Deputy Director, Planetary Politics

Washington DC, DC
Full Time
Future Frontlines

In the United States and globally, profound demographic and technological shifts, combined with economic inequality and polarization, have created dangerous gaps between the government and the governed, challenging the equity and viability of institutions that have long governed world affairs. The wicked problems we face in the 21st century come with baked-in 20th-century assumptions about the nature of inter-state politics and particularly great power competition that can often block and obscure potential solutions. Yet these same circumstances create an opportunity to think through and model what policies and practices grounded in this new world could look like.

New America is embarking on a new initiative with the aim of engaging a wide set of actors across the United States and around the world on how to redefine power, rethink approaches to multilateralism, and reinvent institutions in ways that will lead to solutions to problems that defy traditional boundaries and that affect human security on a planetary scale. Our Planetary Politics initiative will explore options for meeting the moment we are now in as demographic, environmental, and technological disruptions are reshaping planetary politics in new, unprecedented, and often unrecognizable ways. Of critical and urgent interest is the need to conceive anew the way the United States responds to and manages foreign policy and national security challenges that often have profound effects on domestic politics, the stability of American democracy, and the way people live their lives.

Over the next several years, the Planetary Politics initiative will focus on shifting the current fractured paradigms in the spheres of international cooperation and global governance and technology and society. We see considerable overlap between these two broad policy spheres and fresh opportunities to shape a shift toward more equitable multilateral solutions to the many wicked problems the world faces today as well as to catalyze multi-stakeholder engagement in building the foundations for a sustainable digital future. Our primary objective is to spur the growth of new communities of practice, research, and advocacy both domestically in the U.S. and internationally between the Global South and Global North.  Planetary Politics is part of two broad clusters of work and programmatic focus at New America, one organized around People and Planet Centered Global Politics and the other organized around Technology and Democracy.

The Deputy Director manages the program/initiative and supervises the work of staff on these issues. This key role has a comprehensive and well-established understanding of the policy spaces and adjacent issue areas so as to be able to view policymaking expansively and holistically, and be able to lead agenda-setting and make strategy recommendations accordingly. The ideal candidate for this position will have experience with grants management and a firm understanding of U.S. interagency processes in the national security sphere and familiarity with relevant Congressional committees and other government bodies.


Strategy & Operations Management (50%)

  • Assists initiative Director with: drafting, implementing, and refining overall strategy; anticipating and tracking developments in the areas of Fourth Industrial geoeconomics, international trade, global institutions, climate change, and energy security and transition; identifying and cultivating organizational partnerships;
  • Develops and operationalizes tangible work plans for research activities, including determining timelines and outputs, setting expectations, linking the framework directly to grant deliverables, contributor research interests, and initiative strategy;
  • Ensures that all grant requirements are fulfilled and reporting deadlines are met. Collects, synthesizes, and reports on data concerning activities from teams working on grants; develops processes and procedures for routine collection of data on impact and translates that data into quarterly reports;
  • Drafts scopes of work for research, events management, and administrative contracts and sub-grant arrangements as well as tracks contract progress to ensure that invoices and deliverables are submitted in a timely manner;
  • Works with central administrative staff to amend and extend contracts as well as develop and align budgets according to grant parameters, program goals, and contractual obligations;
  • Works with program staff with the clusters to integrate and collaborate on shared issues of concern, and to develop initiatives, processes, or systems that support shared objectives, including around programmatic impact or funding. 
  • Works closely with program staff to design and implement processes and plans for research dissemination; develops publication plans and schedules in consultation with communications team members; supports the development of strategic communications for the initiative;
  • Plans and facilitates meetings and events that support program goals internally and externally, including cross-organizational sprints, symposia, and conferences;

Finance & Development (25%)

  • Work in collaboration with the Director to identify funding opportunities and develop competitive, responsive proposals that meet internal standards, apply organizational strategy, and are donor compliant; meet with donors to discuss current and potential funding opportunities.
  • Coordinates closely with Development & Finance teams to develop and track operational budgets and program expenditures; in coordination with the Director leads quarterly team check-in meetings on program finances and biannual meetings on grant deliverables;
  • Work closely with central services to ensure systems are regularly reviewed and in place to support strategic growth.

Leadership & Management (25%)

  • Provide leadership and supervisory management for the team, including mobilization and stewardship of resources, program quality and accountability, and performance management.
  • Represent Planetary Politics in forums and discussions to ensure the program and mission are sufficiently known and respected within the community.
  • Actively liaise with other program leaders to maximize synergies and application of best practices across New America.
  • Supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, establishing a supportive environment while emphasizing accountability, providing regular and timely constructive performance feedback, and leading documented semi-annual performance reviews.
  • Maintain open and professional relations with team members, promoting a strong team spirit and providing oversight and guidance to enable staff to successfully perform in their positions; Maintain a healthy and empowering office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication among staff and with partners.
  • Promote and monitor staff care and well-being. Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs of both national and international staff.
  • Work with HR to identify and implement recruitment and retention strategies.

Key Working Relationships

  • Planteary Politics: Director, Program Manager, Program Communications Manager
  • Internal to New America: Development, Finance, Events, and Publications Management Teams.
  • External: Partner organizations, public and private donors, international and national NGOs, UN agencies, partner organizations, and foreign governments.


  • 7+ years of demonstrated professional experience in international relations, international economics & trade policy, U.S. foreign and national security policy; climate change and/or energy security;
  • Substantial experience in grants management, donor relations and program administration and budgeting;
  • Excellent written communication, verbal communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to mentor and manage others including providing guidance and feedback;
  • Demonstrated initiative by identifying and developing new issues or work streams, and seeking and maintaining funding for those work streams;
  • Strong organizational skills that reflect an ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks seamlessly with excellent attention to detail;
  • Ability to lead projects of various sizes and see them through to completion
  • Very strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including staff, external partners, and donors; 
  • Expert-level written and verbal communication skills;
  • Demonstrated proactive approaches to problem-solving with strong decision-making capability and entrepreneurial spirit;
  • Highly resourceful team player, with the ability to also be extremely effective independently with limited supervision and instruction at times;
  • Demonstrated ability to achieve high-performance goals and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment;
  • A forward-looking thinker who actively seeks opportunities and proposes solutions; must have a confident demeanor and excellent rapport when interacting with all levels of staff;
  • Working relationships with other peers or advocates in the field;
  • Demonstrated interest or dedication to fostering equitable outcomes across society and especially for lower-income communities, communities of color, LGBTQ communities, and other historically marginalized constituencies. This can be in either their personal or professional life;
  • Significant experience advocating policy issues before policymakers, the press, and the public; publication of op-eds, policy papers, reports, and articles in academic journals;
  • Advanced skills in word processing, data management, and presentation software, including but not limited to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and their equivalents; familiarity with web publications processes and tools.

How to apply:

Submit a resume, and a one-page cover letter. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We would like to fill this position as soon as possible.

Please no phone calls and no email

New America is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization thereby creating a culture that allows us to better serve our clientele, our employees and our communities. We value and encourage the contributions of our employees and strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and drive outstanding results. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination.


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