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Legislative Associate II

Washington DC

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent national nonprofit whose scientists and engineers work to solve some of our planet’s most pressing environmental and safety problems. UCS combines technical analysis and effective organizing and advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for sustainable food and agriculture, energy and transportation, fighting misinformation, stemming the tide of global warming, and reducing the threat of catastrophic nuclear war.

The Food and Environment program (F&E) at UCS seeks a Legislative Associate who can put their persuasive powers to work for a healthy, sustainable, and just food system. You’ll join a team of experts who develop original scientific analysis to support better ways of producing, distributing, and consuming food. As Legislative Associate, you’ll help represent UCS on food and farm policy: to Congress, the executive branch, nonprofits, business groups, and the DC policy community. You’ll also work closely with other UCS staff members on strategies to integrate legislative work with research and outreach, in service of our policy goals.

You’ll bring familiarity with federal food and agriculture policy issues, a working knowledge of the legislative process, and an understanding of effective advocacy strategies. Outstanding oral and written communication skills will help you succeed in a fast-paced environment. An ability and willingness to collaborate effectively with diverse audiences is essential.


  • Support the Food & Environment program’s federal policy agenda, including the farm bill, agricultural research, and conservation and nutrition programs.
  • Develop and implement campaign strategies and coalition policy goals, focusing on advocacy and outreach components.
  • Provide strategic and innovative input on advancing F&E’s policy priorities and defending against policies and actions undermining science in federal policymaking.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with congressional staff, administration officials, and coalition and environmental justice partners. Participate in coalition activities and support community-based allies, representing UCS as needed.
  • Track legislation and regulations in Congress and federal agencies. Identify opportunities for action.
  • Draft, edit, and fact-check advocacy materials such as letters, fact sheets, op-eds, presentations, and briefing papers.
  • Conduct power-mapping analysis informing grassroots outreach strategies.
  • Participate in research projects.
  • Develop and maintain comprehensive knowledge relevant to F&E issues.
  • Participate in regular cross-programmatic lobby caucus meetings and activities.

Qualifications and experience

You must have familiarity with federal food and agriculture policy issues, and interest in or experience working on public interest advocacy campaigns. A basic knowledge of science or technical policy issues is also helpful. Must understand the legislative process, including advocacy/lobbying techniques and strategies, and legislative strategy and the policymaking process. Must be a quick learner with strong time management skills, outstanding 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. B.S. or B.A. degree, preferably in political science or public policy, is desired.

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

Little or no exertion; may require extended periods at a computer. Some late hours and/or weekends may be required in connection with events or critical deadlines.

Limited required travel (up to 6 overnights per year).

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

UCS is an equal opportunity employer continually 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've adopted this commitment because 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. We are actively seeking people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in this work.

Compensation, Hours and Location: This is a full-time position based in UCS’s Washington, DC, office. For those who meet all position requirements, the salary is around $52,500. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment. Information about the organization is available at

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, salary requirements, how you learned about the position via email to and include “Legislative Associate FE” in the subject line. Email materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls please. Deadline: August 19th, 2018.

Posted July 19, 2018

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