Policy Associate

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Published: September 12, 2017
Job Type
Policy /

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~ Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's (NESAWG) purpose is to harness the power in our multi-sector regional network and catalyze meaningful change toward a sustainable and just food system. ~

We do this through peer learning, network convening, collaborative partnerships, policy advocacy, research, information sharing, and our annual conference, It Takes a Region. Our network spans 12 Northeastern states, from Maine to Maryland and Washington, D.C., and convenes over 500 organizations and thousands of individuals, including farmers, policy advocates, farm service providers, food justice activists, food hub managers, government agencies, students, researchers, nutritionists, regional planners, entrepreneurs, NGO leaders, and more. This year marks NESAWG's 25th Anniversary.

Position Overview

We are seeking an experienced organizer with a strong background in federal policy and a deep commitment to sustainable and just food systems to oversee our policy program. This person will work with our staff, board and network partners to implement a grasstops-focused federal policy advocacy program. This work to inform and mobilize NESAWG network partners action on federal policies that support their work and sustainable food systems as a whole will focus on the 2018 Farm Bill and cover our 12-state region, with an emphasis on the mid-Atlantic states.

This is a remote, part-time position for candidates in the Mid-Atlantic states in our region. This position is currently 24 hrs/wk for 2017, with the possibility of increasing hours depending on grants received.

This is a remote position for candidates living in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Candidates must have a reliable and strong Internet and phone connection and provide their own computer and phone. 

Reports to: Executive Director


Essential Responsibilities:

  • Oversee our policy advocacy program, including issue and target identification, strategy development, and grasstops mobilization
  • Build relationships and communicate with on-the-ground partners to understand their priority issues and inform them of key action opportunities; identify and connect with new partners to engage in our policy work
  • Strengthen working ties and collaboration with NESAWG’s DC-based policy partners; organize, translate and filter our partners' priorities out to our network
  • Cultivate relationships with members of Congress in our region
  • Produce policy education materials and action alerts for our network; in coordination with NESAWG’s communication manager, disseminate through website, email and social media
  • Coordinate targeted actions to influence decision makers, such as in-district meetings, Hill days, and letters to the editor and other media actions

Other Responsibilities:

  • Guide policy programming at NESAWG’s annual conference
  • Represent NESAWG at meetings and conferences as needed
  • Participate in organizational strategic visioning and planning


Essential Qualifications and Requirements:

  • A minimum of 3+ years relevant policy work experience
  • Extensive experience in grasstops organizing, mobilizing, and campaigning
  • Strong working knowledge of federal policy processes and advocacy; agriculture policy experience desired
  • Excellent interpersonal, listening, and outreach skills, and experience working and communicating with individuals and organizations from diverse sectors, cultures, and backgrounds
  • Strong writing and public speaking skills, and the ability to translate complex policy concepts to educated lay audiences
  • Ability to develop and implement project and program workplans
  • Comfortable working in small, modestly-funded non-profits with limited administrative support, occasionally shifting priorities and an “all-hands-on-deck” culture
  • Highly organized, detail oriented self-starter with strong time management skills and demonstrated ability to work independently and manage multiple tasks
  • Proficiency with online collaboration and project management tools (including Google Drive and Hangouts) and similar technologies and cloud-based tools
  • Must have reliable and strong internet and phone connection, be set up for home or telecommuting work, and provide own computer and phone
  • Must be able to travel 4-5 times per year around the region
  • A passion for sustainable farm and food systems work and a sense of humor

Desired Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s or higher degree in policy or agriculture-related fields
  • Experience working in federal or state legislative environments
  • Ability to speak Spanish

Compensation: Salary is commensurate with experience. This position will be 0.6 FTE with part-time benefits and paid time off in 2017, and may increase in hours in 2018 depending on grants received.

To Apply

Please click "Apply" below to upload your resume, cover letter and two writing samples. Please include your first and last name in the name of all files you submit for this position and state “Policy Associate Application” in the subject line. Mailed applications will not be accepted.

Please submit your application by Sept. 22, 2017. No phone calls.

~ NESAWG, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. We are actively seeking applications from people historically underrepresented in this work, including but not limited to women, people of color, disabled people, veterans, and LGBTQ individuals. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application. ~

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