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Legislative Associate

Job Location

Remote/Hybrid – located in close proximity to Washington, D.C.


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jan 5, 2023

About the job

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Legislative Associate

Food & Environment Program

Remote/Hybrid – located in close proximity to Washington, D.C.

Bargaining Unit Position: Yes


Our organization

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent nonprofit that puts rigorous, independent science into action, developing solutions and advocating for a healthy, safe, and just future. We envision a peaceful, healthy, and just world where science serves people and the planet by guiding policy decisions, reducing risks, and improving lives.

For over five decades, we have been working as scientists, engineers, economists, advocates, and everyday people to create and advocate for innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing problems—from combating global warming and developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves, to fighting disinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war. Values informing our work include:

  • Science in the service of people and the planet.
  • Justice and Equity for people of all races and incomes—now, and for future generations.
  • Courage to take principled, science-based stands in the public arena.
  • Integrity to always examine evidence critically, openly, and honestly.
  • Democracy to promote a voice for all in government decisions.
  • Action inspiring and mobilizing people to build a healthier, safer, and more just world.

The Food & Environment Program works to create a sustainable and equitable food system that makes farmland resilient to climate change and other challenges, produces healthy food for all, protects frontline food workers, and contributes to thriving rural and urban communities. Our talented interdisciplinary team of 16 scientists, advocates, communicators, and campaigners collaborates to build impactful campaigns to advance our food system goals.


UCS is seeking a Legislative Associate for the Food and Environment Program (F&E). Working closely with the Sr. Washington Representative for F&E, the Legislative Associate will support senior program staff in advocating for the UCS food and farm policy agenda to Congress, the executive branch, non-governmental organizations, business groups, and members of the DC policy community. They will work closely with outreach staff, senior program leadership, and other UCS legislative staff to develop and integrate legislative work with research and outreach strategies. As a member of the program’s government affairs team, they will maintain a comprehensive knowledge of relevant issues and represent F&E and UCS at meetings with external stakeholders and government representatives.



· Assume a policy and advocacy support role for all of F&E’s Federal policy agenda. Help develop and implement campaign strategies for F&E, cross-programmatic, and coalition policy goals, specifically focusing on outreach and advocacy components. Provide strategic and innovative input on advancing F&E’s priorities in Congress and with the executive branch, as well as defending against policies and actions that undermine the use of science in federal policymaking.

· Monitor daily print media, blogs, and social media for pertinent coverage of policy issues. Track the progress of legislation and regulations in Congress and at federal agencies, respectively. Identify opportunities for action.

· Draft, edit, and fact-check advocacy materials, including but not limited to, letters, fact sheets, briefing papers, op-eds, presentations, and briefing papers. Conduct relevant congressional research and prepare background materials about members on key committees. Working with outreach and communications staff, help develop social media content for advocacy campaigns.

· Work with F&E outreach and Science Network staff to conduct power-mapping analysis to inform F&E campaigns, leverage grassroots outreach strategies. Targets key members of Congress and other government officials by mobilizing scientists, community leaders and UCS supporters. Help cultivate Science Network experts and other in-district stakeholders to amplify lobbying efforts. Identify and organize relevant constituent meetings as needed.

· Represent F&E at advocacy and coalition meetings as needed and at relevant events. Provide government affairs support to equity partners. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with congressional representatives and staff, administration officials, coalition and environmental justice partners. Participate in coalition activities and provide support to community-based allies.

· Provide logistical support for direct advocacy efforts (i.e. call-in days, lobby days). Help organize briefings and meetings.

· Participate in research projects closely related to legislative work. Develop and maintain comprehensive knowledge relevant to subject matter areas; maintain familiarity with other UCS issues.

· Work effectively within and across UCS departments; participate in regular cross-programmatic lobby caucus meetings and activities.


Qualifications and Experience

Position requires familiarity with food and agriculture policy issues, basic knowledge of science or technical policy issues is also helpful. Must have a substantive knowledge of legislative process, including advocacy/lobbying techniques and strategies, legislative strategy, and the policymaking process; a proven ability to learn quickly; strong time management skills; strong oral and written communication skills; and an ability to collaborate effectively with diverse audiences. Familiarity with Microsoft Office (Word and Excel), CQ/Knowlegis, and Lexis/Nexis is a plus. Ability to work in fast-paced environment; self-starter who also works well in teams; B.S. or B.A. degree, preferably in political science or public policy is desired.


The position requires 3 to 5 years comparable experience in legislative, campaign, and lobbying at the national or grassroots level. Proven advocacy and communication skills and experience working either in Congress, in government implementing programs and policies, or for NGOs working to engage stakeholders and influence decision-making is necessary. Capitol Hill experience is a plus. Applicants should also demonstrate strong research skills, a positive, team-oriented work ethic, and the ability to work in a deadline-driven environment. A successful legislative assistant will have interest in and/or experience working on public interest advocacy campaigns.


At UCS, comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.


May spend extended periods at computer. No travel required.


UCS is an equal opportunity employer actively seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, we’re dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities.



This is a full-time remote position based in close proximity to UCS’s Washington, D.C. office. For those who meet all position requirements, the salary range is $53,781-$60,500. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment. *CA Resident Only, we offer a 12% salary differential*


Information about the organization is available at


Comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.


More about the team:

Our team is made up of a dedicated group of researchers, scientists, communicators, campaigners, and advocates from wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive team and a collaborative and supportive work environment where all staff can thrive. We continually strive to create an environment which is a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, parents, empty-nesters, and people with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.


To Apply: We know there are great candidates who won’t check all of these boxes, and we also know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. Please upload a cover letter and resume. In the cover letter, please confirm that the listed salary meets your expectations. Upload materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls, please.


This position is in the bargaining unit.


Covid Mandate for New Hires:

For in office roles, UCS employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees are considered fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC. All new hires who will be reporting to an office location must provide notice of their vaccination status and vaccination documentation, on or before their first day of work. For all others, UCS strongly encourages full vaccinations among its employees, up to and including booster shots, even if working remotely.


All new employees must comply with the mandatory vaccination requirements outlined in UCS policies as soon as practicable. Union of Concerned Scientists will notify candidates for employment of the requirements of this policy before the start of employment.


Deadline: until filled

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