Research Director

The Democracy Forward Foundation (DFF) scrutinizes Executive Branch activity across policy areas, challenges unlawful actions through litigation, and educates the public about improper government activity. The Research Director supports this mission by helping uncover examples of such illegal activity, supporting DFF’s litigation with fact-based research and vetting, and providing a research-based perspective on potential litigation undertaken by DFF.

The Research Director is also charged with leading DFF’s large FOIA operation, which is both in support of our litigation work and a means to uncover unlawful activity. The Research Director works closely with DFF’s communications team in support of DFF’s mission to educate the public, often speaking directly to journalists and other parties to explain and contextualize what DFF has found.


  • Provide a research-based perspective on illegal actions taken by the executive branch that complements the work being done by litigators
  • Conduct and supervise fact-based research to support DFF lawsuits.
  • Draft and send FOIA requests as needed to support substantive litigation and uncover misdeeds by the executive branch
  • Maintain large tracking system for all FOIA requests
  • Analyze responsive documents produced by FOIA and litigation for potential use in either litigation or earned media coverage that supports DFF’s oversight mission
  • Generate ideas on actions and personnel that may serve as vectors for unlawful activity by the executive branch
  • Work with DFF’s communications team to educate the public by generating coverage of what DFF has uncovered
  • Vet potential plaintiffs and partners for DFF’s substantive litigation work


  • Demonstrated skill with public record research through public record requests and online databases such as Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw, and PACER
  • Skilled with Microsoft Word, Excel, and their Google Doc Equivalents
  • Comfortable reading and analyzing legal documents and filings
  • Advanced knowledge of the Executive Branch, its constituent agencies, their responsibilities, and their personnel
  • The ability to distill and present fact-based research into legible and concise reports for use by litigators and laypersons
  • Self-motivated and disciplined
  • 2-3 cycles of campaign research preferred
  • Experience working with attorneys and familiarity with legal issues preferred


To apply, please e-mail your resume and cover letter highlighting your qualifications to In the subject line, please reference Democracy Forward and the exact title of the job for which you are applying. Announcements will remain posted until positions are filled.

Democracy Forward provides a competitive compensation and benefits package. Democracy Forward is an equal opportunity employer: women, minorities, members of the LGBT community, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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