Public Disclosure Commission Executive Director

Executive Director

Salary $113,000.00 – $119,000.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Olympia, WA
Job Type: Exempt
Department: Public Disclosure Commission
Job Number: 2017-03364
Closing: Continuous
Executive Director, Olympia

This position is open until filled.  The Hiring Manager reserves the right to make a hiring decision at any time.  It will be in your best interest to apply as soon as possible.  Application review will begin on Monday, April 17, 2017.

COMPENSATIONSalary is under review. Currently, the maximum annual salary for this position is $119,000.

Benefits include a comprehensive medical, dental, vision and life insurance, public employee retirement system contributions, holiday, vacation.

In 1972, Washington voters adopted the Fair Campaign Practices Act to assure continued public confidence in the fairness of elections and government in Washington state, and to protect the public interest.

The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) is the state agency created by the voters to oversee, ensure compliance with, and equitable enforcement this law, and to provide timely and meaningful public access to accurate information about the financing of political campaigns, lobbyist expenditures, and the financial affairs of public officials and candidates.
The PDC is hiring a new Executive Director who has a strong commitment to the PDC’s mission, to public service and to principled and collaborative leadership.

The PDC is a very small agency – 20 FTE’s and a five (5) person Commission – with a very large mission.  The Executive Director will have significant leadership responsibilities in directing the work of a strong team of staff and working with the Commission.  The management team also includes the Deputy Director, Chief Information Officer, and the Director of Communications and Customer Service.

The Executive Director is responsible for effective and fair enforcement of the law; developing proposals for Commission consideration on improvements to the law, rules, interpretations and guidance; management of the budget and operations; ensuring use of best practices and collaborating with the staff on continuous improvements; enhancing uses of technology to provide greater access to information; advocacy and strategic planning to ensure the agency has the resources, authority and capacity it needs to serve the public well.

This is a great opportunity to lead a dedicated and experienced staff, and to make a significant positive impact in our state on issues related to campaign finance reform and disclosure.

We are looking for someone who has:

  • Strong leadership skills;
  • Strong ability to facilitate conversations;
  • Experience working with boards or commissions;
  • Experience with state budgets and state personnel policies and rules;
  • Experience or interest in political campaigns including experience or understanding of campaign finance regulations;
  • Experience in management;
  • Experience working with investigators and reviewing investigative materials;
  • Experience working with the Legislature;
  • Experience writing policies and rules for an agency or government office;
  • Strong writing skills;
  • The ability to analyze materials and condense them into Plain Talk;
  • Experience or an interest in media, communications, and public education;
  • Strong interest in technology and open government applications; and
  • Experience in a customer service setting.
A successful Executive Director will also be someone who is enthusiastic, motivated, open to change, analytic, creative, dependable, principled, innovative, a good communicator and enjoys working in a non-hierarchical, collaborative environment.

The Commission and staff team will do everything to help you be successful.  If you’re ready for the opportunity to lead, to fulfill the public’s vision, and to move our organization to even greater heights, then we encourage you to apply!

A strong commitment to the mission of the agency and to public service, a collaborative working style, a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five (5) years of experience in leadership or management positions with demonstrated ability to achieve measurable outcomes, supervise and motivate staff, prioritize competing needs, understand and apply the law, communicate well internally and externally and make fair and thoughtful decisions.

The successful candidate will demonstrate, or have an ability to develop the skills to:

  • Work effectively with a board or commission;
  • Make decisions and present recommendations in a high profile setting, on highly sensitive as well as routine matters;
  • Communicate complex issues and facts effectively, orally and in writing, to a wide range of audiences, including formal presentations and training as well as in informal settings; manage negotiations and build consensus; skillfully attend to details, and juggle competing demands and work on tasks of varying complexity, while recognizing the larger policy, legal, and political ramifications of decisions.
  • Develop and sustain cooperative, effective working relationships in a team environment and with external stakeholders.
  • Operate with integrity and objectivity under challenging circumstances. He or she must have the ability to facilitate and implement a clear vision and strategy, and possess strengths in both external relations and internal management with experience balancing the two; demonstrate principled leadership.


  • An advanced degree in law, public administration, political science, or related field.
  • At least 2-3 years of experience working in a public or non-profit agency, preferably an agency that was headed by a board or commission, or one dealing with campaign finance, public sector ethics, political law or elections, or regulation, oversight and enforcement on behalf of the public. Relevant experience demonstrating philosophical alignment with the PDC’s mission and vision may substitute for public agency or non-profit experience.
  • At least 3-5 years of management or executive-level experience in the public, private, or non-profit sector, and would excel in managing in a visible position requiring objectivity, transparency and accountability to the public; development of legislation, policy and rule-making; written communications; enforcement; advocacy; budgeting; customer service; public outreach and engagement; strategic planning; change management; project management; and mentoring and leading staff.
  • Knowledge of and experience interpreting or applying the Administrative Procedure Act (RCW 34.05), Open Public Meetings Act (RCW 42.30), and Public Records Act (RCW 42.56), or comparable acts in other jurisdictions.
  • Knowledge of chapters 42.17A RCW and 390 WAC and demonstrated ability to analyze campaign finance laws at both the state and national levels, or a background in investigative or analyst positions conducting investigations and providing compliance advice regarding complex campaign finance, lobbyist, and personal financial affairs disclosure regulations.
  • Strategic planning expertise; detailed understanding of public policy development and framework including experience in the legislative process.
  • Ability to perform in a dynamic and complex, cross-functional environment, involving regulatory and information-technology components.
  • Knowledge of opportunities to use technology to provide transparency, manage cases, provide open access, support compliance, and provide public education and stakeholder input.
  • Successful experience conducting or supervising civil investigations.
  • Ability to identify risk management issues and develop proposed mitigation strategies.
Supplemental Information
In addition to completing the online application, please attach the following documents:

  • A letter of interest, describing how you meet the specific qualifications for this position.
  • A current resume, detailing experience, and education.
  • A list of at least three (3) professional references with current telephone numbers.


Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications and wish to claim Veteran’s Preference MUST attach a copy of their DD214, or other verification of military service. Please black out any personally identifiable data such as social security numbers.

For additional information on Veteran’s Preference and guidance on how to determine if you are eligible, click here.

We thank you and are grateful for your service

Should you have any questions regarding this position or the online application, please email us at

The State of Washington is an equal opportunity employer. Persons with a disability who need assistance with their application or that need this announcement in an alternative format, may call (360) 664-1960 or toll free (877) 664-1960. TTY users should first call 711 to access the Washington Relay Service.

Agency: State of Washington
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View Job Posting for Location, Washington, 98504.

Heather LigtenbergPublic Disclosure Commission Executive Director