Manager of State Affairs
Washington, DC Government Affairs


The Cato Institute is seeking applications for a full-time position in Washington, D.C., as a Manager of State Government Affairs. The Manager will work to maintain Cato as a prime source for objective analysis and policy expertise for state policymakers and to ensure that Cato scholars have the access and proper tools needed to help governments across the 50 states develop and advance good policy solutions grounded in the principles of free-markets, limited government, and peace. Reporting to Cato’s Director of State Affairs, the Manager will work closely with the existing state affairs team and appropriate policy scholars to devise and execute engagement strategies for a portfolio of domestic policy issues while building a network of state-based policy contacts and partners.

The Cato Institute is currently offering a hybrid remote work schedule.

About Cato

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization – a think tank – dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.

Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th-century England that presented a vision of a society free from excessive government power. Those essays inspired the architects of the American Revolution. And the simple, timeless principles of that revolution – individual liberty, limited government, and free markets – turn out to be even more powerful in today’s world of global markets and unprecedented access to information than Jefferson or Madison could have imagined. Social and economic freedom is not just the best policy for a free people, it is the indispensable framework for the future.

The Cato Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


  • Build and maintain relationships with policymakers in the legislative and executive branches across the states assigned.
  • Identify, create, and assist with opportunities for Cato scholars to provide testimony, statements for the record, and other high-impact opportunities for Cato scholars.
  • Track and advise Cato scholars and staff on ongoing and emerging dynamics in Congress and the executive branch to ensure Cato’s maximum impact on the policy debate.
  • Engage with state-level think tank partners and develop new relationships to expand Cato's access to state-level decision-makers and educational opportunities.
  • Oversee distribution of Cato scholarship to an audience in state legislative and executive branches.
  • Work with existing state affairs staff to ensure Cato-wide coordination of the Institute’s efforts, including extensive state travel and conference engagements.
  • Exercise exceptional judgment to protect and enhance Cato’s reputation for excellence, integrity, and dedication to principle.
  • 3 to 6 years of issue-management experience in a state legislature, executive agency, or similar experience with a think tank, association, private practice government affairs firm, or like entity.
  • A bachelor’s degree in political science, economics, or related field.
  • A demonstrated appreciation for Cato’s mission and principles.
  • Demonstrated experience with policy analysis and communicating policy positions to external audiences.
  • Excellent project management skills with the ability to carry a project from conception to completion.
  • A passion for free-market, limited government policy, and an ability to articulate the same to a variety of audiences and perspectives.
  • Comprehensive understanding of legislative concepts, rules, procedures, and operations
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with domestic policy areas with specific emphasis on healthcare and immigration


All Cato employees are provided with:

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Employer contribution to a Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Generous vacation and sick days
  • Paid parental leave
  • Employer-provided life and disability insurance 
  • 401(k) employer match
  • Transit/ Parking benefits 
  • Pet discount plan