Full-time 2024-05-17

Consensus Building Institute: Associate/Junior Associate (Cambridge, MA)

Organization: Consensus Building Institute

Point of Contact at Consensus Building Institute: Cameron Hager

Organization Address: 2067 Massachusetts Ave, Suite 570, Cambridge, MA 02140

The Consensus Building Institute (CBI) is a not-for-profit organization committed to collaboration on today’s most urgent challenges—social, environmental, and economic. We believe in giving voice to the ideas and values of people affected by public decisions, including those who are often excluded from decision-making, in order to achieve wise, fair, and durable outcomes. 

CBI was created by leading practitioners and theory builders in the field of dispute resolution. We serve public, nonprofit, and private clients worldwide by providing facilitation, collaboration, and dispute resolution services; training in negotiation and consensus building techniques; and evaluative research. CBI believes that our most challenging problems are solved through collaboration, and are on the cutting edge of ideas, tools, and processes to advance positive solutions.

CBI works across the U.S. and internationally, with staff based in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Portland, ME; Washington, D.C.; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California; New York, New York; Montreal, Canada; and Santiago, Chile.  In New England, we work and partner with organizations and agencies at the local, state, and federal level in Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and across the region with a particular focus on land use and natural resource issues (water resources, coasts, climate, housing, environmental), on housing and other social/economic issues, and on organizational strategy and direction.  CBI also plays a key role in helping to build the pipeline for public mediation and the intellectual capital of the field. 

CBI has a strong internal culture of commitment, caring, and professional growth.  We aim to be a place where a diverse mix of talented people do their best work together. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation. CBI is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion both within our organization and in our collaboration practices. 


CBI Associates are highly motivated practitioners who are eager to build careers in the field of consensus building and public dispute resolution. They work with senior staff on a wide range of domestic and international projects, and CBI offers advancement along a full career pathway for skilled, dedicated, and effective staff. Junior Associates typically have an undergraduate degree and some experience in relevant fields and collaboration practices, while Associates typically have Master’s level training, and/or strong equivalent skills and experience in relevant fields and collaboration practices. The work generally includes a mix of engaging people, writing, coordinating, and working in teams in a fast-paced environment.  More specifically, the work includes:

  • Working as part of a team with more senior practitioners across multiple projects
  • Engaging with a wide and diverse range of individuals and organizations to understand their interests, needs, values, and challenges
  • Balancing a portfolio of projects on issues ranging from affordable housing to energy development and environmental management
  • Supporting, attending, capturing and synthesizing in clear and neutral language the conversations, comments, and advice in meetings from technical workshops to public meetings
  • Learning about a wide range of topics through desktop, interview-based, and data-based research
  • Helping develop, design, and implement effective and engaging collaborative processes often  across larger-scale, multi-month projects
  • Communicating what we do to others through case studies, blogs, and other written materials

Evening work and travel (average 3-5 days per month) is required some of the time.  


  • Proven commitment to consensus building and/or collaborative problem-solving and interest in further developing relevant knowledge and skills
  • Excellent writing skills, including ability to effectively synthesize discussions and different perspectives in writing, tailoring for specific audiences
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Strong analytical skills and work ethic
  • High tolerance for and comfort with ambiguity and complexity
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and in teams
  • Strong interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, commitment to DEIJ, and proven ability to listen and act impartially with a wide range of diverse individuals and organizations while standing up for a credible, inclusive, equitable process  in a compelling, effective manner..   
  • Ability to quickly learn and manage new issue areas and technical content
  • One or both of the following: 
    • Master’s level degree in relevant discipline (social science, environmental planning, public policy, natural resources conservation and management, diplomacy, law, business, conflict analysis and resolution), and/or
    • Relevant training or professional experience, which may include including experience in project or program coordination, public engagement, negotiation training, public policy facilitation, community mediation (court system), facilitation of community engagement in public issues, journalism or public policy analysis, organizational development,  climate and/or environmental justice work and community organizing, and/or evaluation of collaborative projects and programs


  • Work experience related to one or more of CBI’s practice areas
  • Advanced coursework in negotiation, consensus building, public engagement, mediation, or related fields
  • Ability to work with technologies and tools (virtual and in-person) to engage stakeholders broadly and meeting participants in particular
  • Fluency in Spanish

Candidates of color are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Starting salaries are in the low $60K range for Junior Associates and low $70K for Associates, in order to provide fairness and equity in compensation across CBI staff. In addition, CBI offers an excellent package of benefits, including health and dental insurance, sixteen paid holidays, two weeks vacation (which increases with tenure), extensive commitment to professional development, training and mentoring, and a retirement plan. 

Applications received by May 17, 2024 will be given priority review. Additional applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

More Information

Communications, Policy, Project Management, Research and Analysis

$60000 - $75000

0-2 years


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