Fellowship Program

Every day, powerful people are making decisions that affect our health, our safety and our future. In Civics 101, we're taught these decisions should be based on the public interest: that's how a government of the people, by the people, and for the people is supposed to work. Yet in the real world, on issue after issue, we see powerful interests corrupting the democratic process, twisting public policy to serve their own ends, all too often at the public's expense.

That's where U.S. PIRG comes in. Powerful corporations have their lobbyists. We advocate on behalf of the public. We recruit and train activists, organizers and advocates to document the problems, find practical solutions, inform the public, and make the case to decision-makers. And when powerful special interests stand in the way, we mobilize ordinary citizens to make their voices heard in city halls, state capitols, regulatory agencies, Congress, the White House or wherever it will make a difference.

This year, we're focused on a wide range of issues, including:

  • Health care: Health care often costs too much and doesn't deliver the care we deserve. We're pushing insurers to prioritize preventive care, and to make insurance more affordable, for more people.
  • Democracy: Money isn't speech. Corporations aren't people. We're building a national movement to overturn the Citizen United decision and to get big money out of politics.
  • Tax loopholes: Hiding company profits overseas to avoid paying taxes may not be illegal, but it sure isn't right. We're working to close corporate tax loopholes and make sure that the companies that do well in America, do well by America.
  • Transportation: It's time to build a transportation system for the 21st century. We're calling for greater investments in high-speed rail, public transit and a clean break from the car-centered, fossil-fuel driven policies of the past.

As a PIRG Fellow, you can make an immediate difference.

  • You'll get the training you need to do the research, advocacy and grassroots organizing it takes to win campaigns.
  • You'll work side-by-side with experienced staff in one of our 30 state campaign offices.
  • After two years on the front lines, tackling important problems and pushing for smart solutions you'll have the skills and experience it takes to become a leader with us, or other organizations working to make change happen.

When U.S. PIRG Fellows fight for the public, we stand up to some of America's most powerful special interests, from Wall Street to Big Oil, from Big Pharma to Super PACs. We're the Davids; they're the Goliaths. Yet when we work hard, work smart and work together, we can overcome the most powerful opposition and win concrete results that improve the lives of thousands, sometimes millions, of people.

Consider these recent U.S. PIRG fellows and the great work they have done:

  • Maryland PIRG Fellow Jenny Levin worked to protect children’s health. Her advocacy, coalition building, and timely media work, helped pass a state-wide ban on the toxic chemical bisphenol-A from children’s products. Jenny organized citizens and health care professionals that supported the ban to put pressure on lawmakers. Thanks to Jenny’s efforts, every major news outlet in Maryland covered the issue—and it worked. Lawmakers made Maryland the fourth state in the country to ban the toxin from baby bottles and sippy cups.
  • MASSPIRG Fellow Micaela Preskill has worked to secure funding for public transportation in Massachusetts. Micaela focused her efforts on Central and Western Massachusetts, where transportation infrastructure has been historically under-funded and service is especially lacking. For the first time, thanks to Micaela’s organizing, community members and elected officials have gotten together in cities across the state to work out solutions to the region’s transportation problems.
  • U.S. PIRG Fellow Rich Williams’ efforts helped usher in major changes that have lowered the cost of higher education for millions of students. Running U.S. PIRG’s Higher Education Program, Rich is an important voice on behalf of students on Capitol Hill. As Congress debated student aid legislation last year, Rich pushed for a $36-billion increase in financial aid for students, paid for by ending government subsidies to private lenders. Rich helped student leaders on dozens of college campuses to organize press events in support of the idea, and worked to make sure members of Congress heard about the widespread demonstration of student support.

Training & Experience

 

A key part of the U.S. PIRG mission is to train leaders who are capable of organizing and winning results for the public interest.

 

Immediately following an intensive training, fellows are trusted with significant responsibilities. The training is fully paid and starts in early August. Additional trainings take place during the year. Training topics include organizing skills and political strategy, and are covered through a mix of lectures, classroom briefings and discussions, role-plays, and in-the-field trainings.

 

Throughout the year, you gain valuable skills and experience making your voice heard and building an organization through grant-writing, canvassing, recruiting and managing staff, and directing campaigns.

Qualifications:

  • Strong work ethic
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Strong commitment to getting results
  • Passion for social change
  • We value experience with campus groups or student government, and academic achievement

Salary & Benefits

 

As a recent graduate, you will earn $24,500 over the course of your first year and $26,000 over the course of your second year with U.S. PIRG.

 

Salary for experienced candidates is commensurate with relevant professional experience.

 

In addition, full-time staff can opt into our fully-covered state health care coverage, are eligible for paid sick days and vacation days, can apply for our college loan assistance program, and are also eligible to join our 401(k) program in their second year. Our staff accrue two weeks of vacation by the end of their first year and three weeks in their second year.

Locations & Placement

 

Fellowship candidates are hired nationwide and placed in U.S. PIRG offices across the country.

 

We are currently running campaigns in AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, MA, MD, MI, MO, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NM, OH, OR, PA, TX, WA, WI

 

We have immediate openings available in CA, MO and WI

 

If you are interested only in particular locations, you will be asked to identify those locations during the interview process. If you are offered a U.S. PIRG fellowship, you are guaranteed placement in one of your specified locations.

Ready to apply?

If you are ready to dig in and start solving the problems that confront our country, consider a job with U.S. PIRG, the federation of state PIRGs.

Open Positions

You can solve real problems that affect the lives of thousands, sometimes millions of people. Find out more about our open positions.