Executive Director

Executive Director

Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Madison, WI   |   August 26, 2021

About the Democratic Party of Wisconsin

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin (“WisDems”) is nationally recognized as one of the country’s highest-performing and most pivotal political organizations.

In the 2021-22 cycle, WisDems will drive a massive program to re-elect Governor Tony Evers, defeat Ron Johnson in order to ensure a Democratic US Senate majority, elect candidates up and down the ballot in spring and fall elections alike, and advocate on policy issues.

WisDems’s work—grounded in inclusion, respect, and empowerment across race, gender, other dimensions of identity, and the rural/suburban/urban divide—continues year-round, working with partners to build a movement that delivers meaningful change for all Wisconsinites.

For more information on WisDems, please visit its website.

The Opportunity

WisDems is seeking outstanding candidates who share the party’s values and vision to join its team, help win elections, and build a future where everyone can thrive.

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 six key challenges: BADGER.

  • Build the bench and build the party, year-round, across race and place
  • Advocate for democracy and the Democratic agenda
  • Deliver a second term for Governor Evers
  • Grow Democratic strength down-ballot
  • End Ron Johnson’s political career (and elect a Democrat to the Senate!)
  • Rally for the long term

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing execution of—and driving regular reviews of and updates to—a compelling, ambitious multi-year vision and strategy for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to elect Democrats up and down the ballot;
  • Managing the staff by line-managing the party’s leadership team, which in turn oversees the party’s departments: organizing, political, communications, elections (data and voter protection) digital, operations and HR, and finance;
  • Partnering with the Chair, Executive team and COO to ensure systems and procedures of the party are efficient, effective, equitable, and inclusive;
  • Maintaining and growing the organizational strength of the state party – from staying at the cutting edge of political tactics and technology, to continuously iterating and optimizing the internal party structure, to deepening a culture of excellence, inclusivity, and innovation;
  • Managing a complex working environment in the time of COVID, ensuring safety for staff and volunteers while also maximizing the party’s political effectiveness and building the interpersonal connections that are so essential to politics;
  • Developing relationships with, aligning the interests of, and managing conflict between key stakeholders such as elected officials, party leaders, grassroots activists, donors, and key allies and constituency groups across the state and national partners;
  • Representing the party and its programs at the coordinated table (which the party convenes and oversees);
  • Drive the ongoing work of the party to be a more actively anti-racist organization;
  • Assisting the chair and overseeing staff in order to maintain transparency; and partnership, with the Administrative Committee (the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s governing board) and the broader party membership and leadership structure.
Candidate Profile

The Executive Director will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

Strategic Leadership

  • Relentlessly goal oriented—enjoys working toward and achieving ambitious goals.
  • Keeps calm in stressful situations—has the capacity and willingness to work long hours during peak season, rolling up their sleeves and getting the work done.
  • Substantial experience working or volunteering for election campaigns or political party organizations; experience working with a state party, statewide or national 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
  • 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, and a strong track record of excellent staff recruitment and retention

Organizational Management and Development

  • Growth mindset—ability to take and implement feedback.
  • 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
  • Experience resolving complex HR and conduct issues

Equity and Inclusion

  • Cultural competency—able to build relationships and collaborate with colleagues, voters, and volunteers across lines of identity difference.
  • Demonstrated experience working to build political power within Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, and to remove barriers to political participation by marginalized communities*
  • Experience working with rural communities*

Passion for the Mission

  • Commitment to the ideals of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, as embodied in the state party constitution and platform
  • Experience working in close partnership with a political principal*
  • 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*
  • Lived experience with and familiarity with Wisconsin, strong relationships with Democratic Party of Wisconsin members, elected officials, unions, and grassroots leaders throughout the state and across lines of race and place*
  • Deep understanding of and track record complying with election law and state and federal campaign finance compliance requirements*

*Indicates qualifications that are preferred but not required


The annual salary for this role will be $132,000-$144,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

WisDems has strong benefits, including: health care, dental, vision, life insurance, short term and long-term disability, cell phone stipend, mileage reimbursement, generous annual vacation time, sick days, 401K match, and holiday time off.


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


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 candidate must have the cultural competence to successfully work with a diverse group of constituency groups. We especially strongly encourage applicants with close ties to Black, Latinx, AAPI, Muslim, Indigenous, non-English-speaking, disability, rural, low- and no-income, Veteran, and LGBTQ communities to apply. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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 www.koyapartners.com.