Social policy and politics fellow

Third Way Fellowship
Location Washington DC
Application deadline 1 March 2020
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
Salary USD55,000 annual stipend plus benefits.
Apply now

Third Way is a national think tank that develops and champions modern, center-left ideas.

The role

Third Way is a national think tank that develops and champions modern, center-left ideas.

Third Way’s Social Policy & Politics Program is seeking a fellow to join our team and help us accomplish three major goals: give moderate voters a stronger voice in Washington; find ways to make progress on divisive issues like abortion, immigration, religious liberty, marijuana, and guns; and transform the conversation around education in the Democratic Party to better fit 21st-century realities.

Our recent work has included successfully changing the conversation about marriage for gay couples by emphasizing commitment instead of rights; working with Members of Congress and the White House on new gun safety legislation that respects Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of criminals’ hands; developing a communication strategy around immigration used by nearly every congressional immigration reform proponent; and giving policymakers a deeper understanding of the values held by voters in the center of the electorate.

The fellow will report to the Vice President of Social Policy and Politics.

Key roles and responsibilities

The Third Way Fellows Program is a full-time, 12-month program that comes with a $55,000 annual stipend and two weeks paid vacation, plus healthcare and benefits. It also comes with the chance to meet with top Washington policy players; to co-author papers and work with our policy teams to produce new ideas, research, and insights; to learn our methodology; and to leverage our wide-ranging D.C. network into future career opportunities.

During your time at Third Way, you will learn skills in workflow management, leveraging polarities, meeting facilitation and participation, parallel thinking, dynamic presentation and communication, creativity, design thinking, networking, and interview skills.

Upon completion, our fellows find fulfilling work at other think tanks, congressional committees, private-sector firms, advocacy organizations, and the federal government. They take full advantage of Third Way’s ever-growing network of public policy professionals. If you are a future-oriented thinker and a policy wonk willing to listen and learn, we’d like you to join us.

Experience and skills

The ideal candidate has:

  • An interest in moderate politics and commitment to Third Way’s mission;
  • An advanced degree (master’s or law) in a related field;
  • The ability to take initiative on individual projects, but willingness to work collaboratively on a team;
  • Strong research and technical skills, with a talent for knowing and telling the story a dataset demands;
  • Knowledge of the legislative process and the ability to explain complicated concepts in a way that makes sense to policymakers;
  • Diplomacy and discretion when dealing with external groups.


  • Conducting in-depth research and quantitative analysis of a variety of sources, including online databases, media, and reports from the government, NGOs, and academia;
  • Developing original legislation and producing high-impact written products by distilling complex issues, often under tight deadlines, into succinct and accessible formats, including policy briefings, memos, and presentations;
  • Organizing and participating in high-level external meetings, briefings on Capitol Hill, professional networking events, and other activities to promote Third Way policies;
  • Presenting our research and policy ideas to Hill staff, advocates, think tanks, and academics both through individual and coalition meetings and in other events around D.C.; and
  • Supporting other members of the team with research and minor administrative tasks as needed.


  • The ideal candidate will possess a graduate degree (Masters, J.D., or other) and have experience in public policy, including internships and coursework. Fellows must be able to explain complicated concepts in a way that makes sense to the general public while engaging and exciting the audience.
  • While this position requires strong technical skills, Third Way’s success relies on our ability to build relationships and communicate our message. A willingness to work collaboratively on a team while taking the initiative on individual projects, an aptitude to multi-task on various assignments in distinct issue areas, and a penchant for solving problems creatively and thinking outside the box are integral to the job. Finally, fellows must have a deep commitment to Third Way’s mission of representing Americans in the “vital center.”

Other relevant information

Compensation: USD55,000 annual stipend and two weeks paid vacation, plus healthcare and benefits.

Applicants are encouraged to apply by March 1, 2020.