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JOB TITLE:    Policy Associate   
PROGRAM:   Environment, Energy, and Transportation
LOCATION:    Hybrid/Denver, Colorado   
SALARY:       $4,496 p/month
STATUS:       Full-time

Are you ready to join an organization with an extraordinary mission? The National Conference of State Legislatures offers careers where you can use your skills, knowledge, and experience to truly make a difference. NCSL’s mission is purposeful – strengthening the legislative institution. From informing effective policies and promoting communication among state legislatures, to ensure states have a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system, our team works in service of legislatures. And, with a commitment to constantly innovating all resources and services to meet the evolving needs of members, NCSL has earned the reputation as the nation’s most trusted bipartisan membership organization for legislators and legislative staff. Our success in serving NCSL members relies on our team of passionate, dedicated professionals who work diligently to strengthen the legislative institution. Join our team and contribute to this unique, essential mission.  

NCSL has a flexible remote work policy. Building and maintaining our organizational culture is critical and we do so by bringing staff together, in person, for four days each month. The remote work policy provides the freedom to work from anywhere with the requirement that staff comes to the NCSL office once a month for team meetings and professional development. 

NCSL’s Denver-based Environment, Energy, and Transportation (EET) Program is seeking a policy associate to join a collaborative team focused on supporting state and tribal working groups as part of a long-standing U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cooperative agreement. This position will provide research, analysis, writing and project coordination to support the DOE State and Tribal Government Working Group focused on the cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. This support includes compiling meeting summaries, drafting letters and policy briefs, organizing meetings, providing outreach and strategic communications to members, and responding to sensitive requests from members and federal agency officials. In addition, you will work on a range of environmental policy topics including performing legislative research, analysis, and writing and providing other educational or informational services (e.g., planning webinars or meeting sessions) to NCSL’s members.
 This position requires demonstrated competence in policy research and writing along with exceptional interpersonal, organizational, and problem-solving skills. The ideal policy associate will possess knowledge of state, tribal and/or federal environmental policy (e.g., environmental cleanup, radioactive waste management, natural resources, cultural resources, and water); have the ability to analyze public policies and trends; and will be motivated to support states and Native American tribes. Successful candidates bring natural curiosity, initiative, and flexibility, excellent communication skills, and a strong desire to learn and grow. The position is non-partisan and non-advocacy, and the ideal candidate possesses a belief in NCSL’s mission and the ability to work with a wide range of intergovernmental entities and interests.  

You will report to one of EET’s Project Managers and work with teams of motivated, fun, flexible, and dedicated staff who focus on environmental policy and support DOE tribal and state working groups and state policymakers. You will collaborate with other policy staff on projects and have frequent contact with working group members, state legislators, legislative staff, and other officials and stakeholders outside of NCSL, including frequent virtual sessions, in-person meetings, and presentations. Join the NCSL team to use your expertise and grow your experience to support these intergovernmental interactions and policy discussions nationwide. 
The policy associate position is a dynamic role with a range of responsibilities performed under direct supervision. As a policy associate, you will contribute to a variety of tasks with a focus on working group coordination, policy research, analysis and writing, and meeting planning and facilitation. You will develop expertise and analyze information on environmental policy, including federal, state, and tribal actions related to the cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. This position will interpret and identify key takeaways and trends in public policy. You will also support working group members through drafting meeting summaries, tracking action items, coordinating virtual and in-person meeting sessions, and communicating with members.
Typical duties include the following:
  • Provide support to the State and Tribal Government Working Group (STGWG) through member outreach and coordination tasks, such as organizing conference calls, tracking action items, and developing strategic communications.
  • Conduct research and monitor policy developments related to state, tribal, and federal programs and legislation, using a variety of resources, including the internet, available databases, public and private organizations, and others.
  • Assist with the planning for educational meetings and intergovernmental exchanges through agenda development, facilitation support, speaker identification, creating background materials, on-site support, and follow-up activities.
  • Prepare concise, accurate, and nonpartisan written products for a variety of purposes and audiences including communications with members, requests for research, and meeting summaries. 
  • Plan, research and write for newsletters, issue briefs, reports, or articles though most written products are subject to close review and editing by more senior staff. Create, maintain and update briefs or webpages with new research and information.
  • Assist with the development of technical assistance workshops and presentations. Makes presentations and designs facilitation approaches as needed with supervisor guidance.
  • May assist in the development of new projects in assigned areas, including assisting with background research, concept papers, or proposals.
  • Expect to travel by air approximately 5-10 times per year to support meetings with NCSL’s members and/or external partners or for other professional development opportunities. Most trips are for one to three nights.
  • Perform other tasks as needed.

This position is mostly performed in an office environment, on or off-site, with prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer. Employees routinely use standard office equipment such as laptops, printers, scanners, copy machines, and smartphones. Occasional travel by airplane, including overnights and weekends, is required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

  • Bachelor's degree. 
  • Two years of work experience with public policy, Native American affairs, state legislatures, government or other relevant field.
  • Subject-specific knowledge or experience preferred, such as knowledge of environmental cleanup, water and other natural resources, and hazardous waste management. Experience working with Native American tribes or state legislatures preferred.
  • Proficient written and oral presentation skills andthe ability to communicate information clearly and credibly to a variety of audiences. 
  • Demonstrated experience or strong interest in developing skills in strategic planning, group facilitation, and developing engaging meetings. 
  • Aptitude at working both collaboratively with others and independently. 
  • Ability to work in a politically neutral manner and maintain confidentiality when required. 
  • Research and analysis skills, including accessing and assessing a variety of resources and research; utilizing research databases (e.g., StateNet and Westlaw; training provided); synthesizing data and other information; and analyzing and summarizing policy discussions, research and government activities.    
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines and solve problems under the guidance of supervisor(s).
  • Ability towork under deadline pressure and adapt to changes in workload and priorities. 
  • Knowledge of state, tribal or federal governments and legislative processes and the relationships between these governments, including the federal trust responsibility to tribes and the separate of powers between branches of government.
  • Ability to travel by air up to 5-10 times per year, with most trips being 1-3 nights, as well as work extended hours, possibly evenings and weekends, usually associated with events/travel. 

NCSL has a flexible remote work policy. Building and maintaining our organizational culture is critical and we do so by bringing staff together, in person, for four days each month. The remote work policy provides the freedom to work from anywhere with the requirement that staff comes to the NCSL office once a month for team meetings and professional development. We are committed to offering a full range of other benefits for you and your eligible family members, including domestic partners.

Your total compensation goes beyond the number on your paycheck. Our outstanding benefits include low-cost health, dental, and vision coverage, a 401(a)-retirement plan with 10% contribution after 6 months and full vesting, life & disability insurance, 3-weeks paid vacation with 5+ years of paid full-time work experience, generous time off plans and paid family leave, floating holidays, identity theft protection, employee assistance programs, pet insurance, paid time off the volunteer, and more! Relocation assistance is provided for out-of-state candidates.

If you are a purpose-driven, dedicated professional looking to give as much as you get – submit your resume and cover letter by 11:59 PM MT, November 30, 2022  Learn more about working with NCSL by visiting our careers page: We are looking forward to receiving your application!

NCSL is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to developing a diverse, dynamic team and inclusive workplace. NCSL does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, disability, or any other status protected by law or regulation.