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30 Jul 2021

Full-Time Researcher

American Oversight – Posted by americanoversight Anywhere

Job Description

American Oversight is looking for a curious, diligent researcher to join our team and help us shine a light on government misconduct and threats to democracy. We’re a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog that uses targeted public records requests and litigation to uncover evidence of corruption, abuse of power, or conflicts of interest.

From the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to the multiplying threats to voting rights, American Oversight is working to expose the partisan and anti-democratic motivations behind many of the efforts to suppress the vote and sow doubt about election integrity. We’re continuing to seek accountability for the abuses of the Trump administration, including its authoritarian response to 2020 racial justice protests and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The researcher will help American Oversight investigate those and other important issues. American Oversight’s researchers are avid consumers of the news with an eye to designing high-impact investigations, writing requests to extract salient public records, and reviewing documents in order to shed light on official misconduct, threats to democracy, and abuses of power at all levels of government.

Job Responsibilities

Specific tasks will shift day by day with our work and the news cycle, but in a typical week, you will:

  • Closely follow the news – including mainstream outlets, industry newsletters, and other sources – to identify investigations opportunities and develop strategies to shed light on government misconduct using public records requests.
  • Work with American Oversight’s legal team to conceptualize and draft targeted, strategic, litigation-ready public records requests on important issues to federal, state and local agencies and officials.
  • Analyze documents that we receive from public records requests to identify unreported details, trends, and stories, with an eye for accuracy, newsworthiness, and impact.
  • Help amplify the impact of American Oversight’s investigations by briefing outside groups and journalists on our work, working with the communications team to write blog posts and reports, and building relationships with allied organizations.


Researchers have come to American Oversight with a variety of past work experiences, including government service, journalism, campaign research, law, policy analysis, and government oversight. However, we welcome candidates from any professional background who display the skills needed to be a successful researcher.

  • One to three years’ related work or internship experience.
  • Strong understanding and intuition of what makes a given news story or research avenue important and relevant, and how it connects to American Oversight’s mission.
  • Critical thinking and analytic skills, including an ability to distill large quantities of information to identify key details and themes, and how they related to gaps in existing public knowledge.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including attention to detail, concision, clarity and ability to produce high-quality written work product under pressure. Ability to explain complicated topics in an easy-to-understand manner.
  • Creative, strategic thinking about how to maximize the impact of AO’s investigations.
  • Strong time management skills. Can juggle multiple projects at once while maintaining good judgment of relative priorities.
  • Balances self-motivation, collegiality, and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently.
  • Familiarity with and interest in how government actions impact the lives of ordinary people.

Additional Information

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they have every one of the qualifications listed. We are dedicated to finding the best candidate for the job. Our hiring process is centered on assessing candidates with diverse lived experiences. We would encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of our qualifications described. If you are unsure of whether you meet the qualifications of this position, or how this would be determined, please contact us to discuss your application.

  • The salary range for this position is $57,000 to $63,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.
  • American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
  • American Oversight is a remote-first organization, and our employees can work from anywhere in the country. Our office in downtown Washington, DC, is an optional workspace when pandemic-related restrictions allow.

How to Apply

To apply, please visit

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time.

Job expires in 30 days.

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