Job Openings and Internships


Science and Policy Advisor, Terrestrial Wildlife Program

Position Summary
AWI seeks a full-time Science and Policy Advisor to join our Terrestrial Wildlife Program team. The Advisor’s role will be to use science and the law to develop and implement policy strategies to protect terrestrial wildlife. The Advisor will work closely with the Program’s attorneys and wildlife biologist, as well as with other advocacy groups, to advance the Program’s efforts at local, state, national, and international levels. The Program’s top priorities are protecting threatened and endangered species and their habitats, opposing cruel methods of wildlife management that are not based on sound science, advocating for humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, and addressing unsustainable global wildlife trade and other activities that harm wildlife. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Identify and engage in opportunities to protect terrestrial wildlife through federal and state regulatory mechanisms, legislation, and litigation.
  • Research and draft a variety of documents, including comments on agency rulemaking notices, rulemaking petitions, federal and state listing petitions, reports and other informational materials, public records requests, environmental and other technical analyses, coalition letters, and other policy-related documents.
  • Conduct scientific literature reviews and analyze published scientific studies, identify and assess scientific issues, and use scientific data to support program goals and to write persuasively about scientific concepts.
  • Participate in some tasks involved in complex litigation, including issue identification, factual investigation, and other pre-litigation work, and engage in discovery and coordination of expert reports and testimony.
  • Support AWI’s government affairs staff by drafting and reviewing state and federal legislation, engaging with policymakers, and providing expert testimony before the US Congress, state legislatures, and administrative agencies.
  • Represent AWI at meetings, hearings, conferences, and other events. Some travel will be necessary to fulfill this responsibility.
  • Engage in a wide range of activities related to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  • Draft action alerts, press releases, op-eds, educational materials, social media posts, website content, donor updates, and AWI Quarterly magazine articles highlighting AWI’s wildlife protection campaigns.
  • Along with other members of the Terrestrial Wildlife Program team, act as a media contact for wildlife issues.
  • Communicate and collaborate with AWI’s Scientific and International Committees.
  • Develop contacts and communicate with government officials, NGOs, scientists, and other experts.


  • A bachelor’s degree in conservation biology, wildlife biology, ecology, or a related field is required. An advanced degree in one of these fields is preferred.
  • An advanced degree in policy, law, or a related field is preferred.

Skills and Experience

  • A minimum of three years of relevant experience.
  • Experience using a broad suite of advocacy tools, including drafting federal and state administrative rulemakings and petitions, developing legislative policy, and engaging in various stages of litigation. 
  • Experience analyzing complex scientific and technical documents and researching, synthesizing, and presenting scientific information and policy issues to a wide range of audiences.  
  • Exceptional research, writing, and communication skills.
  • Excellent oral advocacy skills, including public speaking experience.
  • Strong working knowledge of the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Administrative Procedures Act, Freedom of Information Act, and other federal and state laws that protect terrestrial wildlife.
  • Demonstrated commitment to AWI’s mission and to public interest work, including the preservation of wildlife and prevention of animal suffering. 
  • Knowledge of CITES issues and processes.
  • Knowledge of issues impacting terrestrial wildlife in the United States and globally.
  • Working knowledge of scientific concepts relevant to the conservation and protection of wildlife, such as trophic cascades, predator-prey dynamics, the impacts of climate change, and the physiological effects of traps and poisons.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and think creatively to develop new projects and campaigns.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize a heavy workload, work independently as well as part of a team, and work under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and maintain relationships and communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders and policymakers influencing wildlife conservation, including other NGOs, state and federal government officials and staff, and legislators and their staff.
  • Ability to multitask and manage short- and long-term deadlines.
  • Strong work ethic and sound judgment.
  • Strong attention to detail, as well as problem-solving skills.
  • Strong computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Ability to work effectively with a diversity of people, cultures, and constituencies.

Job Location
The position may be located either on-site at AWI’s headquarters in Washington, DC, or in a remote location elsewhere in the United States. 

Salary and Benefits
Salary is commensurate with experience and abilities, as well as the employee’s work location and its respective cost of living. We offer an excellent benefits package, including employer-paid medical, prescription, and dental insurance, employee-paid vision insurance, 401(k) with employer match, and paid time off policy. For employees located in Washington, DC, on-site parking and an IRS commuter benefit program is provided.

To Apply
Please submit the following materials to, “Attn: Science and Policy Advisor”: (1) cover letter, including an explanation of your interests in wildlife protection and your motivation to work in this position and the public interest field; (2) resume; (3) two writing samples that are predominantly your own work (rulemaking comments, petitions, and reports are preferred writing samples); and (4) three to five professional references.

Deadline for Applications and Application Process
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. The position will remain posted and open until filled. No telephone calls, please.


In order to broaden the scope of representation in the animal protection movement and make participation in AWI’s intern program accessible to all, beginning in the summer of 2021, AWI will offer a limited number of paid summer internships to students who demonstrate need or special circumstances warranting support. Learn more about how to apply here.

All internships will be remote until further notice.

