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Associate Director

Applications rolling until position filled
Salary: Commensurate with experience

The Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA) seeks an Associate Director  –  eager to join an innovative, nonpartisan organization  – as it advances  its mission of reforming U.S. policy toward Cuba and Latin America.  We are searching for an imaginative and strategic thinker as CDA enters its second decade of learning, leading, and bringing people together.


The Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization that opposes efforts to root U.S. relations with the region in the Cold War policies of the past and focuses instead on updating and improving U.S. policy toward Cuba and Latin America.

CDA organizes fact-finding missions to the region, performs trailblazing research and reports, hosts policy events, and disseminates what we learn and believe via the news media and through our website and blog, as well as through highly-regarded, weekly and monthly e-newsletters.

CDA is best known for the experience and accomplishments of our Cuba program and our focus on U.S.-Cuba relations.  We actively monitor and report on developments in El Salvador and Venezuela, and also respond to developments in the region consistent with our mission when they affect U.S. policy toward Latin America.


CDA’s staff consists of 5 full-time employees, 3 consultants and 1-3 interns. The Associate Director will work directly with the Executive Director, sharing responsibility for the success of both policy and fundraising aspects of CDA.  The job will evolve depending upon the strengths of the individual, and the institutional and programmatic demands of the organization.

The Associate Director is a member of CDA’s leadership team.  The Associate Director is involved in strategic planning, writing and editing, and personal engagement with our staff and our board, donors and stakeholders.  It is a great opportunity for an individual who is passionate about changing U.S. policy; is a leader, a gifted writer, and has an outgoing personality.

CDA seeks an applicant who identifies strongly with our mission and brings the skills, experience and commitment necessary to join with CDA’s Executive Director and Board in crafting and carrying out the future program and strategic long-term goals of the organization.


  • Policy:  Help design our programs and articulate them in writing and speech.  The Associate Director will help tell the story of CDA, communicate its vision, describe its programs and advocate for its policy goals.  The Associate Director will be responsible for creating and cultivating relations with allies and adversaries, including those in Congress, the Executive Branch, and other key stakeholders; and to help design and convene outreach and educational activities such as conferences, meetings, panels, and trips.
  • Fundraising:  Work closely with the Executive Director and Board to implement a 3-year institutional sustainability plan.  This will involve writing and editing of some fundraising materials and helping design fundraising campaigns, including a year-end giving campaign and an annual event each June.  The Associate Director will also be responsible for cultivating his/her own portfolio of individual CDA donors. Additionally, s/he will develop and build our People-to-People trips to Cuba into a pipeline of prospective donors.
  • This is not a managerial or clerical position, though as a member of the CDA team, the Associate Director will occasionally be involved in tasks related to staff and board cultivation and/or supervision, day to day office administration, budget and cash flow management, trip paperwork and logistics, and general pitching in when needed, no matter how menial the task.


  • Proven ability to design and implement successful advocacy projects or campaigns.
  • Proven ability to generate financial support for projects and programs similar to those of CDA’s in size and scope.
  • Proven ability to manage staff, delegate, and communicate effectively and efficiently.
  • Superior written and oral skills in both English and Spanish.  Published writing a plus.
  • Strong knowledge of U.S. relations with Cuba and Latin America.  A bachelor’s degree (or higher) in Latin American Studies, Political/Social Sciences, Humanities, International Relations, or other related field a plus.
  • Commitment to producing the highest quality work and discipline to meet deadlines.
  • Energetic and collaborative work style.
  • Outgoing and professional approach; ability and desire to communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals, including foreign government authorities, grassroots and civil society, academics, CDA funders and Board members, U.S. Congress, and the media.


Please send a letter of application, résumé, 3-5 page pertinent writing sample, and names of three professional references with daytime telephone numbers to  Interviews will be ongoing until position is filled.


CDA Interns: In the last few years, we have had a number of young people come through our doors – bilingual, interested in the region, eager to learn more about Washington and Capitol Hill – who have done great things for us. We want more.

But you don’t have to be young or bilingual. If you have a commitment to our cause and a desire to share your time working on issues and ideas of importance to the Americas, please let us know.

Interested candidates should send a resume and a cover letter outlining interests, qualifications and availability to Lela Singh.  We provide a small transportation stipend. For more information, including a description of the internships offered at CDA, click here.

The Stephen M. Rivers Memorial Internship

The Center for Democracy in the Americas created a paid internship for each academic year to honor the memory of Stephen Rivers, a remarkable friend, a renowned publicist for Hollywood celebrities, a political activist, and someone who devoted much of his professional life to building cultural bridges between the U.S. and Cuba.

Our organization is currently seeking applications for this paid internship that starts September 2014. For more information, click here.

Become a volunteer

The Center for Democracy in the Americas is a small organization with a big place in its heart for volunteers.

We welcome your ideas.

If you can’t spend your time, share your ideas. Here at CDA, we’re trying to reform U.S. policy toward the nations of the Americas. We welcome the opportunity to learn more about the region from the people who are doing the work, doing the research, and doing the thinking that can help modernize our country’s approach to the people, the nations, and the movements of the region.

To the thinkers and the doers, we welcome volunteers at the CDA.

To e-mail CDA, click here.