Director of Government and External Affairs

Cato Institute Director of Government and External Affairs
Location Washington DC, United States
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
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The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization – a think tank – dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues. Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th-century England that presented a vision of a society free from excessive government power.

Those essays inspired the architects of the American Revolution. And the simple, timeless principles of that revolution – individual liberty, limited government, and free markets – turn out to be even more powerful in today’s world of global markets and unprecedented access to information than Jefferson or Madison could have imagined. Social and economic freedom is not just the best policy for a free people, it is the indispensable framework for the future. Cato Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The role

The Cato Institute is seeking applications for a full-time position located in Washington, D.C., to serve as a Director of Government and External Affairs. The Director will work to maintain Cato as a prime source for objective analysis for federal policymakers and to ensure that Cato scholars have the access and proper tools needed to help Congress and the Administration develop and advance good policy.

The Director will work closely with the existing federal affairs team and appropriate policy scholars to devise and execute engagement strategies for a portfolio of domestic policy issues.

Key roles and responsibilities

  • Build and maintain relationships with policymakers on Capitol Hill and within the executive branch.
  • Identify, create, and assist with opportunities for Cato scholars to provide testimony, statements for the record, and other high-impact opportunities for Cato scholars.
  • Track and advise Cato scholars and staff on ongoing and emerging dynamics on Capitol Hill and within the Administration to ensure Cato’s maximum impact on the policy debate.
  • Devise, recommend, and execute engagement strategies (in coordination with relevant Cato policy staff) for the issue portfolio with the goal of positively influencing the policy debate.
  • Oversee distribution of Cato scholarship to Capitol Hill and Administration audiences.
  • Work with existing federal affairs staff to ensure Cato-wide coordination of the Institute’s efforts Exercise exceptional judgement to ensure the protection and enhancement of Cato’s reputation for excellence, integrity, and dedication to principle.

Experience and skills

  • 7 to 10 years experience on Capitol Hill or the Administration, working in a legislative position or in a government affairs department for a think tank, association, state or local government or in the for-profit sector.
  • Comprehensive understanding of Congressional rules, procedures, and operations.
  • A demonstrated appreciation for Cato’s mission and principles Excellent interpersonal skills; strong oral and written communication skills.