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NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

NRDC is seeking a Health & Food Advocate to work with the Health & Food team in our New York or Washington D.C. offices.

Position Summary

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is now accepting applications for a full-time Health & Food Policy Advocate. The Policy Advocate will work with NRDC’s Health & Food Division, a diverse team of lawyers, policy specialists, and scientists, to advocate for policies to protect public health from toxic chemicals and pesticides and to reduce food loss and waste, with an emphasis on addressing the needs and priorities of vulnerable populations and advancing health equity and environmental justice. This position will work in collaboration with other NRDC staff and external partners and frontline communities to advocate at the state and federal levels in both legislative and administrative arenas. The work may entail occasional travel.

NRDC’s Health & Food team works on reducing exposures to toxic chemicals in consumer products and the environment, particularly “forever” PFAS chemicals and plastics; and on shifting the food system in a healthier and more equitable, sustainable, and climate-friendly direction, including both reduced reliance on pesticides and reducing food loss and waste.

We are working on multiple fronts to address these problems. We are working to educate and engage policymakers, business leaders, health care professionals and others about these issues. Through a multi-pronged approach we pursue regulatory reforms, spearhead progressive legislation, educate lawmakers, advocate for private-sector action by major producers and food buyers, educate consumers, and litigate when needed. State policy is a key component of our work.

We now seek a Policy Advocate to expand our advocacy team on the East Coast, with a particular focus on state policy in New York, but with work also anticipated to include advocacy in other states and at the federal level.

Together with other NRDC advocates, scientists and lawyers, the Policy Advocate will:

  • Advance policies to protect public health and improve the food system at the state and national level.
  • Lead policy advocacy in New York. Develop policy ideas and draft legislation, represent NRDC in advocacy coalitions and legislative venues, and coordinate efforts to pass legislation in the New York legislature working with internal teams.
  • Support advocacy in other states through policy development, legislative drafting, and advocacy strategy on issues spanning toxics, food waste and pesticides, and working with internal and external teams to advance policy.
  • Support federal advocacy to reduce the public health threat from pesticides and improve the food system through legislative and administrative vehicles.
  • Pursue the development and implementation of strong regulations including the preparation of comments, petitions and testimony before regulatory bodies.
  • Expand NRDC’s coalition of opinion leaders, medical experts, public interest organizations, business leaders and others, and mobilize coalitions to advance our policy goals.
  • Inform and secure research and analysis needed to support policy advocacy.
  • Craft blogs, written comments, and testimony to educate policymakers, media representatives and consumers about the issues.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for NRDC.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission and values, including a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture.
  • A demonstrated ability to evaluate and draft legislative language; assess, develop, and advance policy solutions; and absorb, synthesize, and utilize complex material to advance policy objectives
  • Four years or more of related work experience, including demonstrated commitment to public interest work.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Excellent project management skills and the ability to meet deadlines and demands for numerous projects in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in teams and interest in working with scientists and policy advocates; ability to work with complex and technical material.
  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of and competency in equity and inclusion, including contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.
  • Ability to work with other advocacy and community groups and people from a wide array of cultures and backgrounds and with varying levels of scientific and technical understanding.
  • A law degree is strongly preferred; masters or other higher degree also considered.
  • Experience with legislative advocacy and working in coalitions
  • Familiarity with the issues of environmental health and toxics is strongly desired.
  • Knowledge of pesticide regulation and agriculture and/or food waste and loss a plus.
NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement.

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries,
excellent benefits , and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and is commensurate with skills and experience. For this position, the salary is $103,500 to $116,000.

As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state and federal laws.

Since March 2020, NRDC’s offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be associated with one of our offices, but until circumstances allow us to re-open, we will continue to support NRDCers with remote working arrangements.

To apply, visit and upload your résumé and cover letter. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs.

If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422.

For more about NRDC, visit