Illinois PIRG Democracy and Civic Engagement Advocate

Illinois PIRG is hiring an experienced advocate to strengthen Illinois’s democracy by modernizing voter registration and election administration and advancing campaign finance reforms at the state and local level. Thanks to Illinois PIRG and our partners, Illinois has made great strides to modernize voting over the past four years, but as corruption scandals persist and big money has an outsized impact on our elections, there is much more we can do.

Mission and Background

Illinois PIRG is a policy and action group with thousands of supporters across the state. Our mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented public interest activism that protects consumers, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, and fosters responsive, democratic government. Illinois PIRG led the successful campaign to pass Automatic Voter Registration in 2017, and was successful this past year in blocking an attempt by the electric utilities to raise electric rates without traditional regulatory review.

The Democracy and Civic Engagement Advocate is responsible for developing our strategy, approach and local message to win campaigns. The advocate will meet with local decision-makers and opinion leaders and represent our organization to allies and the media. The advocate will also help build and foster our membership, grassroots and online base of support. Finally, the advocate will help recruit staff and volunteers to join us, fundraise for our programs, and maintain good systems for tracking and building on our work.

Representative Responsibilities

  • Program: Run the Illinois PIRG Democracy and Civic Engagement Program, participating in and overseeing policy development, research and messaging.
  • Advocacy: Bring problems and solutions to the attention of decision-makers—including state legislators, people on the governor’s staff, state regulators and local officials. Develop appropriate messages and materials for making the case to decision-makers. Build relationships with key players in the state, the region and at the federal level.
  • Campaign Strategy: Develop plans to win on our campaigns for voter registration modernization and campaign finance reform. Assess opportunities for building political support for our agenda through coalition-building, grassroots organizing, media coverage, endorsements and message development.
  • Media Outreach: Serve as the public spokesperson for our democracy campaigns through media events, press releases, editorial board meetings and other outreach with a goal of building name recognition for the organization, educating the public about our issues, and building and demonstrating support for our positions.
  • Coalition Building: Identify, reach out and work with partners who can help us win our campaigns. Play a leadership role in the Just Democracy Illinois Coalition.
  • Fundraising: Write grant proposals, build relationships with foundation staff and meet with donors, all to bring more resources to campaigns we're waging to protect our environment.
  • Staff Recruitment and Development: Recruit new staff and volunteers to increase our impact and build our power.


Candidates must have at least 3-5 years of relevant professional experience and have excellent judgment and discretion and the ability to oversee significant projects. Qualified candidates will have a demonstrated commitment to public interest issues and to citizen-based social change, as well as a track record of leadership. We're looking for goal-driven and results-oriented individuals who have excellent verbal, writing and analytical skills, the ability to speak persuasively in a charged atmosphere, and enthusiasm for the work. The ideal candidate will have experience in state-level political advocacy and organizing, a proven ability to recruit, train and develop staff, the ability to raise money, and demonstrated success in building relationships with the full spectrum of environmental and political stakeholders.

Please direct your cover letter to Kate Canada, Hiring Director.

Pay & Benefits

Target annual compensation for this position is commensurate with the relevant professional experience and/or advanced degrees that a candidate has. Illinois PIRG offers a competitive benefits package.


Chicago, IL

Things to know when you apply

Illinois PIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done. Click here for things you should know about our network when you apply.

Illinois PIRG is an equal opportunity employer.


If you’re interested in learning more about U.S. PIRG, fill out this form and we’ll send you additional information, and link you to our online application.