State and Local Operations Director

  • Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • 1220 L Street Northwest, Washington, DC, USA
  • Dec 01, 2019
Full time Public Policy Project Manager Public Health Equity Science

Job Description

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) works to improve the food environment for all Americans. CSPI led efforts to win passage of many state and local policies to improve school food, remove sugary drinks from children’s menus, and require calorie labeling on chain restaurant menus and national policies such as the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (to improve school food), Food Safety Modernization Act, and Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act. 

Unhealthy food and beverages are the leading contributors to death in the United States, contributing to over 600,000 premature deaths each year, primarily through heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.  The typical American diet is low in fruit, vegetables and whole grains and too high in sugar-sweetened beverages, red and processed meat, full-fat dairy, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat.  The ubiquity, amounts, and aggressive promotion of sugary drinks and unhealthy food in the food supply are hazardous to the public’s health. 

We are searching for a State and Local Operations Director to spark and support initiatives by state and local organizations, policymakers, and the public to build synergy and national momentum for food and nutrition policies, especially in historically disenfranchised communities that experience health disparities and are disproportionately targeted by unhealthy beverage and food marketing.  This is a senior policy leadership role that reports directly to the Vice President for Nutrition, and is located in CSPI’s Washington, DC office.   

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Direct day-to-day activities of cross-functional teams including the engagement manager, policy associates, and organizers. Manage a cohesive team united around achieving multiyear policy goals.  Support team members’ professional and technical development.
  • Help develop and implement CSPI’s state and local policy strategy, facilitate synergy between state and local issues, and refine and develop messaging for state and local policy issues to support CSPI’s campaign strategies.
  • Work with organizations and coalitions, mobilize grassroots (including through digital advocacy platforms), coordinate and support state and local lobbying efforts, and use social media and press outreach in support of campaign goals.
  • Cultivate partnerships with communities of color, public health, social justice, anti-hunger, and other national, state, and local groups to grow support for policies.
  • Represent CSPI at conferences, meetings, in coalitions and on partner committees, in testimony before state and local legislatures and executive agencies, and in the press.
  • Develop, monitor, and manage state and local plans and budget, in collaboration with senior policy leadership team, to ensure the program stays on budget. Responsible for timely and accurate reporting of all grant-related activities in collaboration with the development and finance departments. 


  • At least 10 years of senior leadership/management experience in policy/advocacy campaigns and organizing.
  • Staff management experience including ability to supervise, motivate and evaluate staff, and a strong commitment to fostering a positive, collaborative, and strategic organizational culture.
  • Extensive experience with innovative, effective campaigns and organizing.
  • Commitment and track record of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the intersection of public health and social justice and ability to promote it throughout the work and in the workplace.
  • Proven track record of building strong relationships with multiple stakeholders in a persuasive, credible, and professional manner.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including public speaking experience. Ability to produce high quality written materials.
  • Excellent judgment and consistent professionalism, with the ability to take responsibility for multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Intellectual agility and the ability to operate on deadlines and as part of a team.
  • Ability to work as part of a cross-disciplinary team in a collegial manner.
  • Budget management and grant-reporting experience.
  • Proficiency with MSOffice applications, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Familiarity with social media and other web-based advocacy tools.
  • Ability to work additional hours as needed.

To Apply

Please email your application materials, which should include a cover letter indicating relevant experience and interest and résumé to  Include “StateDir-ULJB” in the subject line.


CSPI offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package along with a healthy working environment.  CSPI is an equal opportunity employer.  Minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 


Program Management, General-Other: Project-Program Management, Other, Nutrition and Diet

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