Executive Director

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About The Democratic Party of Wisconsin:
For the next four years, Wisconsin state politics will carry an almost unprecedented intensity and level of historical significance. Wisconsin faces a pivotal local and state Supreme Court race in the spring of 2020, will host the Democratic National Convention in 2020, and will be a – maybe THE – critical swing state in the 2020 presidential election. The 2020 state legislative elections will also shape redistricting in 2021, which will determine the state’s political future for a decade to come. And in 2022, the state will hold deeply competitive and consequential statewide elections, including for Governor and US Senator.

For the sake of the state’s future – and the nation’s – the Democratic Party of Wisconsin seeks a passionate, experienced, and highly organized manager and leader as the next Executive Director.

The Opportunity:
Reporting to Party Chair Ben Wikler, the Executive Director will be responsible for managing the staff to execute on an ambitious and exciting strategic plan that encompasses five key challenges: working with our county parties, movement allies, and partner organizations to recruit, support, and elect hundreds of down-ballot candidates and a Supreme Court justice in spring 2020; ensuring a successful Democratic National Convention that connects thousands of new volunteers to the state party to help in the fall; defending seats and challenging Republicans everywhere in state legislative races; defeating Trump in 2020; and building the party’s strength and depth to prepare for the future.

This position is located in Madison, Wisconsin

Specifically, the Executive Director will be responsible for: 

Planning and executing on a compelling multi-year vision and strategy for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Managing the leadership team that oversees the party’s departments, which include organizing, political, communications, digital, data, finance, technology, party affairs, candidate services, training, election protection, and accounting and HR

Managing organizational change within the state party – from staying at the cutting edge of political technology, to optimizing the internal party structure, to deepening a culture of excellence, inclusivity, and innovation

Building a program - working closely with our partners - to recruit and support a deep, diverse bench of candidates across all levels of political office for the spring and fall 2020 elections and beyond

Developing relationships with, aligning the interests of, and managing conflict between key stakeholders such as elected officials, party leaders, grassroots activists, donors, organized labor, and key allies and constituency groups across the state

Representing the party in the coordinated table with the presidential and other campaigns

Working closely with the state party chair and development department to set and meet ambitious annual fundraising targets

Overseeing the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s compliance with campaign finance and other laws, financial management, and HR processes, and working with the staff and state party treasurer to manage a multi-million-dollar budget

Ensuring the quality and accuracy of the state party’s voter file through collaboration and supervision of appropriate staff and in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee

Acting as liaison with the staff of the Democratic National Committee, Association of State Democratic Committees, and other national committees – especially as related to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, which will be held in Milwaukee

Selecting and managing key vendors

Candidate Profile:
The Executive Director will possess the management acumen, supervisory experience, and campaign experience needed to direct the operations of the organization and to grow and develop staff. With experience leading significant organizational change, the Executive Director will be nimble and efficient in executing the vision of the party chair.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

Strong management and coaching skills, with demonstrated ability to achieve high levels of performance and outcomes through management and influence; a reputation for leading with integrity and transparency and making sound management decisions with the input of appropriate stakeholders; exceptional listening skills, with the ability to maintain a steady and positive attitude and patience under high pressure circumstances
Substantial experience working or volunteering for election campaigns or political party organizations; experience working with a state party, statewide political campaign, or equivalent experience working with an organization that worked closely with a state party
Exceptionally strong time management and organizational skills, with the ability to manage multiple projects and competing priorities simultaneously under strict deadlines
Commitment to the ideals of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, as embodied in the state party constitution and platform

 Big Pluses: These additional qualifications are preferred. We expect that the successful candidate will have at least a few, but not all, of these:

Demonstrated experience working to empower marginalized communities, e.g., working to organize and remove barriers to political participation among African-American and Latinx communities
Experience working with rural communities
A borderline-nerdy interest in leadership and organizational management best practices. This might include familiarity with management and leadership training courses, and frameworks like MOCHA or DARCI; a strong track record of excellent staff recruitment and retention; etc.
Experience as either a political candidate or a senior staff member for an election campaign, coordinated campaign, or party organization
Demonstrated understanding of all aspects of elections, including campaign techniques, campaign planning, targeting, polling, and get-out-the-vote programs, as well as vendor selection to assist in these endeavors
Previous experience working at a high level on a Democratic National Convention or other very large, volunteer-staffed event
Existing strong relationships with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin members and elected officials, unions and other progressive movement organizations, and leaders in marginalized communities in Wisconsin
Demonstrated experience recruiting strong, diverse candidates to run for political office
Deep understanding of election law and state and federal campaign finance compliance requirements

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has a vision for a deeply inclusive and diverse party organization, membership, and electorate. In order to be successful in this role, the Executive Director must both be an inspiring messenger for this vision and have the cultural competence to successfully empower and work with a diverse range of constituency groups. We especially strongly encourage applicants with close ties to Black, Latinx, AAPI, Muslim, non-English-speaking, LGBTQ, disability, and rural communities. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is an equal opportunity employer.