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Policy Director, Berkeley Food Institute (7398U), College of Natural Resources - 67853

University of California, Berkeley
San Francisco

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Policy Director, Berkeley Food Institute (7398U), College of Natural Resources - 67853 About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

At UC Berkeley, we believe that learning is a fundamental part of working, and our goal is for everyone on the Berkeley campus to feel supported and equipped to realize their full potential. We actively support this by providing all of our staff employees with at least 80 hours (10 days) of paid time per year to engage in professional development activities. To find out more about how you can grow your career at UC Berkeley, visit

Departmental Overview

The Berkeley Food Institute strives to transform food systems to expand access to healthy, affordable food and promote sustainable and equitable food production. We empower new leaders with the capacity to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems.

BFI connects eight academic units: College of Natural Resources, Graduate School of Journalism, Goldman School of Public Policy, School of Public Health, College of Environmental Design, Haas School of Business, Berkeley Law, and the College of Letters and Sciences, Division of Social Sciences. These academic units on the campus have partnered to create an interdisciplinary institute serving both UC Berkeley students and the general public. We run programs in food systems education and public interest policy, and sponsor and perform rigorous scientific and community-based research. We partner with farms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, food and agriculture businesses, other universities and advocacy organizations to understand our changing food system and provide data and evidence-based storytelling in four mission areas: urban and rural agroecology, good food access, fair and healthy jobs, and racial equity in the food system.

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: Thursday, May 2, 2024

  • Identify and track relevant research undertaken at UC Berkeley that can inform local, state, and federal food and agricultural policy issues.
  • When possible, attend virtual or in-person events related to faculty director or affiliate faculty research relevant to BFI mission areas.
  • Collaborate with BFI staff on programs, events, or publications - both on and off campus - that connect to policy education, implementation, and policy-related technical assistance to advance equitable and sustainable food and agricultural systems. These collaborations should advance BFI's mission and vision, including BFI's focus on racial equity, strengthen other programmatic efforts within BFI, and catalyze future policy relationships.
  • Develop and draft policy briefs on priority issues related to equitable and sustainable food and agricultural systems, coordinating with BFI faculty directors or affiliate faculty, BFI staff, or relevant partners.
  • Develop methods to consistently and effectively communicate and disseminate written materials and other policy news to key policy stakeholders and other contacts, as well as update and maintain the Policy program pages of the BFI website in partnership with the BFI Communications Coordinator.
  • Design, develop, and deliver presentations on relevant policy issues for relevant groups/audiences.
  • Respond to relevant policy questions from BFI faculty directors and affiliate faculty and staff, and stakeholders, including media, requests for collaboration, student funding requests and assist in other BFI communication functions related to policy issues.
  • Monitor federal, state, and local policy and regulatory issues regarding food and agricultural systems.
  • Identify important emerging policy issues, and identify related research needs.
  • Attend and participate in public hearings and congressional/agency meetings (in Sacramento, CA and Washington, DC) to understand and contribute to critical policy issues in food and agricultural systems, including policy impacts on underserved communities.
  • Synthesize and communicate summaries of critical policy issues and/or meetings with external constituents to BFI staff and relevant faculty affiliates, to help stimulate new needed research.
  • Explore opportunities for collaborative activities and/or funding with government agencies, scientific societies, and nongovernmental organizations and networks (such as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Nourish CA, California Climate and Agriculture Network), UCB Government Relations Team, and UC Berkeley graduate programs with client-focused graduation requirement (thesis, capstone, Individual Policy Analysis).
  • Help identify policy-related research needs as prioritized by community partners.
  • Help develop grant and funding applications focused on policy issues.
  • Develop contact lists of people at state/national/international levels who should be target audiences and provide advice and input to BFI.
  • Meet with and support UC Berkeley students who have interests in food and agricultural policy.

Required Qualifications
  • At least 3 years of experience working on food and agricultural policy issues at the state and/or federal levels, including experience with policymaking process and policy analysis, writing, and research on food and agricultural issues.
  • Written and verbal communication skills, especially the ability to synthesize and summarize complex information.
  • Skills in interpersonal communications, tact, and political acumen to effectively represent the campus and the Berkeley Food Institute.
  • Experience in public speaking, communication, and connecting with a range of cultural communities and people at meetings and conferences.
  • Research, analytical, and critical thinking skills, including sound judgment and decision- making skills and skills to correctly identify real and potential problems, advising management as required, and proposing effective strategic resolutions.
  • Collaboration and interpersonal skills for building and maintaining constructive relations with diverse internal and external constituencies.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team on multiple projects.
  • Knowledge of and/or ability to learn about the campus, its mission, goals, objectives, programs, achievements, infrastructure, and issues of concern.
  • Ability to work independently and to foresee, identify, design and/or recommend solutions to needs, issues, and/or problems in the position's areas of responsibility.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and set priorities.
  • Knowledge of computer/software technology; knowledge of social networking platforms preferred.
  • Ability to travel occasionally by ground and air.

  • Bachelor's degree in public policy, public administration, political science, law, food systems analysis, or other relevant areas / or equivalent experience/training.

Salary & Benefits

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University, please visit the University of California's Compensation & Benefits website.

Under California law, the University of California, Berkeley is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role and should not offer a salary outside of the range posted in this job announcement. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, analysis of internal equity, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience.

The budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position is $70,100.00 - $97,400.00.
  • This is a 100%, full-time (40 hours per week), career position that is eligible for full UC benefits.
  • This position is exempt and paid monthly.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter.

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Mandated Reporter

This position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter required to report the observed or suspected abuse or neglect of children, dependent adults, or elders to designated law enforcement or social service agencies. We reserve the right to make employment contingent upon completion of signed statements acknowledging the responsibilities of a Mandated Reporter.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant, please see the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission poster.

The University of California's Affirmative action policy.

The University of California's Anti-Discrimination policy.

To apply, visit

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