Vice President of People, Equity and Inclusion

Vice President of People, Equity and Inclusion

Common Cause

Washington, DC   |   December 10, 2021

About Common Cause

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Common Cause has an innovative, pragmatic, and comprehensive pro-democracy agenda. We lead and define the democracy reform movement, promoting solutions already succeeding in some communities to shift power to the people.

Together with our sister organization, the Common Cause Education Fund, we employ a powerful combination of grassroots organizing, coalition building, research, policy development, public education, lobbying and litigation to win reform at all levels of government.

Common Cause knows the ultimate power in a democracy is the people. To be truly of, by, and for the people, government must reflect everyone it serves. We’re all better off when people from all walks of life participate in self-governance. Every American wants and deserves a voice in shaping the future for our families and communities. We believe democracy is how a free society resolves its differences. And in order to do that well, we must all agree the process is fair, produces equitable outcomes, and reflects our communities, our values, and our priorities. Nobody wins all the time, but if the process is fair, at least we can trust it.

We side with no one but the people. Working together, we are building a democracy that works for all of us. Every aspect of our elections and representative self-government must be fair, open, accessible, and set-up so we all have faith in the integrity of election outcomes and the people we elect to serve us.

Common Cause is solutions-oriented. Our network of democracy experts, working at the state and local level across the country, are winning pragmatic, common-sense solutions and building a national movement that will make sure our generation secures and strengthens democracy for the next.

We work to ensure that every vote counts, that every eligible voter has an equal say, that our elections represent the will of the people, and that our government is of, by, and for the people.

Founded with 4,000 core members in 1970 to serve as a people’s lobby, Common Cause has grown into a nationwide network of more than 1.5 million members and supporters, with a presence in 30 states and Washington, D.C.

For more information on Common Cause, please visit website.

The Opportunity

At this pivotal time in the history of U.S. democracy, Common Cause seeks its first-ever Vice President of People, Equity and Inclusion (VP). Reporting to the President, the VP will be responsible for developing and executing an integrated people strategy that advances equity and inclusion across the organization, both at the state and national levels.

As a member of the national management team, the VP will collaborate closely with other senior leaders to assess the current needs of Common Cause and lead efforts to define and implement an integrated people, equity, and inclusion strategy. The VP will serve in a highly visible role, acting as a key leader and trusted counsel within the organization, advising on best practices as various departments and teams develop processes and solutions that align with the overall vision for equity and inclusion.

They will also oversee the HR team, ensuring that this function reinforces accountability and serves as a resource and support for implementing and strengthening equitable systems, policies, and practices. This individual will help create space for all employees to work, develop, succeed, and foster a sense of belonging. Moreover, the VP will be a clear communicator and bring a track record of rolling out effective change initiatives across an organization.

The VP will be a highly mission-driven leader who brings a demonstrated understanding of the importance of a transparent, values-driven and inclusive employee culture. The VP will manage the strategy, policies, and processes related to recruiting, learning and development opportunities, engaging and retaining a growing team of activists and advocates with different lived experiences.

The Equity Journey

Over the last year, Common Cause has accelerated its journey of centering equity by developing new processes and systems that honor the diversity of its team, with a focus on BIPOC staff. The president asked the Board to form a Racial Equity Committee to help guide the organization in its equity work, and to continue to bring in Board members with experience and commitment to equity. Black staff organized a list of recommendations, including creating a Racial Equity Advisory Group (REAG), to help research and advance those recommendations.  Contracting for the last year with the Tammy Dowley-Blackman group, Common Cause also completed an equity survey with findings and recommendations for further work.

In order to support the team’s mental health and well-being, more flexibility has been offered to staff for personal and vacation days, adding 8 additional paid holidays and additional personal days. Moreover, staff can receive stipends for childcare, elder care and pet care when traveling to attend Common Cause events. Common Cause has also researched, identified, and is implementing new health care options to strengthen its gender-affirming, family-planning and reproductive care.

