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 misinformation, 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.
UCS’s Food & Environment Program
The Union of Concerned Scientists is seeking a Senior Washington Representative, working under supervision and with guidance from the Senior Manager of Government Affairs for the Food and Environment Program. Responsibilities will include working in consultation with other F&E and UCS staff and advocating for F&E’s positions on U.S. farm policy and healthy, sustainable, and just food systems. The appropriate candidate will plan, coordinate, and participate in F&E advocacy efforts in support of the UCS food and farm policy agenda, and lead the strategy and implementation of key components.
The Senior Washington Representative will supervise and mentor junior policy staff, and work closely with outreach staff, senior program leadership, and other UCS legislative staff to develop and integrate legislative strategies into campaigns. As needed, they will serve as a resource to high-level UCS donors, UCS leadership, and F&E program leadership for time-sensitive requests they receive from the media, Congress, donors, or other stakeholders. The individual will maintain a comprehensive knowledge of relevant issues and represent F&E and UCS at meetings with external stakeholders and government representatives.
The essential job duties/responsibilities of the position are included in but not limited to the information listed below.
UCS is committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We believe the inclusion of diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities. All staff participate in this commitment whether internally, in building a welcoming workplace culture, and /or externally, in ensuring inclusive engagement with supporters, media, vendors, allies, and others.
Working under the supervision of the Senior Manager of Government Affairs:
- Contribute to shaping the program’s overall food and agriculture policy agenda, and design, support, and lead strategy, advocacy, and coalition engagement for key components of that agenda.
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships, and manage select relationships, with select policymakers and coalition partners.
- Work to advance opportunities that center more equitable policy outcomes and highlight equity partner voices in Congress and with the executive branch.
- Monitor and track the progress of relevant legislation and executive action, and review and analyze related media coverage, with an eye to identifying opportunities for UCS engagement.
- Draft, edit, and fact-check advocacy materials.
- Collaborate with relevant program staff to inform implementation of research, outreach, and other projects and activities to achieve policy goals.
- Identify target policymakers and implement strategies to influence them by mobilizing UCS supporters, scientists, and other stakeholders.
- Participate in power-mapping analysis, conducting research, and developing background materials on key policymakers.
- Provide political and strategic advice and guidance to annual planning efforts.
- Represent UCS externally, in relevant coalitions and partnerships, and with the media.
- Participate in coalition activities and provide policy and advocacy support to community-based allies.
- In consultation with UCS communications staff, respond to press inquiries on selected food and farm policy issues, conduct interviews with media representatives as needed, and maintain effective working relationships with reporters who cover relevant issues. Draft press releases, op-eds, and letters to the editor; and develop blog and social media content.
- Maintain awareness of role as representative of UCS; consider the impact of activities on organizational reputation and credentials in public and private sectors; direct energies whenever possible to promote UCS, advance organizational objectives, substantiate credibility, and enhance funding opportunities.
- Work effectively within and across UCS departments; provide strategic advice for UCS and represent F&E in regular cross-programmatic lobby caucus meetings and activities.
- Contribute to foundation proposals and reports as needed.
- Develop and maintain comprehensive knowledge relevant to subject matter areas; maintain familiarity with other UCS issues.
- Other duties as assigned.
Qualifications and Experience
- The position requires a B.A. or B.S. degree.
- 5-7 years of full-time comparable and relevant experience in legislative, campaign, and lobbying at the federal or state level; and working knowledge of U.S. food and agriculture policy issues, science, or technical policy issues
- The incumbent must demonstrate a strong understanding of the legislative process, including advocacy/lobbying techniques and strategies, legislative strategy, and policymaking.
- Experience working with diverse audiences, excellent oral and written communication skills, and public and media relations capabilities are prerequisites for this position.
- Farm policy and federal appropriations experience is strongly preferred but not required.
- Capitol Hill experience is a plus.
- Training or experience in project management desirable.
- Familiarity with Microsoft Office (Word and Excel), Quorum, PowerPoint, CQ/Knowlegis, and Lexis/Nexis 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.
At UCS, comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.
The position may supervise a Policy Associate and occasional interns or consultants.
Little or no exertion; may require extended periods at a computer. May occasionally lift and carry boxes of supplies or publications if able.
Some late hours and/or weekends may be required in connection with events or critical deadlines.
Limited required domestic travel (up to 6 overnights per year).
UCS is an equal-opportunity employer actively seeking to diversify its staff. 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 hybrid/remote position based near UCS’s Washington, DC office. For those who meet all position requirements, the salary range is $101,931 to $114,670. 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 http://www.ucsusa.org.
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 that 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 some great candidates 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. The Union of Concerned Scientists will notify candidates for employment of the requirements of this policy before the start of employment.
Deadline: Until filled.