Marine Life Legal Intern

AWI’s marine life program is currently looking for a part-time remote legal intern to engage in and assist with various research projects. Applicants must be willing to assist with a myriad of captive and wild marine life law and policy issues, including but not limited to researching case law and drafting legal analyses, public comments, and legal memos. The intern will have the opportunity to work with AWI’s legal, scientific and policy staff.

To better acquaint yourself with AWI’s work before applying, please read more here. Interested applicants should send their cover letter and resume to Georgia Hancock at (Due to the volume of applicants, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Thanks for your understanding.)

Preference will go to second and third year law students involved in relevant law reviews and law journals and those that have taken or are currently enrolled in any of the following courses: Environmental Law/Litigation/Clinic, Administrative Law, Ocean and Coastal Law, Animal Law, International Environmental Law, Wildlife Law and/or related coursework. Please indicate whether you are a 2L or 3L when you apply.

Communications Intern

AWI seeks a Communications intern every fall, spring, and summer. This is a great opportunity for undergraduate or graduate students majoring in Communications, Journalism, Marketing, or Public Relations looking to gain communications experience in a non-profit setting. Interns focus on content creation, media monitoring, media database management, and social media strategy development, and report to both Social Media and Communications Coordinator Sydney Hearst and Public Relations Manager Margie Fishman.

The ideal candidate is a strong writer and communicator who is organized and has the ability to multitask. Although not required, search engine optimization skills and/or an interest in digital communications across multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), as well as iPhone video skills, are preferable.

Interns may work full-time or part-time and can arrange to receive course credit. The internship is located in our Capitol Hill office and is unpaid. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to Sydney Hearst at When applying, please specify the term you are seeking to intern for (i.e., Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring).

AWI seeks two legislative interns every fall, spring, and summer. This is a great opportunity for law students, political science students, or anyone with a passion for making a difference in the lives of animals. Interns will assist our government and legal affairs staff in maintaining updated Hill contact lists, delivering documents to and attend meetings with Congressional offices and assisting staff in research; as well as miscellaneous tasks of an administrative nature. No specific academic major is required; however, preferred candidates will have a strong work ethic and be willing to take on any project. Interns may work full-time or part-time and can arrange to receive course credit. Please submit a resume and cover letter, stating why you wish to become an advocate for animals to Nancy Blaney at These positions are located in our Capitol Hill office and are unpaid.

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) works to reduce animal suffering and promote the welfare of all animals, including animals in agriculture. As a part of our mission, we promote humane farming systems and work to advance legislative and regulatory efforts to improve the conditions of farm animals.

Farm animal interns have the opportunity to learn more about advocacy efforts to protect farm animals. Potential responsibilities include research and writing, tracking legislation and regulations, and drafting public policy comments. Projects will cover a range of factory farming issues; the intern will support AWI in its efforts to eliminate harmful on-farm practices, improve conditions during long-distance transport, encourage humane handling at slaughter, and educate the public regarding the meaning of welfare-related claims on food products. The ideal candidate will have a genuine interest in animal welfare and a background in law, public policy, or animal science.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and writing sample to Erin Sutherland at Please specify the semester you are seeking to intern for (i.e. Summer, Fall, or Spring). The farm animal program’s Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 internships have been filled. Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis for Spring 2022. All internships will be remote until further notice. Internships are generally unpaid. However, students accepted for a summer position are encouraged to apply for AWI’s Paid Internship Program.

AWI offers on-site and remote internships every fall, spring, and summer to qualified students who have interest and experience in protecting wildlife. Interns assist with a variety of wildlife law and policy issues, such as conducting legal research, drafting legal memoranda, commenting on federal and state rulemaking proposals, and assisting with litigation matters. Projects may cover a range of issues, including threatened and endangered species, international wildlife trade, hunting and trapping regulations, and wild horses and burros, among other issues.

Interested applicants should send their cover letter, resume, and a writing sample that has not been edited by anyone other than yourself to Johanna Hamburger at Please specify the following in your application: (1) the semester you are seeking to intern for (i.e. Summer, Fall, or Spring); (2) whether you are interested in a remote position or an on-site position at our Capitol Hill office; and (3) whether you are a 1, 2, or 3L. Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis for remote positions for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022.

Preference will go to students that have taken or are currently enrolled in any of the following courses: Environmental Law/Litigation/Clinic, Administrative Law, Animal Law, International Environmental Law, Wildlife Law, Public Lands & Resources Law, and/or related coursework. For our summer positions, 2Ls are strongly preferred. However, 1Ls with exceptional prior work experience will be considered. Although most projects are best suited for law school students, students enrolled in Masters programs in scientific and/or public policy fields are also encouraged to apply. Internships are generally unpaid. However, students accepted for a summer position are encouraged to apply for AWI’s Paid Internship Program.

Interns, part-time or full-time, needed to assist with developing and maintaining Animals and Family Violence Program databases, such as the Safe Havens for Pets of Domestic Violence Victims national database. Animals and family violence interns may also conduct computer research related to training efforts and legislative and policy initiatives, e.g., on pet protection orders, cross-reporting between animal and human services agencies, and related matters.

Internships are not paid; interns do not have to work from the AWI office; hours are negotiable, as is length of service. For further information, please contact Mary Lou Randour at

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