Full-time 2024-05-22

Center for Science in the Public Interest: Policy Associate

Organization: Center for Science in the Public Interest

Point of Contact at Center for Science in the Public Interest: Colleen O'Day

Organization Address: 1250 I Street NW Ste 500Washington, DC 20005

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, your food and health watchdog, is one of the nation’s leading public health advocacy organizations with a 50-year record of fighting for science in the public interest and working to improve the food environment for all. We’ve led efforts to win passage of many state and local policies to improve school foods, put calories on chain restaurant menus and menu boards, and remove sugary drinks from children’s menus. National policy successes include the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act; Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act; Food Safety Modernization Act; and Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. More recently, CSPI has also been involved in broader public health advocacy on issues such as scientific integrity, alcohol policy, agency transparency, and the regulation of selected medical products.

CSPI envisions a food retail environment where healthy food choices are available, accessible, and affordable regardless of where you live or shop. The Policy Associate will contribute to this vision by working on team activities related to:

  • State and local policies that make healthy choices easier in the in-store and community retail food environment
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to improve the healthfulness of the retail food environment
  • Dollar store policies and corporate practices to improve healthy food access in vulnerable retail food environments
  • The Federal Trade Commission to hold corporate manufacturers and retailers accountable for the healthfulness of the retail food environment
  • Corporate engagement to pressure and persuade manufacturers and retailers to create a healthier retail food environment

This is a 12-month, grant-funded position with likelihood of extension. The Policy Associate reports to the Senior Policy Associate on the Healthy Retail team and can be based in CSPI’s DC office, where we offer a hybrid work environment, or remotely within the United States.

As a public health organization, CSPI makes efforts to maintain a safe workplace for employees and visitors. We require all employees to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are eligible, and the vaccine is available to them. Proof of vaccination is required during the onboarding process.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Identify research gaps, and conduct and support policy-relevant research.
  • Help conduct corporate pressure and persuasion campaigns.
  • Support advocacy for federal, state, and local policies through bill drafting, policy tracking, coalition building, and providing technical assistance to advocates.
  • Support a team of cross-organizational staff to develop and implement campaigns, including outreach and capacity building, communications, scientific, legal, and other staff.
  • Build new and strengthen existing relationships with community-based organizations, academics, policymakers, and advocates to expand the base of support for relevant food policy campaigns at the national, state, and local levels.
  • Develop talking points, fact sheets, case studies, reports, letters, blogs, social media posts, petitions, and other policy resources.
  • Represent CSPI in coalitions, meetings, events, briefings, webinars, and calls.
  • Manage contractors, interns, and other project staff where applicable.
  • Carry out other departmental activities as needed.


  • Advanced degree (e.g., MPH, MPP, RDN, JD) and at least three years of relevant experience; or bachelor’s degree and at least five years of relevant experience.
  • Documented success in project management, including creating systems for achieving goals, effectively completing and allocating tasks towards those goals, juggling and prioritizing competing demands, and meeting project deadlines.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in taking a concept from idea to implementation with the ability to come up with insightful, pragmatic, equitable, and sustainable ways to tackle challenges and produce positive change.
  • Exceptional research and writing skills with ability to read, analyze, interpret and translate complex research, policy, and scientific documents for a public audience.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to speak effectively and persuasively with other organizations, policymakers, advocates, and private sector decision-makers.
  • Experience working in and alongside food security, food justice, social justice, BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and other diverse communities.
  • A good listener attuned to understanding community needs or concerns and able to take necessary actions based on that input.
  • Commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the intersection of public health and social justice and the ability to promote it throughout the work and in the workplace.
  • Proficiency with MS Office applications. Familiarity with social media and other web-based advocacy tools.

CSPI on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

CSPI is committed to including and valuing diverse voices and fostering a culture that ensures all staff feel a sense of belonging and are encouraged to be their best selves. In that spirit, each of us is committed to putting in constant work to live up to our organization’s core values:

  • We are inclusive. We seek to foster an environment where all staff feel a sense of belonging and are affirmed. We are not looking for everyone to think and look the same. We actively welcome and value staff with different experiences, backgrounds, attributes, abilities, and perspectives.
  • We are open. We are honest and direct in how we communicate with each other in order to build trust and integrity within our organization.
  • We are accountable. We acknowledge and assume responsibility for our actions.
  • We are kind. We communicate and treat one another in a respectful, generous, considerate, and compassionate way.
  • We are collaborative. We work together for the common good and shared success.


The salary range is $58,000 to $65,000, 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 3% employer match contribution to the retirement plan after six months of service. We also offer ½ day on Fridays which means our work week is 36 hours.

To Apply

Please utilize CSPI’s Paylocity Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to apply for the position. You are required to submit a resume and cover letter highlighting relevant experience and interest. We will consider applications on a rolling basis until the 4:00PM EDT, Wednesday, 5/22/24 deadline. 

CSPI is committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills and encourages people of diverse ages, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, disabilities, religions, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, work, and life experiences to apply.

More Information

Advocacy, Outreach, Policy, Research and Analysis

$58000 - $65000

2-5 years


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