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Associate Director, External Affairs (DC)

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI) is a community of scholars, journalists, activists, and civic leaders who are united by a shared commitment to advancing economic opportunity, individual liberty, and the rule of law in America and its great cities.

MI’s External Affairs team is responsible for managing the organization’s government relations, coalition building, and outreach work. This includes organizing educational briefings with and providing technical policy guidance for lawmakers at all levels of government, consulting on polling and public affairs projects aimed at advancing the work of MI scholars, and managing strategic efforts that involve liaising with other think tanks, grassroots organizations, and other institutions. External Affairs staff work directly with MI scholars such as Heather Mac DonaldGlenn LouryIlya ShapiroChristopher RufoBrian Riedl, Allison Schrager, and Rafael Mangual.

About the Role

The Associate Director, External Affairs (DC), will have a strategic outreach portfolio which focuses heavily on emerging economic policy debates in Congress and across the federal government. This position demands a personable, highly organized individual with excellent communication skills, a go-getter mentality, a deep interest in current events, and relevant subject matter experience. A keen interest in – and understanding of – matters of monetary, fiscal, and regulatory policy is essential. Candidates should also have an informed interest in policy areas – such as immigration, housing, and energy – with direct economic implications. The Associate Director, External Affairs (DC) will serve as a spokesperson for MI and a trusted liaison between MI scholars and lawmakers in the nation’s capital. The role requires strong writing abilities and affords the opportunity to publish commentary and analysis in outlets like MI’s City Journal.


Include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop and execute MI’s DC outreach strategy for economic policy and related matters in consultation with the Director of External Affairs and the institute’s senior staff.
  • Ensure that policy proposals recommended by MI scholars are communicated effectively to relevant lawmakers and staffers on the Hill and across the federal government through strategic policy briefings, testimonies, public events, and working groups.
  • Represent MI at coalition meetings, conferences, and other events in Washington, D.C. and across the country.
  • Develop strategic relationships with lawmakers in Washington and facilitate educational meetings between these officials, their staffs, and MI scholars.
  • Brief political candidates from across the ideological spectrum on economic policy matters.
  • Keep abreast of major economic policy debates happening in Congress, major news publications, academia, and think tanks.
  • Monitor and flag articles, legislation, hearings, and regulatory developments relevant to MI’s economic policy work.
  • Synthesize findings from larger MI reports for internal and external stakeholders in various formats (one-pagers, briefing books, emails, databases, etc.)
  • Identify and cultivate new coalition partners in Washington.
  • Assist in maintaining and updating department databases.
  • Watch, take notes, and summarize relevant hearings in Congress and other industry events.


  • 5-8 years of relevant experience on Capitol Hill or in coalitions, external affairs, government relations, policy research, or communications/journalism is required.
  • Specialized interest or background in economic policy.
  • Outstanding writing skills.
  • The ability to manage multiple projects and meet assignment deadlines in a busy environment.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and organizational capability.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills, both in person and remotely.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to act as an ambassador for MI with leading public policy experts and elected officials.
  • Desire to work in support of the MI mission.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.

This role will be based in the Washington D.C. area with occasional travel to MI’s offices in New York City and conferences/events around the country.

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