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Federal Policy Manager, Food & Agriculture

The Breakthrough Institute
Washington, Dist. of Columbia, US
Closing date
Nov 28, 2022

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Academic / Research
Policy / Legal
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Who We Are
The Breakthrough Institute (BTI) seeks innovative solutions to environmental and human development challenges in pursuit of a secure, healthier, and more prosperous future. BTI fosters a culture of aspirational, disruptive, and yet evidence-based thinking, and mission-driven, pragmatic problem solving. Over the past few years, we've grown to a staff of 20+ talented individuals, shaping how policymakers, environmental groups, and other thought leaders view climate change, nuclear power, agricultural innovation, international energy development, and other key issues.

The Opportunity
The Breakthrough Institute understands and advocates for the role of agricultural innovation and productivity growth in addressing climate change and other environmental challenges. BTI has launched a multi-stakeholder coalition of agricultural and environmental groups interested in increasing federal support for climate-smart agricultural innovation such as through the 2023 Farm Bill. The coalition shares resources, develops policy priorities, and coordinates advocacy activities. BTI is also launching efforts to shape federal regulations of novel agricultural products and technologies.

As the Federal Policy Manager (or Senior Manager, depending on experience) in the Food & Agriculture Program, you will develop and lead federal policy campaigns, manage a campaign team (starting with one other staff member), and promote policy positions based on Breakthrough Institute's research and analysis on food and agriculture.

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis until filled.

Key Responsibilities:

* Manage development of advocacy documents such as sign-on letters.
* Strategize and plan policymaker education & advocacy events such as fly-ins and Congressional briefings.
* Identify and assess bills, administrative processes, and other policy opportunities to engage with.
* Lead coordination and communication with government affairs consultants, including on the 2023 Farm Bill.
* Expand federal policy coalition work, assessing opportunities to join or create coalitions, and representing BTI and BTI's interests in coalitions.
* Oversee development of appropriations requests and outreach to stakeholders and Members of Congress about requests.
* Coordinate with other program staff to ensure research & publications effectively communicate policy recommendations.
* Identify new potential policy areas to develop policy proposals for and potentially to hire new staff to work on.
* Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

* Minimum 4 years experience leading public policy campaigns at the federal or state level or working in a legislature, or 3 years experience plus a JD or a graduate degree in law, public policy, or a related field.
* Substantial experience communicating with legislators on complex issues with budgetary implications.
* Outstanding policy strategist with demonstrated ability to develop legislative campaigns and achieve results.
* Exceptional interpersonal skills, with a track record of building and maintaining effective external partnerships and engaging with a range of stakeholders.
* Excellent written communication skills.
* Proven ability to work in a fast-paced environment, both independently and as part of a team.

Preferred Qualifications:

* Experience working in a Congressional office, in a Congressional committee, or in USDA.
* Experience managing the work of contract lobbyists and/or public opinion research firms.
* Nuanced understanding of issues related to federal agricultural policy and politics.

Job Conditions:

* This is a full-time, exempt position in Washington, D.C., with hybrid virtual and in-person work arrangements. A minimum of 3 days of in-office work is expected, consistent with public health conditions.
* This position requires approximately 2-4 domestic trips per year, with additional travel optional.
* Some evening or weekend time may be required depending on events and other job-related work outside of the office.
* All employees must receive the full course of vaccinations and boosters for COVID-19.

Salary & Benefits:

* Salary and title commensurate with qualifications and experience. A strong candidate for the Senior Manager role will possess at least six years relevant experience and at least one of the preferred qualifications listed above.
* Employees enjoy excellent medical coverage, optional dental and vision plans, a 401(b) retirement plan, life & disability insurance, flexible vacation time, sick leave, personal days, 14 paid holidays, up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for eligible employees, a professional development stipend, cell phone reimbursement, and commuter benefits.

Application Instructions:
We encourage you to submit materials as soon as possible, as we will interview and hire on a near-term rolling basis.

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to jobs[at] Please do not submit your application through alternate job sites. Applications submitted only on LinkedIn will not be reviewed.

* Your email subject should say: : Federal Policy Manager.
* Your email should state how you heard about this position.
* Your cover letter should reflect on Breakthrough's work and how you could contribute.

Breakthrough does not shy away from contentious domestic and international political issues and from advocating for equity, justice, democracy, and human rights. We welcome candidates who bring varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds, and who are eager to learn about many ways of viewing the world. Our goal is to create a community that is rich with cultural, social, and intellectual diversity.
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