Senior Researcher and WriterCommunications Intern 

(Please note we are no longer accepting applications for this position.)

Senior Researcher and Writer — Washington, D.C., or Portland, Maine

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national research and advocacy organization working to reverse today’s extreme levels of corporate concentration and advance policies to rebuild the economic capacity of local communities. We use in-depth research, reporting, and data analysis to produce influential reports and articles. Our work illuminates the public policy decisions that have fueled concentration at the expense of local businesses and working people, and shows how we can change the rules to create a more equitable and democratic future. Our analysis is frequently featured in national news media and sought out by policymakers. We work closely with a broad range of allies to move these ideas and policies.

ILSR is looking for an experienced Senior Researcher and Writer to join a small team within ILSR focused on checking the power of dominant corporations and leveling the playing field for local businesses. See the initiative homepage for the team’s recent work on Amazon, dollar stores, banking, community pharmacies, and more. This position can be based in Washington, D.C., or Portland, Maine.


  • Researching and reporting on a broad range of topics and policy issues that are relevant to the Initiative’s goals. (30% of time)
  • Writing compelling articles, reports, policy guides, and other pieces. (20%)
  • Providing editorial support for the Initiative’s work, including proofreading, checking for style, design, and copyediting. (10%)
  • Providing communications support for the Initiative, including helping to prepare media releases, pitches, and newsletters. (15%)
  • Monitoring news and legislative developments on key issues and responding to them in a timely manner. (10%)
  • Supporting the Initiative’s outreach and engagement with allied organizations, policymakers, and grassroots groups. (10%)
  • Administrative tasks (5%).


  • An excellent writer and communicator with the ability to synthesize and convey complex ideas in a clear and compelling way.
  • An exceptionally strong researcher who can spot and follow leads, identify the pivotal questions, track down sources in popular, academic, and industry media, and develop an insightful analysis.
  • Scrupulously attentive to accuracy, detail, and nuance.
  • Passionate about the ILSR’s mission of countering corporate monopolies and building community power.
  • Ready to promote ILSR’s work to legislators, the media, and others through interviews, technical assistance, public speaking, and podcasts.
  • A skilled time manager with the ability to manage both long- and short-term deadlines.


  • At least three years of experience in journalism, writing and editing at think tank, or related field.
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Understanding and engagement with public policy and economic issues, the legislative process, and grassroots movements.

This position is full-time, based in Portland, Maine, or Washington, D.C. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Position includes 100% employer-paid health plan (you pay no premiums); generous vacation, holiday, and parental leave; and a retirement plan with a matching contribution. We are a dynamic and friendly team dedicated to making the world a better place. ILSR takes professional growth seriously.

Applications are welcome from a broad range of applicants. ILSR is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability. ILSR is committed to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions are made without regard to age, race, color, religion or belief, gender identification, family or parental status.

How to Apply: 

Please send a cover letter addressed to Stacy Mitchell, résumé, and two writing samples reflecting your original work to The cover letter should be no longer than 400 words, and include mention of how you learned about the position. The writing samples no longer than 1,000 words each (excerpts of longer pieces are welcome). Please submit all of these materials as a single PDF. The subject line of the email should say “Application for Senior Researcher and Writer.” Applications will be accepted through October 13th. Check ILSR’s website for updated information.


Communications Assistant (Fall 2019 Internship) — Washington, D.C.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance  is looking for a paid “Communications Assistant” intern who will be managed directly by the Communications Manager to implement and support ILSR’s communications plan in ILSR’s Washington D.C. office. The internship is available to undergraduate students, graduate students, and young professionals who can commit to 20 hours per week.

This  internship is paid $15/hour.

Term of internship: Mid September 2019 – Mid December 2019 (these terms are negotiable, given school schedule and/or other commitments).


  • Assist in marketing ILSR’s content on Facebook, Twitter, & email newsletters.
  • Assist in monitoring and maintaining ILSR’s social media accounts.
  • Market our podcasts and research podcast promotion strategies
  • Pull clips of news stories relating to our various initiatives for bi-weekly media roundups and sharing on social media.
  • Research contact information for media, organizations and individuals to further the work of our various initiatives.
  • Learn about the work of all of our initiatives and assist in brainstorming ways to improve media strategies with the Communications Manager.
  • Other projects as assigned.


  • Must demonstrate effective writing and speaking skills.
  • Excellent proofreading and editing skills.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Interest in learning from others on a variety of subjects.
  • Computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google Drive required [Experience with Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, or similar software is a plus but not required]
  • Passion for our work!


Please submit all materials listed below to Hibba Meraay ( by Monday, August 26, 2019.

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Professional References

ILSR is an Equal Opportunity Employer