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Current Food Law and Policy Career Opportunities

It is an exciting time to have a career in food law and policy. As we learn about new opportunities, we will post them on this page as a resource for those seeking to start or continue a career in food law and policy. Good luck in your job searches!

  • Food Law and Policy LLM Research Assistant (HLS students only)
  • Legal Policy Internship, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
  • Director of Food and Health Policy Institute, The George Washington University
  • Senior Policy Associate, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
  • Policy Associate – SNAP, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

Food Law and Policy LLM Research Assistant (HLS students only)

The Food Law and Policy Clinic of Harvard Law School (FLPC) provides students with the opportunity to practice using legal and policy tools in order to address the health, environmental, and economic impacts of our food system. FLPC utilizes substantive expertise in food law and policy and a robust policy skill set to assist clients and communities in understanding and improving the laws impacting the food system.

Last year, in partnership with the Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), FLPC launched the “Global Food Donation Policy Atlas” project, a first-of-its kind initiative to promote food donation as a solution to food loss and waste on a global scale. This 2-year project will engage in a comparative law analysis and provide direct technical assistance on food donation laws across 15 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

For each selected country, FLPC will prepare (1) an individual country legal guide, mapping the laws and policies most relevant to food donation, including food safety, liability, and taxes; (2) recommendations for effecting policy change within these frameworks; and (3) direct technical assistance in 1-2 policy areas. Findings of this research will be encapsulated in an interactive, online map hosted on GFN’s website.

For the fall 2019 semester, FLPC is seeking to hire 1-2 paid LLM student research assistants (RAs) to help support the project, possibly in India, South Africa, Guatemala or other sites. Under the supervision of FLPC staff, the RA may perform the following tasks:

  • Provide knowledge to the FLPC of the background legal system and structures in each country
  • Research food safety laws and policies including labelling requirements
  • Research civil and criminal liability associated with food donations and any protective measures
  • Research tax incentives for and barriers to food donation, including VAT, tax deductions, credits, and other policies

This position is part-time and time commitment is negotiable.

Required Qualifications

  • Strong writing and research skills
  • Enrolled as an LLM at Harvard Law School
  • Eligible for employment in the United States

Preferred Qualifications

  • Fluency in Spanish (for Latin American sites)
  • Competency in Latin America, South African, or Indian laws and institutions
  • Interest in food law and policy

How to Apply

Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to mshapiro@law.harvard.edu no later than September 22, 2019. The cover letter should confirm that applicant meets the required qualifications, elaborate on preferred qualifications, and should estimate the number of hours each week that the applicant is available for the position. Please direct questions to mshapiro@law.harvard.edu.


Legal Policy Internship, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

CSPI is currently seeking legal interns for spring, summer, and fall internships in 2020. We offer internships for a small number of qualified students each year, and also consider post-graduates. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until all positions have been filled. CSPI was started in 1971 by three scientists who saw the need for an organization to evaluate the effects of science and technology on society and to promote national policies responsive to consumers’ interests. CSPI focuses primarily on food and health issues, exposing and addressing deceptive marketing practices, risky food additives and contaminants, and industry practices that make it hard for people to eat well. Our findings are communicated through press interviews, reports, comments and petitions to regulatory agencies, and a variety of educational materials, which include books, posters, social media, videos, and the Center’s Nutrition Action Healthletter. Legal interns should have completed at least one year of coursework in a legal degree program by the start of the internship. These interns are supervised by an attorney and assist in federal litigation and federal or state policy advocacy, including researching caselaw, statutes, and regulations and drafting legal memoranda, letters, petitions, comments, Freedom of Information Act requests, and administrative appeals. Legal interns are encouraged to submit a legal writing sample in addition to the non-technical writing sample. Our 10-week internships are unpaid and can be full-time or part-time. The specific dates of an internship are flexible and depend on our needs and the applicant’s schedule. CSPI offers a collegial work environment and flexible schedule to accommodate your academic responsibilities. If your school offers academic credit for internships, we will work with you to meet those requirements. We also reimburse up to $5/day for commuting expenses.

Application materials should include a cover letter indicating issues of interest, future plans, and dates of availability, résumé, and a legal writing sample. Email to: hr@cspinet.org (this is the preferred method).

Please specify the name of the internship to which you are applying in the subject line. If your background and interests are a good match for our internship, we will contact you using the information you have provided. Due to the volume of applications we typically receive we are unable to provide additional information on our selection process to applicants who are not chosen for interviews. Further information about our internship program, including non-legal internships, can be found at https://cspinet.org/job/public-interest-internship-program.

CSPI is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For updated information on this or other openings, visit: Jobs at CSPI


Director of Food and Health Policy Institute, The George Washington University

The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University is recruiting a director of the Food Policy Institute at either the Associate or Full Professor level, non-tenure track (12-month appointment). The primary appointment will be within the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences with a possible secondary appointment in Health Policy and Management. Academic rank, salary and employment position are competitive and will be commensurate with experience.

The GW Food and Health Policy Institute will develop innovative strategies to address food systems — by bringing together food and nutrition science, food regulatory science and policy, nutrition, obesity, food systems and environmental sustainability — to serve as a catalyst for positive change in food and nutrition policy and an independent hub connecting food and nutrition leaders with a broader policy community. Taking advantage of its DC location and a network of researchers, policymakers and thought leaders, the Food and Health Policy Institute is poised to be a key global nexus for those seeking to navigate and shape the public policy landscape within the context of new food and agriculture trends.

The Milken Institute School of Public Health has a diverse and growing faculty, with a $90 million research portfolio. As the only school of public health in the nation’s capital, faculty and students have a unique opportunity to work closely with government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the numerous non-governmental organizations that are headquartered in DC.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:
Primary responsibilities for the position include an active role in food and nutrition policy research and development along with teaching, and advocacy/service to the profession. The successful candidate will devote effort to obtaining, implementing or overseeing evaluation and/or funded research along with contributions to teaching and mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students and spearheading innovative programming.

The successful candidate will have a strong record of publications in top-tier peer-reviewed journals and/or policy/white papers, evidence of excellence in teaching and mentoring, demonstrated strong communication and leadership skills, and evidence of collaborative research and academic citizenry.

Minimum Qualifications:
Applicants must have: 1) an earned doctorate in nutritional science, food science, food/nutrition policy, applied nutrition, public health, or a closely related area; 2) at least five years of experience in academia, government, or related non-governmental organizations conducting food or nutrition-related research or analysis/evaluation, 3) relevant white paper/policy publications or research publications in peer-reviewed journals; and 4) evidence of obtaining external food or nutrition research or programmatic funding.

Special Instructions to Applicants:
To apply, please complete an online faculty application and upload the following documents: 1) a curriculum vitae; and 2) a statement of interest along with past and future policy and research interests, accomplishments, and plans. Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2019 and will continue until the position is filled.

Please visit http://www.gwu.jobs/postings/70456 to apply


Senior Policy Associate, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) led efforts to win passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (to improve school food), Food Safety Modernization Act, Menu Labeling, and Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act. The Senior Policy Associate advocates for improved food and nutrition policies with local, state, and federal policy makers, encourages the food industry to improve their products and practices, and engages organizations, health professionals, academics, and concerned citizens in supporting food and nutrition policies. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead efforts to pass policies through bill drafting, policy tracking, and providing technical assistance to advocates.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with national, state, and local organizations, coalitions, advocates, and policymakers. Cultivate support for policies from organizations, health professionals, university faculty, and concerned citizens.
  • Conduct policy research and write reports, fact sheets, social media, and other advocacy materials.
  • Encourage companies to improve their practices and products.  
  • Manage policy projects, supervise staff, and supervise interns.
  • Represent CSPI at conferences, meetings, in coalitions, with policymakers, and in the press.
  • Help secure funding for policy projects by working with the development department on grant applications and reports. Manage and report on grants. 

Qualifications

  • MS, MPH, JD, or the equivalent, plus at least 7 years of professional policy/advocacy experience.
  • Interest and commitment to CSPI’s work and mission.
  • Experience developing and implementing successful policy/advocacy campaigns and maintaining the partnerships necessary for advancing those campaigns.
  • Strong research and analytical skills with the ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.
  • Ability to engage internal and external stakeholders in a persuasive, credible, and professional manner.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including public speaking experience.  Ability to produce high quality written materials.
  • Excellent judgment and consistent professionalism, with the ability to take responsibility for multiple projects and deadlines in fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to supervise, mentor, and evaluate staff performance.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Proficiency with MSOffice applications, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  Familiarity with social media and other web-based advocacy tools.
  • Ability to work additional hours as needed.

CSPI is a non-profit health-advocacy group based in Washington, DC, that focuses on protecting the public from diet-related health problems. CSPI provides valuable, objective information to the public, represents citizens’ interests before governmental bodies, and serves as a watchdog over industry. CSPI publishes Nutrition Action Healthletter (NAH), the nation’s largest‑circulation nutrition newsletter, and is supported by the subscribers to NAH, individual donors, and foundation grants. 

To Apply

Please email your application materials, which should include a cover letter indicating relevant experience and interest and résumé to hr@cspinet.org. Include “SPA-Retail” in the subject line.


Policy Associate – SNAP, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) works to improve the food environment for all Americans. CSPI led efforts to win passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (to improve school food), Food Safety Modernization Act, Menu Labeling, and Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act. The Policy Associate will join our team to help identify and implement strategies to support healthy eating for low-income families, including through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This position is located in Washington, D.C.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Build strong partnerships with organizations, work with coalitions, mobilize grassroots advocates, and use social media in support of food and nutrition policies and programs.
  • Lead statewide convenings and cultivate support for policies and programs from organizations, health professionals, researchers, and community stakeholders.
  • Conduct qualitative data collection and analysis, including key informant interviews.
  • Draft and edit project and grant reports, fact sheets, public comments, speeches, and other policy resources.
  • Represent CSPI at meetings, conferences, and public hearings.

Qualifications

  • Advanced degree (e.g., MPH, MPP, JD) and at least 3 years of programmatic or public policy experience in food/nutrition/health; or Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of public policy experience in food/nutrition/health.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public health advocacy and community engagement.
  • Experience working with diverse stakeholders in an effective and professional manner.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to speak effectively and persuasively.  Excellent research and writing skills.
  • Ability to read, analyze, interpret and translate complex research, policy, and scientific documents.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent judgment and consistent professionalism, with the ability to take responsibility for multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Proficiency with MSOffice applications. Proficiency with qualitative data analysis software a plus.
  • Ability to work additional hours as needed.

CSPI is a non-profit health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on nutrition and food safety. CSPI provides valuable, objective information to the public, represents citizens’ interests before governmental bodies, and serves as a watchdog over industry. CSPI publishes Nutrition Action Healthletter (NAH), the nation’s largest‑circulation nutrition newsletter. CSPI is supported by the subscribers to NAH, donors, and foundation grants.

To Apply

Please email your application materials, which should include a cover letter indicating relevant experience and interest, and résumé to hr@cspinet.org. Include “PA-SNAP” in the subject line.