, Graduate Impact Forum, civic skills workshops, co-sponsored events, and emergent strategies.

Advises students and fosters coordination and collaboration among student-facing groups and departments in the development and implementation of Common Ground Grants, election-related programming, and other programming and initiatives aligned with the goals of the Engage Democracy Initiative.

Serves as the primary advisor to WashU Votes and WashU Grad Students Vote student leaders to provide training and guidance, coordinate peer-to-peer outreach efforts with university-wide strategy, and ensure compliance with non-partisan policies and regulations.

Coordinates the annual Voter Engagement Summit in close collaboration with campus and community partners.

Coordinates civic leadership and civic education initiatives, with a focus on the Civic Scholars Program. Responsibilities include:


Collaborates with Associate Director for Civic Engagement to conceptualize, plan, implement, and continuously improve immersion trips to Washington DC, St. Louis, and other cities and rural communities.

Supports development and implementation of Civic Scholars learning and engagement opportunities through retreats, trainings, guest speakers and panels, St. Louis engagement, and other civic/professional development opportunities.

Collaborates on the design, implementation, and evaluation of new civic leadership and civic education initiatives



Contributes to initiatives, meetings, and events of the Gephardt Institute, including donor cultivation and stewardship, developing strategy and vision for initiatives, planning processes, grant/proposal applications and reporting, special projects, and special events.

Collaborates with program staff, operations staff (Marketing & Communications, Evaluation & Assessment Manager, and Administrative Assistants), and relevant stakeholders to coordinate planning, implementation, evaluation, and continuous improvement of all Gephardt Institute programs and services.

Performs other duties as assigned.


Applicant Special Instructions
Please include a cover letter and resume with your submission.


Preferred Qualifications
Master’s degree in political science, legal studies, communication, social work, psychology, business, or related field.

3 or more years of experience in higher education, civic engagement, civic education, voter engagement, community outreach, and/or community organizing, preferably with adolescents or young adults.

Experience developing marketing, communications, outreach, and engagement strategies for diverse audiences.

Experience with large-scale and complex event or engagement strategies.

Relevant experience with civic engagement, civic learning, or related initiatives at a professional, co-curricular, and/or volunteer level

Experience with organizing and planning events, outreach, and engagement strategies, and leading or facilitating groups toward a common purpose

Demonstrated ability to work in a non-partisan environment. Commitment to maintaining a non-partisan and inclusive approach to all educational, programming, outreach, and communication strategies.

Excellent organizational, planning, problem-solving, and project management, and event planning skills. Strong time management, attention to detail, ability to manage multiple priorities, and ability to forecast and plan work, while maintaining a landscape view of priorities, values, and vision

Excellent interpersonal and written/verbal communication skills, including with diverse populations and for different mediums and programming environments

Ability and sensitivity in developing programming and communications for – and interacting with – a racially, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse range of stakeholders.

Commitment to continuous learning about cultural humility and equity

Energy, vision, initiative, creativity, empathy, humility, tolerance for ambiguity, ability to embrace and navigate change, sound judgment, diplomacy, tact, and sense of humor.

Enthusiasm and ability to work in a dynamic, highly collaborative environment with multiple functions, audiences, and priorities

Ability to function both independently and collaboratively in a dynamic, highly collaborative environment with multiple functions, audiences, and priorities. Demonstrated enthusiasm for civic engagement through the political and electoral process

Ability to regularly travel to on-campus locations, and periodically travel to off-campus locations.

Although not a requirement, knowledge of Washington University undergraduate and graduate organizations, departments and leaders, and opportunities for outreach is a plus.




Required Qualifications
Commitment to maintaining a non-partisan and inclusive approach to all programming and communication strategies.

Commitment to the Gephardt Institute’s values of Inquiry, Empathy, Collaboration, Integrity, Equity, and Action.

Ability and willingness to work evening and weekend hours for special projects, events, and deadlines in service to students and the institute’s mission.

Demonstrated ability to lead from a middle management position.

Bachelors’ degree with 3 years related experience or Master’s and 1 year of related experience.

To apply for this job email your details to ellisd@wustl.edu

About Washington University in St. Louis

About the Gephardt Institute
The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement’s mission is to foster a vibrant culture of civic engagement across Washington University, realized by engaged citizens, scholarship, and partnerships that advance the collective good. Through both academic and co-curricular initiatives, the institute educates students for lifelong engaged citizenship, catalyzes partnerships that respond to community needs and priorities, and infuses civic engagement throughout the Washington University experience.
As a university-wide interdisciplinary initiative, the Gephardt Institute serves all academic schools, university departments, undergraduate students, and graduate students, reporting to the Provost. The institute is non-partisan and proactively seeks to support and include diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and ideologies, with a strong attention to equity.
The Gephardt Institute team is comprised of individuals who are mission-driven, values-focused, dynamic, collaborative, visionary, and passionate about the role of civic engagement in a thriving democracy. The institute upholds the values of inquiry, empathy, collaboration, integrity, equity, and action. The staff focuses on four primary audiences: undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, community organizations in the St. Louis region, and alumni and donors.
Since the institute’s founding in 2005 by Congressman Dick Gephardt, the professional staff size has grown from two to thirteen, with eight or more part-time, short-term, and adjunct positions and 10-20 paid interns/fellows from undergraduate and graduate programs. The institute recently relocated to the historic Stix House as its sole occupant. The institute offers a broad range of programs and services to the Washington University community and to partners in the St. Louis region, such as the Civic Scholars Program; Engage Democracy; new student engagement; and Civic Engagement Fund grants for community partnerships.
To learn more about the Gephardt Institute and our strategic plan, please visit https://gephardtinstitute.wustl.edu/about/jobs-and-internships/.