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Policy Associate

Job Location

DC or Remote within the US


Type of Job



58,000 to 65,000, based on experience

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jan 20, 2024

About the job

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), your food and health watchdog, is one of the nation’s leading public health advocacy organizations with a 50-year record of fighting for science in the public interest. CSPI seeks a Policy Associate to support our advocacy for healthy, values-aligned government food purchasing and service at the state, local, and corporate levels. Our campaign goal is to increase the proportion of food purchased and served by public institutions (including correctional facilities, hospitals, universities, and government agencies) that supports healthy diets and a sustainable, just food system.


This is an early career position and will report to the Senior Policy Associate. The anticipated start date is late March or early April 2024. This is a 12-month, grant-funded position with likelihood of extension. The position can be based in CSPI’s DC office, where we offer a hybrid work environment, or remotely within the United States.


As a public health organization, CSPI makes efforts to maintain a safe workplace for employees and visitors. We require all employees to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are eligible, and the vaccine is available to them. Proof of vaccination is required during the onboarding process.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Policy advocacy: Coordinate CSPI’s advocacy to align state and local government food purchasing and food service with authoritative standards for nutrition and values-aligned (local economies, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, animal welfare, racial equity, transparency) food procurement, including developing campaign goals and strategies. Advocate for state and local policies via lobbying, testimony, letters of support, and other tactics. Track legislation and policy initiatives relating to government food procurement. Broaden support for policy priorities among elected and appointed officials, allied organizations, academics and health professionals, and concerned citizens.
  • Coalitions, partner engagement, and relationship building. Represent CSPI in coalitions and with partners, cultivating and expanding relationships with new and existing organizations and partners. Provide technical assistance, materials, and strategic advice to organizations and coalitions.
  • Corporate engagement and corporate campaigns: Engage relevant industry groups and associations on initiatives to improve their products and practices. Support campaigns to put pressure on industry to improve their practices.
  • Communications and campaign materials: Develop fact sheets, reports, letters, social media posts, testimony, petitions, action alerts, blogs, op-eds, infographics, and talking points.
  • External relations: Organize and represent CSPI at meetings, events, briefings, webinars, calls, and with the press.
  • Development and project finance: Contribute to grant applications and reports, and manage project budgets in collaboration with program leadership, development team, and accounting department.
  • Subgranting: Support subgranting to state and local organizations and contractors, including identifying and researching grantees, requesting, and reviewing proposals, monitoring metrics and budgets, and providing advice and technical assistance.
  • Management: Manage interns and contractors where applicable.
  • Carry out other departmental activities as needed.


The ideal candidate would possess:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., food systems, nutrition, public health, public policy) plus 3-5 years of relevant experience or an advanced degree plus 2 or more years of experience.
  • Experience with state or local policy advocacy or with state or local government preferred.
  • Experience with institutional food procurement and/or food service preferred.
  • Basic knowledge of evidence-based food and nutrition recommendations for health preferred.
  • Experience working with a variety and diverse stakeholders in a credible and professional manner.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to speak effectively and persuasively.
  • Excellent research and writing skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent judgment and consistent professionalism, with the ability to take responsibility for multiple projects and deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work as part of a cross-disciplinary team in a collegial manner.
  • Interest in and commitment to CSPI’s work and mission.
  • Commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the intersection of public health and social justice and ability to promote it throughout the work.
  • Proficiency with MSOffice applications, social media, advocacy tools and other web-based applications.

CSPI on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

CSPI is committed to including and valuing diverse voices and fostering a culture that ensures all staff feel a sense of belonging and are encouraged to be their best selves. In that spirit, each of us is committed to putting in constant work to live up to our organization’s core values:

  • We are inclusive. We seek to foster an environment where all staff feel a sense of belonging and are affirmed. We are not looking for everyone to think and look the same. We actively welcome and value staff with different experiences, backgrounds, attributes, abilities, and perspectives.
  • We are open. We are honest and direct in how we communicate with each other in order to build trust and integrity within our organization.
  • We are accountable. We acknowledge and assume responsibility for our actions.
  • We are kind. We communicate and treat one another in a respectful, generous, considerate, and compassionate way.
  • We are collaborative. We work together for the common good and shared success.


The salary range is $58,000 to $65,000, based on experience. CSPI offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes: 3 weeks of annual vacation leave; additional paid holiday leave between December 24 and January 1; 8 weeks of paid parental leave; excellent medical and dental insurance with CSPI paying a significant portion of employee and dependent premiums; and a 3% employer match contribution to the retirement plan after one year of service. We also offer ½ day Fridays, so our workweek is 36 hours for full-time employees.


To Apply

Please utilize CSPI's Paylocity Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to apply for the position. You are required to submit a resume and cover letter highlighting relevant experience and interest. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the February 2, 2024 deadline.


CSPI is committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspective, and skills and encourage people of diverse ages, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, disabilities, religions, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, work, and life experiences to apply.

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