Job Openings & Internships at AWI

Organization Summary

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 whose mission is to alleviate the suffering caused to animals by people. With headquarters in the Eastern Market district of Washington, DC, AWI employs approximately 27 staff and consultants, with most located at its headquarters and others operating from locations around the country. AWI is program oriented—more than 90 percent of our budget goes to support our programs to protect terrestrial and marine wildlife, farm animals, animals in research, and companion animals via educational programs, strategically crafted campaigns, political advocacy, and engagement with industry, policymakers, scientists, and other NGOs.

Position Summary

AWI is currently seeking a Policy Associate to join the group’s farm animal program team at its Washington, DC headquarters. This position focuses on working within broad-based stakeholder coalitions to promote a higher-welfare, sustainable food system. The position also includes lobbying for stronger farm animal standards by the US Congress, state legislatures, and industry trade associations. The Policy Associate works within the AWI farm animal team to meet the organization’s objectives of eliminating factory farms, supporting higher-welfare farms, and achieving humane transport and slaughter for all farmed animals.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Participate on AWI’s behalf in a variety of stakeholder coalitions to promote a higher-welfare, sustainable food system
  • Advocate for farm animal protection before the US Congress, state legislatures, and administrative agencies
  • Advocate for the adoption of stronger farm animal protection standards by relevant professional organizations and industry trade associations

Additional Responsibilities

  • Develop contacts and avenues of communication among agriculture industry officials, government officials, and other NGOs
  • Draft, revise, and/or update reports and other publications
  • Draft, revise, and/or update website content
  • Participate in farm animal program planning and priority setting
  • Represent AWI at hearings, meetings, and events
  • Represent AWI in interviews with the media, as directed
  • Supervise interns and volunteers


  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in relevant field; advanced degree in law, public policy, or animal science a plus

Skills and Experience

  • Degree in relevant field, including law, public policy, political science, and/or animal science
  • An understanding of and passion for farm animal welfare issues
  • Knowledge of federal and state policy-making process preferred
  • Strong written and verbal communication and public speaking skills
  • Ability to work well both independently and within a team
  • Ability to coordinate activities within coalitions composed of various stakeholders
  • Ability to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously

Reports to

Director, Farm Animal Program

Job Location

Washington, DC. Remote working will not be considered for this position. Occasional travel to meetings and conferences required.

Salary and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with experience and abilities. Benefits include employer-paid medical, prescription, and dental insurance, employee-paid vision insurance, 401(k) with employer match, paid leave, on-site parking, and IRS commuter benefit program.

To apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample that is predominantly your own work (white paper or report, op-ed, regulatory comment, sign-on letter, or administrative rulemaking petition are preferred writing samples) to, “Attn: Farm Animal Policy Associate.” The position will remain open until filled. No telephone calls, please.

Download a pdf of the posting here.



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 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.

The internship is located in our Capitol Hill office and is unpaid. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and writing sample to Erin Thompson at The application period for the summer of 2019 period has closed. Applications for all other terms (fall, winter and spring) are accepted throughout the year.

AWI offers on-site internships every fall, spring, and summer for persons enthusiastic about our work to protect wildlife, both terrestrial and aquatic. We also accept several off-site/remote interns on an ongoing basis.

Applicants must be willing to assist with a myriad of wildlife and marine mammal law and policy issues, including but not limited to drafting legal analyses, public comments, Endangered Species Act listing petitions and legal memos. Projects are diverse; most are ideal for a law school student but students pursuing Masters programs in scientific and/or public policy fields are also encouraged to apply.

To better acquaint yourself with AWI’s work before applying, please visit our wildlife program section. Interested applicants should send their cover letter and resume to Johanna Hamburger at Please specify the term you are seeking to intern for (i.e. Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring) and whether you are interested in an on-site or remote internship when you apply. The application period for Summer 2019 is now closed.

Law students: 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. Please indicate whether you are a 1, 2, or 3L when you apply.

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

Part-time or full-time intern(s) needed to assist with updating our popular on-line database of restaurants across the US that sell shark fin soup and other shark products ( We are seeking an intern to ensure the list is accurate and up to date. The work will entail online research and telephone calls to restaurants, data entry, and possibly some website maintenance work. Training will be given for all aspects of the work. The ideal candidate will have excellent organizational skills and be detail-oriented. Fluency in English is essential. An ability to speak Mandarin and/or Cantonese is preferred. Knowledge of Microsoft Office programs such as Outlook and Excel is required. Please contact for more information, and to apply with resume and cover letter.


Last Updated: July 2019