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  Program Officer, Policy Reform Job viewed 353 times.
  Job Description

This position will be based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

About FIRE

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on our nation’s college campuses. Please visit to gain a sense of our work and mission.

Position Description

The Program Officer, Policy Reform will assist FIRE’s Vice President of Policy Reform with the program’s core objectives, including working with university students, faculty members, and administrators to adopt institutional policy statements on freedom of expression and to revise campus speech codes. The position will involve advancing these objectives in a number of ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Engaging in outreach to university students, faculty members, and administrators to encourage adoption of free speech policy statements modeled after the University of Chicago’s “Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression” (better known as the “Chicago Statement”);
  • Writing letters to colleges and universities to encourage adoption of the Chicago Statement;
  • Working with students, faculty members, and administrators to revise campus speech codes restricting student and faculty expression;
  • Writing letters to colleges and universities to explain the First Amendment issues raised by campus speech codes and detailing how the policies can be improved to protect free speech rights;
  • Reviewing and editing letters and memoranda written by attorneys in the Policy Reform program;
  • Speaking with reporters, including student journalists, about free speech issues on campus.

In addition to the responsibilities related to the Policy Reform program, the position will contribute to FIRE’s advocacy in a number of respects, including, but not limited to:

  • Assisting with the production of amicus curiae briefs in conjunction with other FIRE attorneys;
  • Working with FIRE attorneys to review and edit forthcoming legal scholarship related to the organization’s work and mission;
  • Writing blog posts about FIRE’s casework, speech code analysis, and legal topics related to the organization’s mission;
  • Reviewing and editing blog posts written by staff members prior to publication.

This position will be supervised by the Vice President of Policy Reform and overseen by the Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Advocacy.

The hours for this position are customary business hours. Work on weekends and evenings is envisioned to be minimal but may be necessary from time to time.

The expected start date for this position will be August 16, 2017.


A successful candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school;
  • Demonstrated competence in public advocacy;
  • Demonstrated commitment to FIRE’s mission;
  • Superior written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent research and organizational skills;
  • Ability to proficiently use the Internet as a research tool, including specialized research tools such as LexisNexis or Westlaw;
  • Ability to work independently.

Candidates must demonstrate a full and complete understanding of FIRE’s mission and be willing to advocate for the principles contained within that mission.

Salary and Compensation

Starting salary is negotiable and depends upon experience and education level. FIRE conducts periodic evaluations where employees may receive raises or bonuses for outstanding work. FIRE also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes employer-paid comprehensive health, dental, and life insurance, a Section 125 Flexible Spending Account option, matching retirement contributions, and a generous paid time off plan.


Applicants should provide a resume, cover letter, writing sample, salary requirements, and contact information for at least two professional references. All applications are confidential. Please address applications to Peyton Cudaback, Director of Human Resources. Applications can be emailed to

FIRE is an equal opportunity employer.

  Metro Area Philadelphia PA
  Job Location City Philadelphia
  Job Location State Pennsylvania
  Job Category Activism and Organizing, Advocacy, Legal, Public Policy, Research
  Prefered Experience 2 year(s)
  Job Type Full time
  Job Posting Date Jun. 22, 2017

Organization Details

  Organization Name Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
  Organizational Focus Human Rights and Civil Liberties
  Contact Person Peyton Cudaback
  Contact Phone none posted
  Contact Fax none posted
  Contact Email
  Web Address

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