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Policy Associate - State & Local Child Nutrition

Job Location

Washington DC or Remote


Type of Job



68,000 to 70,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Oct 12, 2023

About the job

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) helped lead the effort for passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a landmark law that got soda and most junk food out of schools and ensures that school meals provide more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and less salt and saturated fat. Since then, we have been working to defend science-based school nutrition requirements, ensure schools have the tools they need to provide healthy, delicious meals, and ensure school meal standards remain aligned with the most up-to-date expert recommendations.


This is a 12-month, grant-funded, full-time position with a possibility of extension. We are searching for a Policy Associate to join the Child Nutrition Programs team, to focus on CSPI’s state and local school foods policy portfolio. This position will report to the Child Nutrition Campaign Manager and the anticipated start date is mid-December 2023.


The preferred location for this position is CSPI’s DC office where we offer a hybrid work environment. But we will also consider remote applicants within the US. 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

  • Primary responsibility will include facilitating CSPI’s state/local school nutrition policy coalition to pass state/local school food policies, including developing and implementing state/local coalition policy priorities, sharing best practices and information among coalition members to help partners advance state/local priorities, drafting agendas, coordinating coalition activities, materials, and communications, recruiting and managing membership roster, and facilitating meetings.
  • Build strong partnerships with allied organizations for state and local advocacy. Mobilize support for campaigns from organizations, academics, health professionals, CSPI members, and other concerned citizens. Build a pipeline for potential state and local campaigns.
  • Track state legislation and policies, ranging from legislation, budget, local wellness policies, and other policies.
  • Provide technical assistance to state and local partners working on policy campaigns as needed.
  • Conduct outreach to state agencies, school districts, and companies to support school meal priorities.
  • Develop and update resources, including fact sheets, case studies, social media posts, infographics, communications materials, talking points, grassroots alerts, testimony, and other advocacy and legislative materials.
  • Lobby state and local policymakers; coordinate activities with contract lobbyists as needed.
  • Give presentations and represent CSPI at conferences, meetings, webinars, and in coalitions.
  • Work with cross-functional teams to develop evidence-based policy recommendations.
  • Carry out other departmental activities as needed, including other child nutrition priorities as identified by the team.


The ideal candidate would possess:

  • Master’s degree in health policy or nutrition and 3 years of lobbying, legislative, or policy experience; or Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of lobbying, legislative, or policy experience required.
  • State and/or local policy experience strongly preferred.
  • School nutrition policy experience preferred but not required.
  • 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 $68,000 to $70,000, 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.


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 prior to the October 23, 2023 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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