Fellowship Program

Meridian Institute

Washington, DC or Dillon, CO, , US

The Meridian Institute Fellowship provides the next generation of public policy leaders with the skills they need to encourage collaboration on complex and controversial problems. This includes work in several focus areas: environment and natural resources; agriculture and food security; climate change and energy; resilience and sustainability; global stability and security; health; and science and technology. The Fellowship is a two-year, full-time position and selected Fellows will begin work in summer 2018.

About Meridian Institute

Meridian Institute is a non-profit organization that helps people solve complex and controversial problems, make informed decisions, and implement solutions that improve lives, the economy, and the environment. At Meridian, we design collaborative approaches that bring together people who understand the issues and have a stake in their resolution. Our processes regularly involve government officials, business leaders, scientists, foundation executives, and nongovernmental organization representatives. Meridian brings together these stakeholders to solve complex public policy problems, learn from each other, build mutual understanding, and reach agreement through carefully designed processes and skillfully mediated interactions. Meridian facilitates processes that range from local, site-specific disputes to national policy dialogues to international negotiations. Some of the areas we work on include agriculture and food security, climate change, ocean policy, forest and land use management, freshwater resources, and community resilience.

Effective collaborative decision-making requires inclusion of different perspectives and involves bringing together participants with diverse backgrounds. As an organization, we seek staff that reflects and values that same diversity and has experience working in multicultural settings. For more information about Meridian and specific projects, please visit www.merid.org.

About the Position

Meridian Fellows provide research, writing, and many other types of support for projects focusing on a wide variety of challenging issues. Meridian
Fellows may:

  • Actively engage as part of dynamic teams focused on designing and facilitating collaborative dialogues to address public policy issues.
  • Assist in the preparation of internal- and external-facing documents including meeting materials and summaries, press releases, and other communications.
  • Engage with participants in Meridian processes (through interviews or other types of interactions), including leaders of the private, non-profit, and government sectors.
  • Help plan, attend, provide logistical support, and document domestic and/or international meetings.
  • Research and track developments on issues relevant to Meridian’s work.
  • Provide administrative support for Meridian projects, including but not limited to, maintaining websites and list serves, drafting emails, taking notes, and participating on internal Meridian teams to assist with organizational development.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Eligibility Requirements

Due to the nature and intent of the fellowship program, we do not accept applicants with degrees beyond a bachelor’s, nor do we accept those who are currently pursuing graduate studies. Additional eligibility criteria include:

  • Full professional proficiency or higher in English
  • Legally able to work in the United States without visa support/sponsorship
  • Have completed a bachelor’s degree, or expect to complete a bachelor’s degree by May of 2018

Characteristics of Meridian Fellows

Required Characteristics—Successful applicants must have:

  • Experience and enthusiasm for effectively working as part of a team.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks at once, manage time effectively, and receive and balance direction from multiple Project Directors.
  • Strong attention to detail, copy-editing, and note-taking skills.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including experience researching, synthesizing, and communicating complex information across an array of audiences.
  • Ability to work with people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
  • Passion for the issues and work that Meridian is involved in, ability and willingness to learn, and ability to work independently and be self-motivated.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote) and other commonly used computer programs and technology, such as social media, as well as the ability to learn and deploy new technology tools.

Desired Characteristics: Preference will be given to candidates with the following characteristics:

  • Interest or experience in collaborative decision-making, facilitation, or mediation.
  • Substantive experience in Meridian topic areas.
  • Basic understanding of the institutional and political context in which public policies are deliberated.
  • Experience with drafting meeting summaries, conducting interviews, researching and assembling background materials, and providing meeting and logistical support.
  • Skills in graphic design for multiple platforms (web design, infographic creation, etc.), including the ability to create and develop visual responses to communication problems using knowledge of aesthetics and composition to construct meaningful images.
  • Experience in multicultural and/or international settings and foreign language skills.
  • Online marketing skills including experience with social media, managing website content, and facility with platforms such as Twitter, SiteCore, SharePoint, and MailChimp.
  • Advanced technology competencies (e.g. qualitative research methods such as survey development and coding, template development, and database management).

Structure of the Fellowship

The Fellowship will begin summer 2018. The Fellowship is a two-year position, contingent upon performance and needs of the organization. Meridian hires Fellows for the following positions:

  • Generalists – Washington, D.C. or Dillon, CO: Support projects on a variety of substantive topic areas. Past Fellows have been involved in work with global and domestic agriculture and food security, climate change, and community and global resilience, among other topics.
  • Oceans Program – Washington, DC: Support a suite of ocean and coastal policy projects that focus on improving management at the regional, national, and international scales.

The Meridian Fellowship offers significant personal and professional development opportunities. By working in an active, exciting, and dynamic
professional environment, Meridian Fellows can expect to:

  • Develop the ability to think critically about complex issues and analyze participant interests and process dynamics.
  • Help identify and learn to respond appropriately to concerns and problems that can arise in complex and challenging collaborative processes.
  • Actively manage numerous tasks toward the completion of a project.
  • Improve writing, research, and communication skills.

Meridian Fellows gain these skills through a combination of the projects they support and targeted professional development activities. Fellows may work on a variety of different projects or support one or two larger projects throughout their fellowship. The fellowship also includes formal growth opportunities such as mentoring, annual Fellowship retreats, networking opportunities, and organizational resources to help Fellows refine their career goals. Periodic reviews of the Fellow’s performance and professional goals will help ensure they are getting opportunities to grow. Fellows are encouraged to explore a variety of post-Fellowship career choices, including graduate school and employment with other organizations.

Compensation and Benefits

First year Fellows are offered a minimum salary of $36,000 per year in a non-exempt position. Meridian offers an excellent benefits package including: health, dental and vision insurance; employer contributions to a 401(k) plan; and vacation, sick, and holiday time. In addition, Fellows are provided with a stipend of up to $500 to support relocation expenses and are issued laptops and mobile phones in conjunction with employment. Washington, DC based Fellows are provided reimbursement of costs incurred by using public transit to commute to work.

How to Apply

Completed applications are due by 10 pm EST on Friday, February 2, 2018. Apply using the Meridian Institute applicant portal. Applicants may apply to
both Fellowship opportunities, however you must submit separate applications for each position. Each applicant pool will be considered independently.

* For the best experience, we recommend opening the applicant portal in either Chrome (version 18 and later), Safari (7 and later), or Firefox (24 and later). After registering your account and logging into the applicant portal, you will be directed to provide information related to your application and upload the following materials:

1. Cover Letter – 1 page
Drawing from your personal, professional, and academic experiences, please explain how you hope to contribute to Meridian as a Fellow and what you hope to gain from this opportunity.

2. Essay – 1 page
Meridian works on a variety of social and environmental policy issues including climate change, resilience, and natural resource management. Briefly describe a critical public policy issue facing society today and suggest how a collaborative process could be effective in helping address that issue. If applicable, include details about which parties should be engaged and what challenges might be faced in trying to bring them together. Oceans program candidates are advised to focus on topics related to ocean and coastal policy.

3. Resume – 1 page
Detail relevant education, training, experiences, and accomplishments. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the application process can be found here. Please direct any additional questions about the Fellowship to Jennifer Brassanini ([email protected]).

Equal Opportunity Employment

Meridian recognizes that our work is made stronger and more impactful by the contributions of diverse groups from around the world. At Meridian, we welcome people from all backgrounds and do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, national origin, creed, or ancestry. Meridian Institute is a participating employer in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security program, E-Verify.