Manager of External Affairs

The Cato Institute is seeking applications for a Manager of External Affairs. Reporting to the Director of External Affairs, this newly created position will assist the Director with growing Cato’s relationships with relevant external stakeholders who are active in policy debates. The Manager will work closely with the Government Affairs team to creatively expand our event and outreach efforts with policymakers and staff, including successfully expanding The Cato Institute’s Congressional Fellowship Program into a year-long, four-cohort effort.  

This is a hybrid position in Washington, DC.

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.


  • Establish and maintain relationships with active participants in policy discussions, including but not limited to foreign embassies, academic institutions, think tanks, trade associations, U.S. policymakers/staff, and private sector participants.
  • The successful expansion of the Cato Institute’s Congressional Fellowship Program into a year-long, four-cohort effort.
  • Create and execute new, innovative events to attract external stakeholders, policymakers, staff, and others to interact with Cato policy experts.
  • Work closely with Government Affairs and Communication staff to ensure Cato-wide coordination of the Institute’s efforts.
  • At least 3-5 years of experience working in an external outreach position, such as coalition development, government affairs, communications, event planning, or related fields.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field.
  • A demonstrated appreciation for Cato’s mission and principles.
  • Comprehensive understanding of external stakeholders who are active in government policy debates and a history of outreach to different types of institutions and individuals.
  • Innovative, creative thinking with knowledge of creating events of various sizes and target audiences.
  • Detail-oriented with strong administration and execution skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and an outgoing personality.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong work ethic with an enthusiastic, positive attitude.


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