CEO, Center for Public Integrity

District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Mar 26, 2021
Apr 24, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time


The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) is one of the most credible and trusted nonprofit, nonpartisan, national investigative news organizations in the U.S.  For more than 30 years, CPI has exposed abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust to hold the powerful to account. Over the past two years, CPI has substantially completed a transformation of its organizational structure in accordance with a strategic plan adopted in 2018. Last year, the Board of Directors unanimously approved a new focus on covering inequality. CPI’s goal is to cover inequality broadly, including wealth, income, economic, race, gender, and social inequality. Income and wealth inequality have been on the rise since the 1970s, but issues in the past year have elevated their importance in maintaining the fabric of our society and the integrity of our democracy. As part of this transformation and in connection with our new focus on inequality, we have added a number of new editors and reporters. Our Board and our staff are deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion which we also believe will help us improve the quality and impact of our journalism. A reflection of that commitment is seen in the substantial increase in the diversity of our Board and our staff over the past few years.

CPI’s critical mission and high quality of work is supported by a growing body of funders, including individual donors and institutional foundations such as the Democracy Fund, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and many others. Thanks to the generous support of our funders, CPI ended 2020 in a sound financial position, notwithstanding the economic and financial implications of the pandemic.


In this context, CPI is launching a search for its new Chief Executive Officer. Its next CEO will step in to advance CPI’s mission further while guided by its principles of reporting the facts fearlessly and independently.

The new CEO will provide visionary leadership that builds upon three decades of groundbreaking Pulitzer Prize winning journalism and will complete the transformation to ensure CPI remains at the forefront of investigative reporting on inequality through data, storytelling, as well as solutions and historical context.

The new leader must be able to provide overarching general management in all aspects of CPI’s work. S/he will oversee continued journalistic excellence, spearhead robust fundraising and development initiatives and maintain financially sound and thoughtful business operations. S/he will also lead the development of emerging digital distribution platforms, an example of which is the recently launched and highly praised podcast “The Heist”.

Key Relationships

Reports to: Board of Directors

Direct reports:   Editor-in-Chief

Interim Chief Operating Officer

  • Chief Development Officer
  • Finance Manager
  • Human Resources Manager 

Other key relationships: Staff (24), Funders, Members

Major Responsibilities

  • Lead and manage the continued evolution of CPI into a multi-media, multi-platform investigative news organization and guide the further development of the organizational structure to reflect the needs of this transformation. The CEO will also ensure that CPI maintains its standards of producing the highest quality investigative content in partnership with media outlets and a national public audience.
  • Lead and manage CPI in a manner consistent with the Board’s guidance by providing thorough communication of organizational objectives and plans both within and, as appropriate, outside of the organization. Working with the senior management team, the CEO will determine organizational policy, and the utilization of resources in order to carry out the goals and objectives of CPI’s mission and ensure the long-term health and sustainability of CPI.
  • Ensure that plans for the continued development and growth of CPI are prepared and are based on a careful appraisal of news content, digital production and distribution methods, and funding generation.
  • Continue to develop, implement, and foster new and ongoing partnerships that will strengthen and amplify CPI’s position across key media stakeholders.
  • As CPI’s primary ambassador, assure that the development, marketing, branding and fundraising efforts, which include memberships, grants, and major gifts, cover the full scope of CPI’s future operating and capital needs.
  • Lead the senior staff in sound managerial and financial disciplines.
  • Consistent with CPI’s deep commitment to DEI initiatives, foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive working environment that stimulates open communication, creativity, imagination, and problem solving, identifying and capturing new organizational opportunities.


Visionary Leadership

The new CEO will reach and engage more readers and create a greater impact in the national media landscape in the next five years. S/he will:

  • Guide and lead the continued evolution of CPI in the development and implementation of strategies that fulfill the Center’s stated mission and focus on inequality;
  • Keep CPI in the forefront of media convergence to enable CPI to take full advantage of an ever-evolving media environment and to leverage multiple platforms; and
  • Advocate for intelligent change, flexibility and openness to experimentation without sacrificing a commitment to quality content, audience engagement, metrics, and outcomes.

Organization and Funding Development

The CEO will drive funding for ongoing programs and new initiatives in service of our mission. S/he will:

  • Lead funding growth through a combination of individual donors, foundations and new initiatives, focusing on multi-year general operating support;
  • Practice sound nonprofit fundamentals and manage execution in collaboration with the senior leadership team;
  • Have an appetite for measured risk-taking as well as strength in guiding growth and innovation; and
  • Manage a full P&L.

Communication and Relationship Building

The new CEO will guide CPI through a time of leadership transition, while respecting its organizational competencies and commitment to the highest level of news excellence, and also helping it thrive during its ongoing evolution. S/he will:

  • Continue to build a collaborative, high-performance organization where people are engaged, accountable and resilient;
  • Communicate explicitly when and why changes are necessary, outline desired outcomes and risk, while building consensus and alignment;
  • Demonstrate a passion for and experience in investigative and/or serious journalism, and serve as the primary spokesperson for the newsroom, effectively articulating CPI’s mission, values, and impact to all relevant audiences;
  • Use strong interpersonal and communication skills to increase CPI’s funding, its influence in the investigative news arena and the public;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion not only within the organization but with its multi-content platforms and the audiences CPI serves; and
  • Partner with a dedicated, committed and diverse Board of Directors comprised of current and veteran journalists, professional leaders, academicians, and advocates for trustworthy journalism.


Ideal Experience

  • This highly-visible position requires senior management experience, including P&L responsibility. The successful candidate will also have broad-gauged, mission-driven leadership experience. A successful track record in serious and/or investigative journalism is preferred.
  • A leader with previous experience or the ability to cultivate a network of donors/funders from which CPI can expand and strengthen relationships and secure resources for the organization.
  • A practical visionary with well-developed people management skills and experience, employing good judgment, sound business and/or nonprofit disciplines, and strategic thinking.
  • Reporting to and/or serving on a Board.
  • Managing an organization in which sensitivity to creating and maintaining an atmosphere where investigative journalism and multiplatform innovation can thrive within the financial constraints of a nonprofit organization.  
  • Knowledge of and passion for how current and developing media technologies are being deployed to deliver unique and compelling content to key audiences and the public.

Other Characteristics

  • Superior oral and written communication skills and the ability to sell ideas and concepts to various constituencies, both internal and external. Strong presentation skills in small briefings and large audience settings.
  • A team player who can quickly establish himself/herself as the trusted leader of the entire team.
  • An even-tempered, balanced and culturally competent professional, who excels in forging close and productive working relationships with a diverse range of personality types, styles, perspectives and backgrounds.


CPI is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages expressions of interest from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ leaders.

CPI has retained Sally M. Sterling Executive Search to support the search for its next CEO. If you wish to submit your application materials or nominate a candidate for this position, please send an email message with supporting materials to

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