Scholar in Poverty and Social Welfare Policy

Cato Institute Scholar
Location Washington, DC
Application deadline 9 August 2024
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
Salary Competitive
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The welfare and poverty scholar will be responsible for analyzing social welfare policy, poverty, and critiquing social welfare policy in written and oral communications, proposing welfare reforms consistent with Cato’s libertarian principles, and communicating broadly on this issue area to the general public, the media, policymakers, and others. The scholar’s written analyses will be published in multiple formats including policy analyses, working papers, op-eds, blog posts, white papers, as well as, others on, and elsewhere. The scholar will be expected to speak widely with policymakers on Capitol Hill, members of the media, public events, and other scholars.

Key roles and responsibilities

  • Analyze and write about poverty and social welfare policy and its effects.
  • Write detailed analyses of welfare policy for Cato Institute publications such as policy analyses, briefs, blog posts, op-eds, working papers, and other forms.
  • Propose libertarian reforms to social welfare policy, including retiring means-tested welfare programs.
  • Speak with policymakers, public audiences, and members of the media about social welfare policy and poverty.
  • Organize policy forums and other events.
  • Commission and edit studies from outside experts.

Experience and skills

  • A strong commitment to Cato’s libertarian values and the courage to defend them in adversarial settings.
  • Knowledge of the effects of social welfare policy.
  • Knowledge of existing social welfare programs and how they function.
  • Knowledge about the social science of poverty.
  • Strong research skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work on multiple tasks independently on a time-sensitive basis, a commitment to accuracy, and creativity in developing new welfare reforms consistent with libertarian principles.


  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Employer contribution to a Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Generous vacation and sick days
  • Paid parental leave
  • Employer-provided life and disability insurance
  • 401(k) employer match
  • Transit/ Parking benefits
  • Pet discount plan

About Cato Institute

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.