The R Street Institute, a free-market think tank based in Washington, is looking for a dynamic, energetic person to serve as the first employee and director of a California office that will open during the spring or early summer of 2014 in Sacramento, Calif.  Founded in 2012, R Street ( operates under the motto “Free markets. Real solutions.” We’ve been called “pragmatic libertarians” and accept that label. Our work covers a wide range of federal and state issues. Some of the issues we’ll be looking at in California include the natural environment, technology and the state’s system of insurance regulation.

All candidates must have at least two years experience working in or directly with the California Legislature and be able to cite at least two currently sitting members of the Legislature as references. (Reference checks will not be done until very late in the process and, in some cases, can be done after an offer-in-principle is made.) Excellent writing ability, including a record of published work, is also desirable.

Your personality and work ethic are at least as important as your specific background.  We’re all high-energy types who want to get things done quickly. If you haven’t at least sometimes felt that you were far more productive than everyone in your current workplace, you probably won’t fit in with the rest of us.

Because we work on a wide variety of issues, deep expertise in our issue set is not expected but experience with insurance regulation, particularly Proposition 103 and the California Earthquake Authority, is a plus. That said, experience in the California policymaking process is crucial.

Pay is commensurate with experience. Compensation for this position will be well above what legislative assistants in the Assembly currently make, but won’t match the salaries of most chiefs-of-staff. This is a full-time, W-2 job with health insurance fully paid by the employer and a suite of excellent benefits, including an employer-funded HRA, a 401(k), gym membership reimbursement, bike share membership (as soon as it opens in Sacramento) and a very generous vacation policy.

R Street is a non-partisan organization, but is often identified with the political right. You can get an idea of what we believe by reading our web page at That said, we have a strong pragmatic streak and have worked closely with self-described progressives and liberals in the past. We’re a lot more interested in solving problems than winning fights. Someone who is actively opposed to our work shouldn’t apply, but there is certainly no party affiliation litmus test or need to agree with every word that everyone at R Street has ever written.

Needless to say, we don’t discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, color, national origin, use of medical marijuana, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, taste in music or anything else that is illegal, immoral or stupid to use as a basis for hiring. We also don’t care where you went to school or what your GPA was (we actually wish that we had known this ourselves when we were looking for jobs…hardly anyone ever asks for your transcripts.)

To apply, put your cover letter into the body of an e-mail, attach a resume, and send it to [email protected]. Include the word “California” in the subject line. Include one writing sample if you’d like. We’ll be accepting applications until April 25. If you’re applying after that date, we may still look at your application depending on the quality of our pool. We try to read all applications within a week of getting them and will contact the most promising applicants to set up telephone interviews quickly. We’ll interview finalist candidates in Sacramento on May 8 and make an offer soon thereafter.

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