Washington Co-Directors

Location, Washington, DC

The Breakthrough Institute is the nerve center of the ecomodernist movement, a pro-growth, pro-development think tank that advocates technological solutions to environmental problems. This fall, we will open a Washington office to advocate for the licensing and commercialization of advanced nuclear reactors, a doubling of federal agriculture research and development funding to increase environmental productivity on American farms, reform of the federal environmental regulatory regime, and just and equitable international development policies.

Breakthrough is seeking to hire co-directors to lead our Washington office. Strong candidates will bring significant staff experience and strong Republican or Democratic networks in Congress. They will be ecomodernish, if not avowed ecomodernists. They will be pragmatists, able to connect our research and policy analysis to practical efforts in Congress to advance ecomodern policies. They will understand the critical distinction between representing interested parties in policy advocacy that affects their bottom line and being a civil society advocate for the public’s interest in technological innovation to protect the environment (we are the latter). They will care deeply about the environment while rejecting the dogmatism of the institutional environmental movement.

The Washington office co-directors will manage Breakthrough’s political and government affairs related to our major ongoing policy campaigns in the areas of energy innovation, climate-smart agricultural policy, international development finance, and advanced nuclear commercialization. They will work to shape federal spending and policy in ways that accelerate innovation in low-carbon energy technologies, boost agricultural productivity, enable productive public and private investment in low-income countries, and strengthen bipartisan consensus on ecomodernist policy priorities.

This job is an opportunity to build something new and unique on the Washington political landscape and to disrupt our broken politics in at least one domain, environmental policy.

These are senior, full-time positions, based in Washington, DC, reporting to Breakthrough’s executive director.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Manage policy and government affairs staff, currently a team of 5 and growing, in the Washington office and collaborate with research, communications, and operations staff at Breakthrough.

  • Communicate research and its policy implications to the media, policymakers, and partner organizations through multiple channels, including 1-on-1 meetings, presentations, op-eds, and Breakthrough website articles.

  • Cultivate and manage relationships with policymakers, staffers, and other policy analysts and advocates.

  • Cultivate relationships with potential partners, such as individual researchers, research organizations, and advocacy groups.

Required Qualifications

  • 5+ years of experience working in and around Washington, DC policy research, advocacy, and implementation.

  • Broad background knowledge of Breakthrough’s core research and policy interests: energy technology innovation, agricultural research and productivity, international aid and development, and technology regulation.

  • Media relations experience, including popular writing in mainstream media, relationships with leading journalists, and social media acumen.

Preferred Qualifications

  • 10+ years of experience working in and around Washington, DC policy research, advocacy, and implementation.

  • Direct experience engaging with Breakthrough’s network of research and advocacy organizations.

Job Conditions:

Employees are required to report to the office on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and may choose to work from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Additional hours may be required to meet deadlines. Some travel and evening time may be required depending on events, invitations, presentations, meetings, and other job-related work outside of the office.

All employees must receive the full course of vaccinations and booster for COVID-19.


  • Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

  • Excellent health insurance, dental, vision, paid leave, retirement plan, life insurance, disability insurance, professional development support, cell phone reimbursement, and commuter benefits.

Application Instructions:

We encourage you to submit materials as soon as possible, as we will interview and hire on a near-term rolling basis.

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample ONLY to jobs[at]thebreakthrough.org. Please do not submit your application through alternate job sites.

Your email subject should say: <Your Name>: <Open Position You’re Applying For>.

Your email should state how you heard about this position.

Your cover letter should reflect on Breakthrough’s work and how you could contribute.