Program Associate, Liberty and National Security Program

Washington D.C., DC
Full Time
Entry Level

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve the systems of democracy and justice in the United States. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. Among our core priorities, we fight to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, strengthen checks and balances, and preserve constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them — in Congress and the states, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion.  

The Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program works to advance effective national security policies that respect the rule of law and constitutional values. Our current program priorities include ensuring that Congress and the courts serve their constitutional role as a check on executive power in the area of national security; reforming emergency powers to strengthen safeguards against abuse; ending racial, religious, and ethnic profiling in counterterrorism policies; bolstering First and Fourth Amendment protections in the digital age; promoting targeted and effective responses to far-right violence; and enhancing transparency, oversight, and accountability for intelligence and law enforcement agencies. 

The Program Associate will be responsible for performing research, operational, and administrative duties that are central to the program’s ability to achieve key goals. This position will report primarily to the Managing Director of the Liberty and National Security Program in the Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C. office, but will be assigned to work with a variety of team members as needed.  

Note: The Brennan Center operates on a hybrid schedule, with employees currently required to work in the office a minimum of three days per week. The schedule and number of in-office required days is subject to change. This position is based in our Washington, D.C. office. 

Responsibilities:  

  • Providing research, writing, fact-checking, and proofreading assistance to support preparation of articles, speeches, reports, op-eds, blog posts, and other organizational materials, with opportunities for named authorship. 

  • Supporting media engagement by assisting with research, talking points, and preparation of explanatory materials.  

  • Providing broad logistical support and assistance in managing the day-to-day operations of the program, including internal and external meetings, board reports, expense reports and invoices, travel arrangements, scheduling and calendaring, and team events and logistics with accuracy and timeliness.   

  • Planning, tracking, prioritizing, and providing progress reports on tasks and projects. 

  • Providing administrative support for publications, convenings, public records requests, and other projects.  

  • Taking on special projects and other duties as assigned. 

  • Working collaboratively, respectfully, and productively with internal and external constituents and stakeholders. 


Experience and qualifications: 

  • A bachelor’s degree and at least one year of work experience are required. (Because this is an entry-level position, we will not consider lawyers or individuals with advanced degrees.) 

  • Extremely attentive to detail, as well as accuracy, timeliness, and organization. 

  • Drive and ability to take initiative, anticipate needs and solve problems, and complete tasks and projects with a high degree of focus and independence.  

  • Strong ability to manage time and successfully multi-task in a deadline-driven environment. 

  • Exceptional research, analytic, and writing skills.  

  • Interest in relevant issues including national and homeland security, civil liberties, and civil rights, and enthusiasm for the work of the Liberty and National Security Program. 

  • A high degree of professionalism, integrity, discretion, and tact. 

  • Openness to receiving and implementing feedback, and to accepting strategic direction from organizational management. 

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the desire and ability to build positive working relationships with colleagues within and external to the organization. 

  • Proficiency in MS Office including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Adobe, and an ability to become proficient with legal and congressional research tools.  


The Brennan Center is committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace. We continuously work with our staff to find new ways to increase diversity and to build and cultivate an inclusive and equitable work environment, where everyone can be their true self and feel a strong sense of belonging. As such, we seek to hire employees who have a commitment to and/or experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, we expect employees to participate in/contribute to DEI initiatives or activities with respect to recruitment, retention, and workplace culture.  

Position Start Date: May 2024  

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage interested applicants to apply early, as the position will be filled once a qualified candidate is found.  

Application Instructions  
To apply, visit [>>this link<<].  Please upload the following application materials: resume, cover letter, writing sample up to 10 pages (ideally one that demonstrates your analytical abilities), and contact information for three references. Please include all work experience on your resume, even if it isn’t relevant to this position (i.e., cashier, host, etc.). If applicable, include internet hyperlinks to authored writing samples.  Also, identify where you saw this ad.    

Please, no phone calls or faxes; it is strongly preferred that you apply on our website. If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: [email protected] with “Program Associate, Liberty and National Security Program” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.  

Salary: This is a scaled position. The salary assigned for the scale is $56,000 - $69,500 and has been determined based on market competitiveness. Each salary in the scale is determined by the number of years of professional experience after the selected candidate graduated from undergraduate school. Additionally, we offer a very robust and competitive array of benefits such as a generous time off program, 401k plan, comprehensive health insurance (medical, dental, and vision), and wellness and office perks. 

In addition, this position is part of a bargaining unit represented by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW local 2320. 

Note: The Brennan Center is committed to public health and to the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and visitors. As such, we have adopted a policy requiring all employees working in the New York and Washington, DC offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19, including having a booster, or to meet the legal guidelines for an exemption.  

The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center

  • Welcomes applicants with disabilities and applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities, sexual orientations, and national origin or citizenship, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
  • Hires diverse candidates and works to improve our recruitment practices to allow for such
  • Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged;
  • Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and
  • Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.
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