Full-Time Policy Specialist
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is seeking a passionate and collaborative policy advocate to staff our Coalition’s food systems integrity policy portfolio. This position will serve as our in-house specialist on food safety and labeling, small scale livestock processing, and farmworker/agricultural labor issues. This position may also support our work on fair competition in the livestock and poultry sector. If you are just as excited to dive into food safety details with farmers as you are to help Congress understand how to build a more resilient food system, this is the role for you. Each Policy Specialist on our team focuses on a variety of issues and interacts with Coalition members through issue-specific policy committees; in this role, you will build critical relationships, act strategically to advance reforms to public policies, and be well versed in relevant issues. In addition, each Policy Specialist also collaborates with the rest of the policy team on shared campaigns and helps to further our racial equity efforts.
This is a full-time, exempt position that offers benefits as outlined in the employee handbook and reports to NSAC’s Policy Director. All staff are currently remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic; we strongly prefer that candidates be able to work on a regular basis at least partially from our Capitol Hill office at 110 Maryland Avenue, NE, Suite 209, Washington, DC when public health and safety guidelines allow for full office reopening. We will consider strong candidates based elsewhere with willingness to travel regularly to Washington.
NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. For over 30 years, NSAC’s stellar track record of policy accomplishments has been guided by a vision of agriculture where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living for their work, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities. Racial justice – an understanding and acknowledgment of historical and ongoing racial inequities and commitment to actions challenging those inequities – is a core NSAC tenet that we seek to embed in our structure, analysis, policy development, and advocacy.
- Act as the primary staff for NSAC’s Food Systems Integrity (FSI) Issue Committee, leading the Committee’s work to develop and advance administrative, regulatory and legislative policy priorities
- Collaborate with NSAC grassroots staff and Coalition members on campaign strategy and actions, and support NSAC interns and fellows on portfolio-relevant projects
- Collaborate with policy team to support cross-portfolio projects and help to carry issues adjacent to your portfolio
- Advocate on Capitol Hill and with Executive Branch agencies (primarily USDA and FDA) on a regular basis, including developing and executing an ongoing strategy on policy issues and programs
- Draft policy materials, including policy papers, testimony, legislation, rulemaking comment letters, program analysis reports, and regular policy blog posts
- Complete an ongoing effort to develop farmer-friendly food safety curriculum in collaboration with NGO partners
- Contribute to the organization’s annual priority setting, fundraising, and coalition-wide meetings
- Apply an equity lens to all work, and strive to advance racial equity both within the Coalition’s internal processes and externally through its public facing policy advocacy efforts.
- Represent NSAC at partner meetings, within coalitions, at conferences, and to the media in DC and nationwide
This is not an entry level role; a successful candidate likely has 3+ years of relevant work experience in fields such as legal, lobbying, regulatory, agency, or legislative experience, or other significant agricultural policy experience, with the opportunity for growth and development in other areas. We strongly encourage interested candidates to apply if they meet at least 75% of the qualifications. We also strongly encourage applications from people of color, people from working class backgrounds, women, LGBTQ people, or those who are members of other marginalized communities.
- An understanding of and passion for sustainable agriculture and food systems
- Knowledge of key federal programs and regulatory frameworks, including at least some of the following: food safety and inspection (FDA and USDA-FSIS), livestock consolidation and processing, food labeling, and related supply chain issues
- A working knowledge of the federal policy-making process
- Demonstrated understanding of how racial equity intersects with agriculture and food systems and an ability to apply this lens to policy decisions
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking skills and ability to translate complex federal regulations and policies for a lay audience
- Exceptional initiative and interpersonal skills, including the ability to work independently and collaboratively, listen well, build trust, and model healthy conflict resolution
- Strong project management skills, capable of planning, prioritizing, and troubleshooting efforts in an ongoing manner and working on variable, sometimes fast-paced project timelines
- Ability to work effectively with, value differences of, and incorporate the experiences and policy impacts on, diverse groups of individuals, including race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socioeconomic circumstances
- Enthusiasm for and experience in cultivating lasting relationships and accountable partnerships with a diverse body of stakeholders and decision makers
- Willingness to travel domestically several times a year (no travel required while operating under COVID-19 safety precautions)
Additional Experience That Will Help the Specialist Excel:
- Applicants with a law degree who are active members in good standing of the bar of any jurisdiction strongly encouraged to apply
- Legislative and administrative advocacy experience at the state or federal level
- Experience working in a Congressional office or federal agency
- Background with grassroots advocacy campaigns (e.g. field organizing, lobby days, etc)
- Experience with large, multi-organization grassroots coalitions, including facilitation and consensus building
- Fluency in a language other than English
SALARY AND BENEFITS
NSAC offers a competitive non-profit salary and benefits, dependent on qualifications and experience, $65,000-$75,000+. We will consider candidates with significant experience beyond the core job qualifications listed above at the title of Senior Policy Specialist, with commensurate salary increase.
This position offers excellent benefits (as per the employee handbook), including generous vacation and other time-off policy, health, dental, and long-term disability insurance, contributions after two years in a retirement plan, and financial support for professional and personal development.