Food & Agriculture Senior Policy Associate

About SPUR

SPUR is a nonprofit public policy organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR works to create an equitable, sustainable and prosperous region, where all people thrive. We bring people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to the big problems cities face. With offices in San Francisco, San José and Oakland, we are recognized and respected for our independent and holistic approach to urban issues. 

About SPUR's Food and Agriculture Program

SPUR launched the Food and Agriculture Program in 2011 to create healthy, just and sustainable food systems, and put an end to food insecurity. Our three key policy priorities are: (1) make healthy food accessible; (2) reduce the food system’s footprint; and (3) support an equitable food economy. Additionally, the program organizes more than 10 public events each year on issues ranging from wholesale distribution infrastructure to the opportunities and challenges of urban agriculture. For more information, see:

The Opportunity

SPUR seeks candidates for the newly created position of Senior Policy Associate. The Senior Policy Associate will support the work of our Food & Agriculture program through research, education and advocacy. This position is an excellent opportunity for someone who likes to build coalitions, persuade policymakers, and engage the general public to improve the health and sustainability of the Bay Area’s food system. 

The Food and Agriculture Senior Policy Associate will primarily focus on advancing a number of policies at the city, county, and state level. The Senior Policy Associate will be responsible for managing existing advocacy campaigns as well as initiating new ones. The Senior Policy Associate will report to the Food and Agriculture Policy Director, have significant supervision and support from the Food and Agriculture Policy Manager, and work closely with SPUR staff, public agencies, other advocacy partners, funders, and SPUR board members to accomplish SPUR’s work.

Core Responsibilities

Support advocacy to expand fruit and vegetable supplemental benefits in California

  • Coordinate and expand the statewide coalition of organizations engaged on this issue
  • Engage elected officials, legislative staff, and agency staff to increase support for expanding fruit and vegetable supplemental benefits statewide. 
  • Conduct policy research, as needed, to further build the case for expanding supplemental benefits

Support advocacy to transition medically supportive food and nutrition (MSF&N) from a pilot healthcare intervention to a full Medi-Cal benefit

  • Establish a California medically supportive food and nutrition community of practice to support sharing of information and best practices among potential medically supportive food and nutrition providers.
  • Facilitate matchmaking across the state between community-based organizations interested in providing MSF&N and health plans to ensure health plans opt into providing food-based interventions.
  • Conduct policy research as needed, which may involve writing policy briefs, fact sheets, and white papers on topics relevant to our advocacy

Track implementation of sugary drink taxes in the Bay Area

  • Work to ensure that soda tax revenue in San Francisco and Oakland is allocated in accordance with the intended purpose of the original ballot measures that created the taxes.
  • Track activity in the state legislature regarding a statewide soda tax.  

Public Engagement

  • Organize 1-2 public events (e.g., panel discussions, film screenings, and walking tours) each quarter
  • Provide updates on SPUR’s Food and Agriculture work, or developments in the field, by writing blog posts for SPUR’s website.

General Support

  • Generally assist the Policy Director in reaching the goals of the program, including new initiatives that may arise and providing
  • Provide logistical support for coalition meetings
  • Support program fundraising by contributing content for grant proposals and reports
  • Assist with SPUR ballot analysis process

Key Qualifications

  • At least 3 years of experience engaging in policy advocacy, including working in coalition with multiple partners on a long-term campaign that involves advocacy, organizing, research, and/or working with elected officials and other policymakers
  • Proven ability to initiate a new project and see it through to successful completion while handling other projects with multiple deadlines
  • Excellent communications skills, both written and verbal
  • Experience convening groups and facilitating meetings
  • Personable demeanor and a demonstrated ability to communicate comfortably with stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds, including through consensus building, negotiation, and public speaking
  • Familiarity with, and interest in, issues of local food, food access, public health, sustainable agriculture, good government, and food systems policy
  • Ability to occasionally travel outside the Bay Area (including single day and multi-day trips)

Additional knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Comfort with public speaking
  • Prior experience and comfort with grant writing


The salary range for this position is $65,000-$78,000 and will be based on experience and commensurate with skills and qualifications. This is a full-time, exempt position. SPUR offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package which includes, medical, dental, vision, life insurance, 403(b) contribution match, PTO, 13 paid holidays a year, transit and hybrid work stipend, and 6 months paid maternity and paternity leave.

Hybrid Work Environment

At SPUR the health of our employees and their families is our top priority. SPUR has a hybrid workplace model defined by a combination of remote and in-person work. We have mandatory all staff in-person days on Monday and staff may be required to attend other in-person meetings, events and programs as needed. All policies are subject to change as relevant health orders change.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

SPUR employees are required to confidentially show proof of up to date COVID-19 vaccination to HR as a condition of employment. If the employee is entitled to a medical related reasonable accommodation or a sincerely held religious belief or practice, then the employee is exempt from the vaccine requirement and reasonable accommodations will be considered and made available if there is not an undue hardship incurred in order to provide it.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume only. Applicants should apply by submitting their materials to this link

First review of applications will begin on April 21. Job open until this posting is removed from SPUR’s website. Start date for the position is June 2022.

Equal Opportunity Employer

SPUR is an equal opportunity employer with a strong organizational commitment to respecting differences of all kinds. SPUR prohibits unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, political orientation or disability or any other basis prohibited by law. In that spirit, we strongly encourage applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBTQ applicants and others that will contribute to the diversity of our staff.

Applicants With Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so assigned.