Executive Director – Other – Washington, D.C.

auto-safetyThe Center for Auto Safety, the nation’s leading independent non-profit organization promoting auto safety, is seeking a new Executive Director in the wake of the passing of Clarence M. Ditlow III, who headed the group for over forty years. This opening presents a unique opportunity for a dynamic individual seeking to make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.

Founded by Ralph Nader and Consumers Union in 1970, the Center for Auto Safety was a driving force urging the promulgation of safety standards mandating air bags and dramatically reducing rollover casualties, and has been responsible for urging the successful recall of millions of vehicles with safety defects such as General Motors ignition switches and Jeep fuel tanks.  For more information about the Center, please visit our website at www.autosafety.org.

About this Opportunity

The Center is a nonprofit consumer protection organization located in the heart of Washington, D.C., dedicated to preventing deaths and injuries from unsafe cars, trucks, and other vehicles, and protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive practices of the automobile, truck, recreational vehicle, and mobile home industries. Since 1970, it has been the leader in these fields, and is directly responsible for initiating investigations and other government and industry actions leading to the recall of millions of defective automobiles and trucks, as well as securing better motor vehicle safety standards and warranty protections for thousands of consumers.

It uses public advocacy, petitions to government agencies, litigation, Congressional testimony, the Freedom of Information Act, coalition building, media attention, and a host of other advocacy tools to accomplish its mission, and is one of the most effective public interest groups in the country. This is a premier opportunity for an innovative, creative, persistent and dynamic leader to influence public policy and public health.


The Executive Director is the spokesperson for the Center and will be responsible for managing the organization and applying its expertise to auto safety related issues.  Primary responsibilities include:

  • Testifying before regulatory agencies and Congressional committees and  participating in top level meetings with government officials;
  • Developing research based public policy positions;
  • Conducting press conferences on critical issues as well as being the primary contact for national print, broadcast and social media outlets;
  • Preparing comments on regulatory actions, press releases, and statements outlining the Center’s position on a wide variety of auto safety issues;
  • Monitoring industry developments and practices, safety statistics, new technology – including autonomous vehicles –  legislation and regulatory activity;
  • Conducting research to uncover hidden defects, systemic industry problems, and dangers posed by deficient automotive designs, technologies and manufacturing;
  • Developing and executing education and advocacy campaigns;
  • Working closely with organizations having shared interests such as Consumers Union, Public Citizen, the Consumer Federation of America and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety;
  • Coordinating legal efforts to enhance state and federal vehicle safety laws and regulations;
  • Assisting in the research, editing and publication of The Car Book.

The Executive Director is also responsible for the many typical management and administrative responsibilities inherent in leading a successful advocacy organization including:

  • Staffing, financial management, website, contracts, insuring that accounting and auditing tasks are in place; and,
  • Conducting membership fund raising campaigns, developing grant proposals and soliciting funding from individual and organizational sources.


Candidates must have strong writing and oral advocacy skills.  A law degree and degree in engineering are highly preferred.  Comparable experience in a related technical field will be considered.  Experience working in a non-profit advocacy organization is important, and managing staff and raising financial support is essential, as is proficiency in generating, analyzing and using computerized data and social media. We are looking for a resourceful, creative, determined individual who will continue and enhance the important work of the Center.

Salary is competitive with other public interest groups and dependent on level of experience; benefits include health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, pension benefits, liberal sick and vacation leave.  The Center is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to jobs@autosafety.org.  All applications should be submitted by the close of business on April 15, 2017.

Additional Info
Employer Type: Other
Job Location: Washington, DC