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 will require radical departures from existing policies. We work closely with the governing elites’ network in Washington, D.C., to advance meaningful and concrete change. 

Position: Legislative Affairs Manager, Criminal Justice 

Location: Washington, D.C. (remote until the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available)

Salary: $85,000-$125,000 based on experience, plus generous benefits package

Department: Criminal Justice department (new)

Report to: Director of Criminal Justice, Senior Vice President, and Vice President of Policy

Travel: Occasional travel expected in the future

Position Overview

The Niskanen Center seeks a legislative affairs manager to develop Niskenen’s portfolio of research, policy, and government affairs to reduce violent crime and mass incarceration and address the growing need for policing reforms. The individual will work with experts inside and outside government and across disciplines, develop programmatic focus areas, and work with funders to acquire resources to expand the department. The legislative affairs manager will also play a key role in determining future needs for the department, including hiring a supervisory Director and policy staff. Please review Niskanen’s criminal justice portfolio to ensure alignment with our vision for policy in this area:

The ideal individual will also have experience with research and evidence-based policy and policy change and will be responsible for developing policy reports, comment letters, regulatory proposals, testimonies, speeches, or commentary. Responsibilities also frequently include briefing allies, building coalitions with new partners, and directing outreach to regulators and legislators or their staff. Applicants should have some experience working across ideological, racial, religious, and class lines. 

Please note that all positions will be remote until the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and disseminate evidence-based policy and commentaries to the media, the Hill, coalitions and funders, experts, and the broader public recommending interventions that improve criminal justice, as well as promote the safety and well-being of communities;
  • Help develop a robust cadre of advisors and experts to assist in the development of sound policy;
  • Contribute to the development of relationships with funders, and identify and author grant proposals to secure additional funding; 
  • Manage and coordinate external relationships and partnerships;
  • Collaborate with staff to explore and develop cross-initiative philanthropic investment opportunities and build the research capacity of the Criminal Justice team; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Proven commitment to and passion for social justice and impact, and commitment to the vision of criminal justice reform laid out by the Niskanen Center;
  • A J.D. with 2+ years of experience performing policy-relevant criminal justice work or B.A/Masters degree in criminal justice or criminology, public policy, psychology, sociology, or other social sciences with 4+ years relevant work experience;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the criminal justice system and criminal justice policy;
  • Ability to translate complex issues to key takeaways for diverse audiences;
  • Superior oral and written communication skills and ability to engage outside individuals and organizations; and
  • Successful track record of developing and executing strategies to drive change.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working on Capitol Hill and experience developing, engaging, and collaborating with a robust and diverse network of organizations and experts;
  • High degree of integrity, ability to build trust, communicate effectively, and collaborate with senior leadership; and
  • Ability to independently and conscientiously manage long-term projects from start to finish.

How to Apply

The Niskanen Center is an equal opportunity employer. We consider all employment applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. We seek to expand our professional networks and workplace composition to better our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion.Please include a cover letter, resume, (3) writing samples, (3) references, and salary requirements in one PDF file. Send all applications to: All applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm ET on Friday, February 5, 2021. We will begin reviewing submissions at that time.