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Executive Vice President

Public Citizen is the nation’s leading public interest organization taking on corporate power across a broad range of issue areas. Founded in 1971 to advance health, safety, justice and democracy, we use all available advocacy tools – including research, grassroots mobilization and advocacy, lobbying, litigation, administrative petitioning and strategic communications – to influence policy debates. In our 40 years, we have compiled an extraordinary record of achievement.

Over our four decades, we have an unparalleled record of accomplishment, winning landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases; saving thousands of lives by forcing air bags onto the market and two dozen unsafe drugs off the market; derailing corporate-friendly trade agreements; winning vital protections for consumers against unsafe products and predatory financial products; preserving access to courts for victims of corporate wrongdoing; defending health, safety and environmental rules from deregulatory drives by Big Business; blocking the expansion of nuclear power and advocating for a clean and sustainable energy sources; and much more.

Key to our success has been strategic savvy, and our commitment to taking principled stands on hard issues. Time and again, we have shown the value of staking out positions based on what’s right, rather than a cramped reading of what seems possible. The Public Citizen approach aims to shift the terms of debate, rather than conform to corporate-established parameters. This advocacy style means that we can exert a meaningful impact on policy disputes even when we don’t achieve our objectives; but more often than seems likely, we win what we set out to accomplish.

At a time of mounting public concern with corporate influence over elections and policymaking, Public Citizen sees an opportunity to build our organizational profile and power, and advance the public interest. We are recruiting an executive vice president with strong managerial skills to implement organizational systems and processes to capitalize on synergies of our various projects, facilitate strategic priority setting, maximize employee performance and satisfaction, and amplify our effectiveness.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, Public Citizen operates with an annual budget of $14 million and a staff of 85, and has 250,000 members and supporters. Public Citizen has a field office in Texas. Public Citizen does not accept money from corporate or government sources - we fiercely guard our independence - and relies on the support of members and private foundations, and publication sales.

Role and Responsibility

The executive vice president will work closely with the president and Public Citizen's group directors to build an even stronger and more impactful organization.

Exercising managerial responsibility: The executive vice president will have executive managerial responsibility for administrative and personnel matters. The executive vice president will develop and implement systems to improve overall organizational potency and efficiency. The executive vice president will oversee cross-group programs and projects, and facilitate effective operation and management by all group directors.

Developing organizational and advocacy strategy: The executive vice president will work closely with the president to develop an organizational strategy, evaluating potential new policy initiatives and associated funding streams, improving our surveillance of emerging corporate threats to democracy and a just economy, and identifying organizational synergies and cross-group work. Especially in areas of work involving multiple divisions of the organization, the executive vice president will have responsibility for overseeing development and implementation of action plans.

Advancing Public Citizen’s public profile:
The executive vice president will facilitate more strategic communications work by the organization. The executive vice president will represent Public Citizen in public forums, including with donors, policymakers, the progressive community and the media. Fundraising: The executive vice president will assume a defined portion of executive level development work, particularly by cultivating and soliciting gifts from major donors and foundations.

New initiatives:
The executive vice president will evaluate new potential campaigning and grassroots organizing initiatives, with an eye to expanding Public Citizen’s organizational footprint and power. The executive vice president will also evaluate new potential products or services - including new online information services - in light of Public Citizen’s multiple policy and organizational objectives, develop plans for creating products or services, oversee and carry out implementation.


Public Citizen is seeking an executive vice president who has an unswerving commitment to social and economic justice. The executive vice president must possess strong leadership, managerial, communications, fundraising and decision-making skills. The executive vice president must display strategic vision and possess the ability to translate campaign ideas into specific action plans. The executive vice president should have expertise in some portion of Public Citizen’s diverse portfolio of issues and a sophisticated understanding of the organization’s mission, analytic approach and advocacy style.

Candidates should have demonstrated management experience, including the ability to obtain excellent performance from staff, ensure follow-through on action plans and coordinate organizationwide activities.

Specific skills and commitments required of the executive vice president include:

  • Commitment: Demonstrates a personal commitment to social, economic and environmental justice, corporate accountability, consumer rights and a thriving democracy.
  • Management skills: Possesses a proven track record managing a highly skilled staff, a large budget and a complex organization in a manner that is progressive and consistent. Experience with development and implementation of systems and processes to maximize organizational
  • Organizational skills: Is creative, innovative and imaginative. Has a proven ability to attract outstanding and diverse talent. Has a tough skin and the ability to stick to a plan and push it through to completion.
  • Knowledge: Has a sophisticated understanding of political, economic, health, environmental and technological issues.
  • Fundraising: Demonstrates fundraising success and capacity to assume a defined portion of executive level development work.
  • Communications skills: Possesses superior communications skills and is able to serve as a key spokesperson for the organization in diverse contexts.
  • Political skills: Understands how political power operates in the United States and is a sophisticated policy advocate and change maker. Is well connected and able to build and maintain strategically important alliances.
  • Diversity: Is culturally competent, embraces diversity and has a demonstrated track record of developing and reinforcing diversity in the workplace.
A minimum of 10 years of experience in a senior leadership role is required. An advanced degree in law, public policy, management or a related field is preferred.

Public Citizen is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply: Please send cover letter, resume, references and writing sample to Aileen Walsh at awalsh@citizen.org. Applications will be considered as received.

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