Policy Associate

  • Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Washington DC (Remote is possible temporarily)
  • Apr 28, 2021
Full time Public Health Public Policy Nonprofit-Social Services

Job Description

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the nation’s food and health watchdog, works to improve the food environment for all. 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. Those successes led to sweeping national policies: 

  • Nutrition Labeling and Education Act which put Nutrition Facts Label on most packaged foods;
  • Food Safety Modernization Act, which gave authority to the FDA to recall contaminated foods; and
  • Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act, which requires clear labeling of foods containing leading allergens.

CSPI also 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. We work to ensure that school meals remain nutritious for the 30 million school children, most of whom are low-income, who participate in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. Unfortunately, this progress has stalled, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made healthy school meals even more critical for children. 

CSPI also leads initiatives to:

  • Improve nutrition through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which reaches 40 million low-income Americans (1 out of 8 Americans) and virtually every food retailer by improving the food environment and strengthening the program to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
  • Improve food labeling that increases transparency for consumers and incentivizes food companies to offer healthier foods.
  • Reduce sugar consumption, particularly sugary drinks which contribute significantly to type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and tooth decay. Our major victories include getting sugary drinks out of schools, and successfully petitioning to have added sugars declared on Nutrition Facts labels.

 We are searching for a Policy Associate, working with the Deputy Director of Federal Affairs, to primarily lobby Congress to advance CSPI’s work in federal food programs such as school meals and SNAP, as well in food labeling and sugar reduction policies. This position is located in CSPI’s Washington, DC office or remotely as feasible.

 Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lobby federal policymakers focusing on the school meals program, SNAP, food labeling, and sugary drink policies in addition to other relevant federal priorities.
  • Track federal legislation and policies, ranging from legislation, budget, spending bills, and other Congressional activity.
  • Represent CSPI to national partners and in coalitions.
  • Organize Hill meetings, events, briefings, webinars, and coalition meetings.
  • Develop and update advocacy resources, including fact sheets, case studies, social media posts, infographics, communications materials, talking points, grassroots alerts, testimony, and other project, advocacy, legislative, and regulatory materials.
  • Work closely with CSPI’s organizing and communications teams on federal priorities.
  • Carry out other grant deliverables as relevant.
  • Supervise and manage interns as needed.
  • Carry out other departmental activities as needed.


The ideal candidate would possess:

  • Bachelor’s degree and lobbying, legislative, or policy experience, and interest in work related to federal feeding programs.
  • Track record of developing and maintaining strong working relationships with and among a diverse group of stakeholders including policy makers, coalition partners, and advocates.
  • Commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the intersection of public health and social justice and ability to promote it throughout the work.
  • Experience tailoring communications to various audiences (including colleagues and both informal and formal external audiences).
  • Excellent attention to detail, research and writing skills, including ability to analyze and synthesize research and legislation.
  • Excellent judgment and consistent professionalism, with the ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work as part of a cross-disciplinary team in a collegial manner.
  • Proficiency with MSOffice applications, social media, advocacy tools and other web-based applications.
  • Ability to work additional hours as needed.


The salary range is $50,000-$60,000, 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 three percent employer match contribution to the retirement plan after one year of service.

To Apply

Please use CSPI's Paylocity Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to apply for the Policy Associate position. You will be asked to submit a resume and cover letter indicating relevant experience and interest.


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.


50,000 to 60,000, depending on experience

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