May 4, 2020

Job Posting

Senior Fellow (harm reduction)

R Street Institute – Washington DC
Date added: May 4, 2020 Application deadline: June 30, 2020 Contract type: fixed-term Hours: full-time

The R Street Institute—a free-market think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices across the country—seeks a skilled Senior Fellow to develop and oversee our projects in Harm Reduction. If you want to join an energetic organization and do something extraordinary while helping us conceptualize the next phases for our public health portfolio, this may be just the opportunity for you. This position will report to the Associate Vice President, Policy Management.

The role

Your typical day at R Street may include speaking with an ally about an upcoming FDA comment period, working with our criminal justice unit on the potential impacts of product bans, exploring a new public health issue on which we might engage or planning for participation in a global conference on tobacco control. Our current portfolio emphasizes efforts to reduce the harm in behaviors involving tobacco use, opioids and sexual behavior. We believe that “abstinence-only” approaches do not work on a population-wide level and that safer (although not safe) alternatives are a desirable part of a public health strategy. Efforts we support in these terms include needle access programs, the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection and use of non-combustible tobacco products. While the work will initially center on this harm reduction portfolio, which itself emphasizes tobacco harm reduction, we are also seeking help in conceptualizing the future of our public health work broadly.

Key roles and responsibilities

Other aspects of your role:

  • Oversee the work of a research fellow.
  • Write widely and knowledgeably on harm-reduction-related topics with a particular but not exclusive focus on tobacco.
  • Produce formal regulatory comments and policy writing (long- and short-form) on regulatory and legislative efforts involving harm reduction.
  • “Translate” findings in scientific literature for a lay audience.
  • Attend and speak at events and convenings, both in the United States and globally where appropriate.
  • Work with congressional staff to advance R Street’s research messages and organize events for Capitol Hill staff as well as regulators and legislators federally and at the state level.
  • Help build coalitions around harm reduction topics.
  • Work with R Street leadership to conceptualize and build a broader public health program.

Experience and skills

Skills and qualifications:

  • A doctoral degree (e.g., MD, PhD, DNP, etc.) in a relevant field from an accredited institution.
  • Excellent writing ability, ideally demonstrated by a record of publication in mainstream and public policy outlets.
  • Broad understanding of scientific topics related to harm reduction and an ability to synthesize work across a wide array of fields.
  • Ability to work productively with a wide variety of groups and individuals including those with whom you may disagree.
  • Excellent public speaking skills.
  • A passion for limiting the negative public health consequences of a variety of risky behaviors.
  • Alignment with our mission of supporting free markets and limited, effective government
  • A sense of humor and a desire to grow with a dynamic organization

Other useful information

The ideal candidate will also have a record of peer-reviewed publication, but the ability to understand and evaluate scientific literature while communicating its findings with clarity is more important than one’s academic publication record. This is, essentially, a “bizarro-world” version of academia: We care about all of the same things that go into a tenure folder or university faculty job application, but peer-reviewed publications are “nice to have,” while public-facing activities are central.

For the duration of COVID-19-related closures, this job will be done from your home. It is, however, based in Washington, D.C. and will require spending time at our office and on Capitol Hill on a regular basis. The job will require travel several times a year, some of it outside of the United States.

R Street strives to provide a compensation package superior to those at other think tanks and nonprofits. In addition to a competitive salary, we provide a health insurance option entirely paid by the employer (even for families), wellness benefits, an employer-subsidized mobile phones benefit, 401(k) contributions with up to a 4 percent match and an exceptionally generous vacation policy. We were named to Washingtonian Magazine’s Great Places to Work List in 2019 and take pride in providing an exceptional environment for our employees.

R Street does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, era of military service, gender identity, relationship structure or anything else that’s illegal, immoral or stupid to use as a basis for hiring. We currently plan to accept applications for this job until filled.

We will contact ideal individuals for video interviews and plan to conduct them on a rolling basis. Due to COVID-19, we will hold interviews virtually via Zoom until our D.C. office reopens. To apply, please upload a cover letter and resume in Microsoft Word or PDF format.