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Government Relations Officer

POSITION: Government Relations Officer (based in Washington, DC)
TEAM: Global Food & Agriculture Program
REPORTS TO: Director, Government Relations

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs (“the Council”) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization that provides information, fosters dialogue, and builds understanding about what is happening in the world and why it matters to people in Chicago, the United states, and around the globe. At a time when large-scale political, cultural, and technological changes and disruptions are diving momentous and historical shifts in the global order, the Council offers Chicago - and the world – a trusted, balanced voice on foreign policy and America’s engagement.

The Council is focused on four centers of excellence in carrying out its mission to promote deeper global understanding and active US engagement; Public Programming and Engagement, Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy, Global Food and Agriculture, and Global Cities.

For more than 10 years, the Council has been developing evidence-based policy innovation to drive US government action in food and nutrition security. Its 2009 report provided a blueprint for the Obama Administration’s USAID global food security initiative, Feed the Future. Since then, the Council has convened business, policy, scientific, and civil society leaders for task forces examining the factors contributing to food and nutrition insecurity in the 20th century and the big solutions, urbanization and a growing youth population as forces changing the demands on the food system, the impact of climate change on food production, the opportunity to improve nutrition and health through food, and the links between food security and global peace and security. This program is supported by and works in partnership with a global network of academic, government, private sector, philanthropic and public institutions committed to accelerating an end to poverty and food insecurity. The consultative policy development approach the Council takes in this work results in smart, creative ideas that have the power to accelerate an end to global food and nutrition insecurity. The team has a physical presence in Chicago and Washington DC as well as a broader network of advisors and fellows around the world.

Reporting directly to the Director of Government Relations, the Government Relations Officer will undertake policy analysis, track legislation, develop communications materials, and assist in event planning. The successful candidate will have experience in government affairs, possess strong writing skills, be a self-starter, be able to work independently, and have a working knowledge of global agriculture and development issues. The position is based in Washington, D.C.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  • Support and conduct outreach to Congressional offices, policy actors, and community stakeholders to develop opportunities for engagement. Identify, foster, and develop new champions of food security.
  • Manage the preparation of Washington briefings, meetings, workshops, and symposia. This includes identification of relevant topics, researching and outreach to potential speakers/participants, liaising with partners and sponsors, developing invitation lists and sending/tracking accordingly, putting together background materials, and supporting Council leadership involvement.
  • Formulate a range of outreach materials, specifically conceptualize and solicit input from various actors, cultivate and compose action-oriented policy briefs. This includes the creation of one-pagers, editing and shaping white papers on relevant policy issues and managing post-publication outreach.
  • Support the development of testimony, track legislative language and funding levels for U.S. international affairs and agriculture programs.
  • Monitor Congressional committees, coalitions, and individual members active in agricultural development, food security, and nutrition. This includes but is not limited to following committee schedules, monitoring news releases, congressional speeches and social media, and attending congressional hearings and mark-ups.
  • Conduct outreach to track policy positions and advocacy efforts of various working groups and organizations across the agriculture, environment, and nutrition sectors. This includes representing the Council at community meetings and events and following the publication of relevant reports, studies, and analyses.
  • With a Chicago-based Research Associate, manage the development of Washington-focused material for social media including twitter, blog posts, and op-eds.
  • Work closely with the Director, Government Relations to provide support in the management of office operations, including the budget, the research agenda, and the intern program.

  • A bachelor’s degree with a focus on international affairs or related field of study is required. A master’s degree is preferred
  • 2+ years of work experience which includes researching and planning/executing meetings and events for distinguished individuals (Members of Congress, senior policymakers, domestic/foreign dignitaries, etc.)
  • Experience in the domestic and/or international policy arena, preferably working in development, agriculture, trade and/or nutrition policy
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills (preferably policy-relevant), including the ability to communicate complex concepts and topics clearly, thoroughly, and succinctly
  • Strong ability to work independently without supervision in a fast-paced environment
  • Willingness to take on any project and ability to quickly prioritize
  • Poise, confidence, and outstanding organization and time management skills, with keen attention to detail and deadlines.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization that provides insight on critical global issues, advances policy solutions, and fosters dialogue on what is happening in the world and why it matters to people in Chicago, the United States, and around the globe.

Please email a cover letter and résumé as Word documents to Other career opportunities can be found on the Council’s website at EOE