Research Assistant/Research Associate, Conservation Policy

Reports to: Deputy Director, Public Lands
Staff reporting to this position: None
Department: Energy and Environment
Position Classification: Exempt, full time
Minimum compensation: $46,000/$50,000


American Progress has an immediate opening for a Research Assistant or Research Associate on the Conservation Policy team to conduct research and analysis related to public land, water, and ocean policy. The ideal candidate will have strong writing skills; an attention to detail; a commitment to conservation, addressing climate change, and improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in conservation policy; as well as a willingness to work on a wide range of policy issues. This position will be located on-site in Washington, D.C.

The position will report to the Deputy Director for Public Lands, and the title will be determined by the candidate’s experience and qualifications. Experience in conservation policy is not required.

This role will be driven by American Progress’ mission to improve the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country. The Research Assistant/Research Associate will be part of a dynamic department that supports work across American Progress’ five cross-cutting priorities:

  • Strengthening public health and ending the pandemic
  • Building an economy for all
  • Securing a sustainable climate
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Restoring social trust and strengthening democracy


  • Conduct and support research and analysis on conservation, climate, and equity policy issues in coordination with American Progress’ Energy and Environment team, including conducting internet research, proofreading, fact-checking, and editing documents.
  • Help develop a range of written products to influence the policy debate on key conservation issues, including memos, reports, rapid-response statements, op-eds, and social media.
  • Engage in rapid-response research and writing in response to policy developments.
  • Perform light administrative duties, such as helping track publications and timelines, tracking congressional hearings and other political developments, and coordinating meetings.
  • Represent American Progress in external meetings with Capitol Hill staff, coalition partners, and media contacts to advance its work.
  • Help embody a culture of justice, equity, and inclusion by performing tasks with these values at their core.
  • Develop expertise in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience.
  • At least one year of professional experience in conservation and/or environmental policy or a related field for Research Assistant, with two years for Research Associate. This can include internships, activist roles, or other positions. Volunteer experience may be considered.
  • Understands how environmental and conservation issues intersect with racism, economic, and social inequality and has a passion for working to dismantle these systems.
  • Research and analytical skills, including attention to detail and proficient quantitative skills.
  • Proficient in written and verbal communication, including the ability to communicate policy matters to a nonpolicy audience.
  • Ability to independently plan ahead, prioritize, allocate time, balance projects, and coordinate with internal and external partners.
  • Willingness to take ownership over independent projects.
  • Eagerness to learn and develop expertise in the conservation policy field, including public lands and ocean policy, energy policy, and ensuring equal access to nature.
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines in a team setting.
  • Commitment to treating all partners, internal and external, with courtesy and respecting those of different cultural backgrounds.
  • Understanding and willingness to learn how power, privilege, and oppression manifest at the individual, interpersonal, and team levels.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals, in particular progressive values including environmental and social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

American Progress offers full and competitive benefits packages. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is part of a bargaining unit represented by IFPTE Local 70. The starting annual salary is $46,000 for a Research Assistant and $50,000 for a Research Associate.

Apply Now

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.

Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to

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