Manager of State Affairs

Cato Institute Manager of Government and External Affairs
Location Washington, D.C.
Application deadline 15 February 2024
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
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The Cato Institute is seeking applications for a full-time position located in Washington, D.C., to serve as a Manager of State Government Affairs.

About Cato Institute

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organisation – 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.

The Cato Institute is an equal opportunity employer.

About the role

The Manager will work to maintain Cato as a prime source for objective analysis and policy expertise for state policymakers, and to ensure that Cato scholars have the access and proper tools needed to help government across the 50 states develop and advance good policy solutions grounded in the principles of free-markets, limited government, and peace. Reporting to Cato’s Director of State Affairs, the Manager will work closely with the existing state affairs team and appropriate policy scholars to devise and execute engagement strategies for a portfolio of domestic policy issues while building a network of state-based policy contacts and partners.

Key roles and responsibilities

  • Build and maintain relationships with policymakers in the legislative and executive branches across the states assigned.
  • 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 in Congress and the executive branch to ensure Cato’s maximum impact on the policy debate.
  • Engage with state-level think tank partners and develop new relationships to expand Cato access to state-level decision markers and educational opportunities.
  • Oversee distribution of Cato scholarship to an audience in state legislative and the executive branches.
  • Work with existing state affairs staff to ensure Cato-wide coordination of the Institute’s efforts to include extensive state travel and conference engagements.
  • Exercise exceptional judgement to ensure the protection and enhancement of Cato’s reputation for excellence, integrity, and dedication to principle.

Experience and skills

  • Three to six years of issue-management experience in a state legislature, executive agency, or similar experience with a think tank, association, private practice government affairs firm, or like entity.
  • Demonstrated experience with policy analysis and communicating policy positions to external audiences.
  • Excellent project management skills with the ability to carry a project from conception to completion.
  • A passion for free-market, limited government policy and an ability to articulate the same to a variety of audiences and perspectives.
  • A bachelor’s degree in political science, economics, or related field.
  • Comprehensive understanding of legislative concepts, rules, procedures, and operations.
  • A demonstrated appreciation for Cato’s mission and principles.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.

Experience with domestic policy areas with specific emphasis on healthcare and immigration.