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Special Assistant, LNS Program

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. Among our core priorities, we fight to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, strengthen checks and balances, and preserve Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them — in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.

The Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program works to advance effective national security policies that respect constitutional values and the rule of law. The program’s goals include making national security policy more transparent and accountable; shoring up constitutional checks and balances; and ensuring that counterterrorism policies are narrowly targeted to the terrorist threat, rather than sweeping too broadly or relying on religious profiling.

Note: Please review and follow application instructions at the end of the posting.

Position Summary:

We seek an energetic, motivated, well-organized individual to provide the Co-Directors of the Liberty and National Security Program with administrative support, as well as occasional research assistance. The Special Assistant will work closely with the Co-Directors in all aspects of their roles at the Brennan Center and will play a central role in the daily functioning of the program. Although the work will be primarily administrative, the Special Assistant should expect substantive research opportunities as well. S/he will work closely with the Program Co-Directors to address key legal and policy issues in this critical historical moment, while also helping to keep the entire program organized and on-task.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Supporting and working closely with Program Co-Directors on all aspects of program management, including coordinating program meetings, compiling and editing quarterly board reports, planning and executing program events, filing expense reports, and creating management systems for the program
  • Managing the Program Co-Directors' schedule and travel arrangements
  • Coordinating key strategic projects and meetings
  • Providing ad-hoc research assistance to the Program Co-Directors
  • Communicating with external constituents, including allies, donors, and the media
  • Organizing inter-department initiatives with Communication and Development teams, in addition to other programs within the organization
  • Providing research, drafting, editing, and/or proofreading support for the Co-Directors' public presentations, op-eds, articles, reports, and other writings
  • Completing time-sensitive research or other requests for the Co-Directors as they arise, particularly in response to media requests, as well as assisting in amplifying the program’s social media reach
  • General administrative support including filing, drafting correspondence, and answering and screening incoming emails

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Keen attention to detail and an ability to multi-task as well as self-start and complete projects with little supervision
  • Ability to take the lead and delegate tasks as needed in a deadline-driven environment
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Experience in and enthusiasm for politics, research, and/or nonprofit management
  • An interest in the issues worked on by the Liberty and National Security Program
  • A high level of professionalism and confidence
  • A high degree of integrity, discretion and tact
  • An openness to evolving responsibilities and a sense of humor are a must
  • An ability to build positive working relationships
  • A bachelor’s degree and 1-2 years of work experience
  • Proficiency in MS Office including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Salary: Commensurate with experience.

Commitment: This position is for two years with the possibility of an extension to three years. A minimum two-year commitment is required.

Application Instructions: To apply, visit Please upload as one document (where it says “attach resume”) the following application materials: resume, cover letter, writing sample (up to 10 pages), and contact information for three references. Please include all work experience on your resume, even if it isn’t relevant to this position (i.e., cashier, host, etc.). If applicable, include Internet hyperlinks to authored writing samples. Please, no phone calls or faxes. Also, identify where you saw this ad - it is strongly preferred that you apply directly on our website.

If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Special Assistant, LNS Program” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.

The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center

  • Welcomes and hires applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities and sexual orientations, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
  • Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged;
  • Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and 

  • Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.
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