Vice President for Food Assistance Policy

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is a high-caliber strategic policy institute that informs and shapes public policies to reduce poverty, promote equity, and build opportunity and engages on how to raise the revenues necessary to support public investments. It has a national reputation for conducting rigorous research and analysis, developing evidence-based policy ideas and strategies, shaping a broad array of policy debates at the federal and state levels, and influencing policy outcomes and program implementation. It focuses its efforts on improving the lives of people with low and moderate incomes and examines how policies affect particular groups, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people. The Center is known for its unique capacity to blend rigorous, timely analysis with effective communications that enable policymakers and the media to make use of its work.

The Center’s Food Assistance policy team focuses on reducing hunger and food insecurity (the lack of consistent access to nutritious food) by improving access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the school meals programs as well as their interactions with other benefit programs supporting low-income people (such as Medicaid, rental assistance and other housing programs, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program). Overseeing the work of the Food Assistance policy team, the Vice President will develop policy, budget, implementation, and communications goals and strategies to expand and strengthen access to nutrition assistance programs. The position entails keeping abreast of federal and state policy developments, program operations, and related research and providing useful and accessible information for a range of stakeholders.

The Vice President and Food Assistance team members provide information, data, and technical assistance to an array of important stakeholders, including federal and state policymakers, program administrators, national partners, a growing network of state-level advocates, journalists, and the public. The work of the team includes promoting effective approaches at the federal, state, and local levels to provide food assistance to low- and moderate-income families and individuals; developing and analyzing proposed changes in government policies; providing technical assistance to federal and state policymakers and program administrators; conducting research on the implications of food assistance policy choices; and working with other federal and state nonprofits on these issues. The Center also provides technical assistance to advocates in nearly every state, coordinating a network of these advocates and providing them with information about federal policy, ideas for how to improve program implementation, and help with state-level policy proposals. The Center helps shape the debate on food assistance policies and its analyses and experts are quoted frequently in the press and relied upon heavily by policymakers and colleagues in other organizations.

The Vice President and the Food Assistance policy team work in close collaboration with the Center’s President and staff on the Communications, Government Affairs, and other policy teams to develop and implement policy-related goals and strategies. The Vice President is a principal spokesperson for the Center on food assistance issues and works to maximize the Center’s impact. The Vice President also works closely with the Center’s Development team to ensure financial support for CBPP’s food assistance policy work and serves as a member of the Center’s leadership team, which helps set direction for the organization.

Responsibilities:

Strategy, Policy Development, Research, and Analysis

Reporting to the President and serving as an integral member of the senior management team, the Vice President for Food Assistance Policy is a strategic thought-partner and develops research and public policy initiatives that impact low-income communities. The Vice President is responsible for overseeing the Food Assistance policy team’s work to:

  • Develop strategic goals and evaluate results to ensure organizational objectives are met and are in line with the mission of the organization.
  • Develop a policy, research, and advocacy agenda in collaboration with team members and other policy experts inside and outside the Center and guide data analysis activities.
  • Draw on the latest research and input from a range of stakeholders, such as program administrators and nutrition and anti-hunger advocacy organizations at the national and state levels, to develop new policy ideas and program recommendations that improve access to food assistance programs.
  • Analyze and communicate about the impacts of food insecurity and hunger and on the potential impacts of various food assistance policies on a wide range of populations including Black, Latino, Asian, and other communities of color; immigrants; Indigenous people; people with disabilities; LGBTQ+ people; people living in U.S. territories; and migrants.
  • Provide highly technical assistance to federal and state policymakers and program administrators on administrative, regulatory, legislative, and operational improvements to food assistance programs and coordination with other benefit programs supporting low-income people. This includes emerging work to address eligibility and enrollment issues through policy, operations, and technological strategies and solutions.
  • Provide support, guidance, and hands-on technical assistance to a robust and growing network of national, state, and local nutrition and anti-hunger advocacy organizations, including on how to bring a racial equity lens to food assistance advocacy.
  • Strengthen relationships with organizations that work on behalf of communities of color and center the lives of people with lived experience of racism and discrimination, poverty, low-paid work, and food insecurity.
  • Implement policy goals and strategies as a key thought leader to the President, Government Affairs and Communications teams, and policy experts on other teams.
Communications

In collaboration with the Food Assistance policy team, the Vice President will:

  • Serve as a nationally recognized spokesperson for the Center on anti-hunger and food assistance program issues for the media and at conferences, events, and other speaking engagements and respond to media inquiries on food assistance policy.
  • Work closely with the Communications team to develop strategies that help shape policy debates.
  • Elevate the profile of the team’s other experts to maximize the Center’s impact.
  • Oversee the written products of the Food Assistance policy team, including policy and research reports, regulatory comments, blog posts, materials for state groups, talking points, issue memos, op-eds, and commentaries.
  • Oversee communications and training strategies to drive interest, understanding, and advocacy of key policy issues, including the planning and execution of conferences, webinars, and other convenings.
  • Oversee the development of accessible, informative, and persuasive materials, including videos, presentations, infographics, and social media content.
Management and Supervision
  • Lead and manage a team with staff at varying points in their career trajectory and guide team members’ professional growth and development.
  • Lead effort to establish and achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion goals for the team, including how the team works together, its partnerships, and its policy and research agenda.
  • Supervise team operations, including developing and maintaining systems and practices for effective project and staff management (including in a remote work context), such as weekly team meetings and work plans, and for managing the team’s budget.
  • Ensure that the Food Assistance policy team has effective working relationships with policy teams and staff across the Center.
  • Ensure that the Food Assistance policy team’s work is integrated with and supports the organization’s overall policy agenda.
  • Participate in the management of the overall organization, including efforts to improve organizational health, equity, and inclusion.
Development
  • Develop strong relationships with foundations that fund or are interested in food assistance policy work.
  • Work closely with the President and Development team to identify and cultivate funders to support policy and research activities.
  • Help conceive, draft, and review new funding proposals, reports, and other funder communications in collaboration with development writers.

Qualifications:

Successful candidates will demonstrate broad knowledge of food assistance policy issues for low-income people and have experience working at a senior level to affect food assistance policy outcomes at the federal or state level. They will bring a mix of the following skills and experiences:

  • Exceptional leadership skills, a highly collaborative and inclusive management style, the ability to draw on and develop the expertise of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences and to create a cohesive and collaborative team where every team member is respected and included.
  • Experience developing and analyzing policy and programmatic options, the ability to think strategically about opportunities to affect policy, and the ability to balance competing priorities and interests.
  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills, particularly the ability to effectively communicate messages to policymakers and members of the media.
  • A sophisticated understanding of the role that inequity and discrimination play in driving poverty broadly, and food hardship specifically, and a commitment to advancing equity in the Center’s food assistance policy work.
  • Exceptional ability to respond to multiple demands in a complex, fast-paced, and rapidly changing policy environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop relationships with policymakers, government officials, organizational partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Proven effectiveness at fundraising.
  • Ten years of relevant experience; a graduate degree in a relevant field is highly desirable.

This position reports to the President
Terms of Employment: Full-time, exempt.
Bargaining Unit Status: This is not a bargaining unit position.

Compensation:

Salary commensurate with experience, excellent benefits (including health insurance, vision and dental coverage, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, MERP, and DCAP), and generous vacation, sick leave, and holiday schedules.

Please upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please include a discussion of what draws you to the mission of the Center. 

Please submit your application here.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values and welcomes diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages all qualified persons to apply regardless of race, color, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, credit information, pregnancy or parental status, family responsibilities, personal appearance, creed, military or veteran status, religion, ancestry or national origin, union activities, disability, or other status protected by applicable law.