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Policy Associate

Policy Associate
Organization: Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
Location: Remote
Date Posted: 11/14/2023


The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), historically a group focused primarily on food and nutrition, is searching for a Policy Associate to advance our efforts and campaigns on pressing public health challenges beyond food and nutrition. In recent years, we’ve leveraged our expertise and resources to advocate for transparency and evidence-based policymaking in the COVID-19 pandemic, improved medical device regulation, and conflict-of-interest disclosures in research, among other topics. CSPI has secured funding to fight against misinformation and anti-science forces, and for scientific integrity, transparency, and agency accountability in US public health policy. In this role, the Policy Associate will participate in advocacy related to a variety of topics, including:

  1. Drug and device regulation at FDA;
  2. Precision nutrition;
  3. Drug access and pricing; and
  4. Conflict-of-interest disclosures in research and policy.

This is a 24-month, grant-funded, full-time position with a likelihood of extension. The Policy Associate is a member of the Science Department and reports to the Scientific Integrity Campaign Manager. The position works in collaboration with colleagues across the organization engaged in activities related to scientific integrity. CSPI’s office is in Washington, DC but many of our staff work remotely at locations across the United States.

The position is located in CSPI’s DC office, where we offer a hybrid work environment, or remotely within the US. 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.

About CSPI

CSPI, 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. We’ve led efforts to win passage of many state and local policies to improve school foods, require calories on chain restaurant 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.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Work with the Scientific Integrity Campaign Manager to refine a vision and work plan for CSPI that encompasses scientific integrity, transparency, and agency accountability.
  2. Draft letters, fact sheets, reports, comment letters, petitions, webpages, blogs, and other written materials in support of initiatives.
  3. Conduct policy research, including tracking federal bills, agency activities, and reviewing regulatory comments to dockets.
  4. Conduct scientific literature reviews to inform policy positions and support initiatives.
  5. Collect primary or secondary data to complete research projects, including some suitable for publication in peer-reviewed literature.
  6. Mobilize and coordinate support for campaigns from organizations, academics, health professionals, CSPI members, and other concerned citizens.
  7. Manage ongoing and new projects as needed.
  8. Contribute to Science Department activities as needed.


The ideal candidate would possess:

  1. Preference will be given to candidates with an advanced degree in epidemiology or other public health discipline, such as an MPH.
  2. Experience with public health policy and/or advocacy, particularly related to FDA regulation.
  3. Experience interpreting scientific public health research, including identifying the appropriateness of statistical methods, key results, and limitations.
  4. Experience translating findings for various audiences (including colleagues, policymakers, journalists, and the public).
  5. Strong written communication skills, ability to produce high-quality written materials that are ready for public consumption with minimal editing.
  6. Demonstrated commitment to transparency, accuracy, and scientific rigor in previous work.
  7. Skills in multitasking and adapting in a fast-paced environment, with a track record of successfully managing multiple projects and deadlines.
  8. Experience working across teams in a positive, inclusive, collaborative, and strategic organizational culture.
  9. Interest and commitment to CSPI’s work and mission and embracing of CSPI’s core values (described below).
  10. Demonstrated experience taking initiative, exercising good judgement, and using diplomacy and discretion.
  11. Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) and research databases, such as PubMed.

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:

  1. We are inclusive. We seek to foster an environment where all staff feel a sense of belonging and are affirmed. We actively welcome and value staff with different experiences, backgrounds, attributes, abilities, and perspectives.
  2. 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.
  3. We are accountable. We acknowledge and assume responsibility for our actions.
  4. We are kind. We communicate and treat one another in a respectful, generous, considerate, and compassionate way.
  5. 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 one year of service. We also offer ½ day Fridays.

To Apply

Please utilize CSPI’s Paylocity Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to apply for the Policy Associate position. You are required to submit a resume and cover letter highlighting relevant experience and interest. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, with priority to applications submitted by November 17, 2023.

CSPI is committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspective, 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.

Salary Description

$58,000 to $65,000

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