Staff have also had opportunities to engage in equity trainings, including social responsibility, coalition building, and allyship training.  Common Cause has partnered with an HR consultant to help update its HR policies, programs, and practices. As part of this work, the organization has completed a pay equity survey and increased the floor of Common Cause salaries to $50,000. In addition, Common Cause is working on an updated job classification system with structured pay grades to create more transparency and enhance consistency. Additional work has been done on staff safety, planning an expansion of the Justice and Democracy program, and adding substantial resources for continuing and growing our internal and external equity work. Looking ahead, the VP will serve as co-chair of the REAG and lead the continuation and deepening of this work in collaboration with colleagues across the organization.

The successful candidate will need to be a skilled relationship navigator who can garner buy-in for a new vision across teams, within a virtual context, and within the context of an established history and legacy. This is a change agent who brings rigor, a passion for problem-solving and an inspirational leadership style. Common Cause is seeking a leader who is bold in their efforts to challenge the status quo and who feels comfortable navigating the challenges of diverse opinions and perspectives in order to seek creative solutions and collective impact.

Candidate Profile

The Vice President of People, Equity and Inclusion of Common Cause will possess the following attributes and competencies:

Transformational Leader

  • Ability to leverage understanding of the organization, its programs and evolution to serve as a solution-oriented change leader in driving transformative change for Common Cause;
  • Experience with developing a comprehensive and cohesive Racial Equity and/or Diversity plan aligned with an organization’s vision, strategic goals, and practices;

Culture Influencer

  • Experience orchestrating the identification, communication, and integration of shared values;
  • Ability to play a pivotal role in articulating, nurturing, and integrating shared equity and inclusion values across the organization;
  • Skilled in building and strengthening organizational culture to create a sense of belonging for all staff, including at and across state-based and national teams;
  • Ability to develop and articulate strong values around DEI aligned with a nonpartisan context;
  • Track record in restorative processes to address existing and new challenges, including affective statements, community-building circles, small impromptu conferencing, and setting classroom agreements or norms;

Emotional Intelligence

  • Strong sense of empathy and exceptional interpersonal skills;
  • Demonstrated approach to DEI work that embraces the following qualities: compassion and self-awareness, paired with an ability to skillfully manage and navigate emotions;
  • Ability to develop strong working relationships with staff across all levels and geographies, regardless of background or lived experience;
  • Depth of understanding and experienced in supporting Allyship;

Collaboration and Cohesion

  • Experience building, coaching, and developing a diverse, equitable and inclusive team across offices, in which all voices are heard and valued;
  • Ability to lead partnership and collaboration across Common Cause departments to embed inclusion in all programs, policies, and processes, including in virtual contexts;
  • Skilled at developing tools to support employees at all levels as they embed equity within their work;
  • Partnering with departments to support equity-centered strategic communications;
  • Ability to partner with department heads to support efforts and training to embed racial equity in democracy reform
  • Help develop learning and training opportunities to support department heads in ensuring staff are properly trained in equity-informed communication strategies;

Talent Architect

  • Leadership and demonstrated ability in identifying and developing learning and development opportunities for staff across teams and geographies, with alignment towards career pathways;
  • Track record of developing education and learning opportunities, with a focus on justice and equity;
  • Experience supporting multiple aspects of an organization, including the Management Team, Board members, HR function and staff in developing, and retaining talent, with a focus on achieving and maintaining diversity and inclusion;

Operational Expertise

  • Ability to serve as a strategic partner in the improvement of HR policies, systems and processes that support organizational development and evolution;
  • Leadership in the implementation of newly developed compensation models to ensure transparency, competitiveness with the market and clear pathways for advancement;

Passion for Democracy

  • Deep commitment to the core principle of Common Cause: that as more eligible Americans participate, our democracy becomes stronger;
  • Driven to strengthen transparency in government to ensure that influence lies with everyday people, not only large donors; and
  • Belief that power lies with the people in a healthy and inclusive democracy.
Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role begins at $150,000 annually, plus a generous and competitive benefits package.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan, Chartise Clark and Dina Tyler of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here, or email Molly and Chartise directly at [email protected]. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Common Cause is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants of any race, creed, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, income class, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran status or marital status, as well as applicants who have been previously incarcerated. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the organization and believe strongly in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce, and strongly encourage those from historically under-served, underrepresented or marginalized communities to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit