Position: Policy fellow, Immigration

Location: Washington, D.C., remote and hybrid options available

Timeline and Stipend: Six months (open to extension) and $2,500-3,000 monthly stipend, depending on qualifications

Department: Immigration policy

Reports to: Government Affairs Manager, Immigration 

Travel: None

The Niskanen Center

The Niskanen Center is a public policy think tank and advocacy organization that seeks to build a compelling case for the mutually reinforcing relationships between the free market and the welfare state; individual liberty and social justice; social cohesion and multicultural pluralism; and economic well-being and environmental protection. We believe that conserving a free, competitive, and democratic society requires radical departures from existing policies. Accordingly, we work closely with the governing elites’ network in Washington, D.C., to advance meaningful and concrete change. 

Niskanen’s immigration department believes immigration reform can strengthen national security, reduce unemployment, spur innovation, stimulate competition, increase public safety, enhance the U.S. economy, reinforce international relations, protect family values, and help those most in need. Streamlining the U.S. immigration system and making it easier for people to migrate to the U.S. will increase the benefits of immigration for Americans and immigrants alike. Niskanen supports Congressional compromise and firmly believes that perfection should not be the enemy of the good.

Niskanen’s policy is regularly cited in Congressional testimony, relied on by legislators and policy influencers, and reported on by media outlets. Please see our immigration principles and recent publications for more information on our work. 

Position Description

Our six-month fellowship is aimed at graduate students and young professionals interested in and passionate about immigration policy. The fellowship is an immersive opportunity for candidates to explore how think tanks influence public policy. The fellow will regularly publish work and help represent Niskanen to external audiences, including coalition partners, Capitol Hill staff, and other immigration stakeholders. 

The ideal fellow will support Niskanen’s vision for a more open immigration system and will contribute research and writing assistance on all aspects of U.S. immigration policy. With a special emphasis on developing policy proposals to appeal to a bipartisan audience, the fellow will examine both technical tweaks and sweeping reform proposals to advance the U.S. immigration system. The average day could include reading an academic paper on the Diversity Visa and summarizing the findings in a blog post, collaborating on a research memo for a Senate office on the Conrad-30 program, and having a virtual coffee with a leading expert on refugee resettlement.

Our Niskanen fellow will join seminars with the summer interns featuring Niskanen Center policy, strategy, and senior staff, and attend bi-weekly meetings with the immigration department. By the end of the fellowship, fellows will have experience in how to influence public policy, work with editors to publish analysis, craft legislative strategy, cultivate research questions, and promote bipartisan solutions in a polarized Congress. The fellow will depart with a portfolio of writing samples, industry relationships, and knowledge of many aspects of U.S. immigration law. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Contribute to and independently author research memos, white papers, blog posts, and advocacy materials; 
  • Monitor pending or proposed policy, legislation, academic research, and rules;
  • Stay up to date on relevant academic and think tank research; and
  • Prepare internal communications for the Niskanen immigration team.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Familiarity with immigration policy and a commitment to the vision of immigration policy laid out by the Niskanen Center and our theory of policy change; 
  • B.A. or higher in public policy, political science, international affairs, or economics; graduate students with some professional experience preferred;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Excitement to contribute to and shape current public policy debates on immigration issues 
  • Action-oriented, creative, and entrepreneurial self-starter who assumes personal ownership of work and is capable of effectively prioritizing and working simultaneously on multiple projects; 
  • High degree of integrity and ability to build trust with and collaborate with external stakeholders and partners from a diverse network of organizations and affiliate; and
  • Desire to continue to work in immigration policy.

Benefits and Diversity Commitment

The Niskanen Center offers all federal holidays off, Fridays off during August recess, a hybrid work environment, and unlimited paid leave.

The Niskanen Center is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants are considered for employment without discrimination of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. We also seek to expand our professional networks and workplace composition to reflect better our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

How to Apply

This position is open until filled. Please include a cover letter,  resume, and a 500-1000 word writing sample (preferably tailored towards a policy-minded audience) in one PDF file. Please send all applications to: jobs@niskanencenter.org. All applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, June 5, 2022.