Lead Public Policy Specialist (US)

Wikimedia, Remote (USA)

A global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world

Lead Public Policy Specialist


The Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a Lead Public Policy Specialist for the United States to join our growing Public Policy Team. As the Lead Public Policy Specialist, you will be responsible for increasing Wikimedia’s ability to influence public policy debates, in Washington DC and at state level, and to promote a legal framework that supports free knowledge. In this role, you will expand Wikimedia’s network and relationships, be in charge of direct outreach to lawmakers and agencies, engage in public policy processes, and monitor current developments in the US to help the Public Policy Team promote people’s ability to participate in knowledge online.

You are responsible for:

  • Increase Wikimedia’s ability to shape public policy for the internet and free knowledge in the US.
  • Build Wikimedia’s profile in Washington DC and foster the Foundation’s visibility among lawmakers, Congressional staff, and within relevant agencies.
  • Independently and in collaboration with other members of the Public Policy Team and in concert with external partners, influence legislative, regulatory, and other discussions on key issues.
  • Develop proposals, including educational, legislative and regulatory initiatives, to support free knowledge.
  • Monitor public policy developments and proposed laws that affect freedom of expression, privacy, and participation in knowledge, so the Team can determine how they may impact the Wikimedia projects and users.
  • Build Wikimedia's network and relationships with civil society, industry, and other relevant stakeholders engaged in public policy in the US.
  • Support the regional and international Wikimedia communities in their advocacy work on critical public policy issues and educational campaigns.
  • With the other members of Wikimedia’s Public Policy Team, refine and implement the Wikimedia Foundation’s policy positions and international advocacy strategy.
  • Write about how different policy issues affect people’s ability to participate in free knowledge and the Wikimedia projects specifically.
  • Present our policy initiatives to lawmakers and regulators or other influencers; brief and educate key Foundation and Wikimedia movement constituencies.
  • Advise other teams in the Wikimedia Foundation on public policy developments relating to the accomplishment of the Foundation’s mission.

Skills and Experience:

  • Graduate degree in law, public policy or related fields and excellent academic credentials. (Equivalent experience will be considered.)
  • 4-5 years of experience working on the Hill.
  • Successful track record of advocacy campaigns, particularly focused on U.S. Congress or relevant agencies.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and attention to detail. Ability to act as a spokesperson for Wikimedia on matters of public policy.

Qualities that are important to us:

  • Deep understanding of intermediary liability, intellectual property, privacy, and other internet law issues and their context in the US.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed, and to work or travel on weekends when necessary.
  • Experience working with a remote team, handling competing priorities.

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • Experience working in government, advocacy groups, or think tanks.
  • A good understanding of open source, free culture, free software, or online communities.
  • Familiarity with the way that US law and regulation interacts with the regulation of other countries, especially on the topics of free expression and internet law. 
  • Role is currently remote, will have the expectation to be in the DC once the office re-opens 

The Wikimedia Foundation is... 

...the nonprofit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Wikimedia Foundation values having a diverse workforce and continuously strives to maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace. We encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate against any person based upon their race, traits historically associated with race, religion, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy or related medical conditions, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristics.

If you are a qualified applicant requiring assistance or an accommodation to complete any step of the application process due to a disability, you may contact us at [email protected] or (415) 839-6885.

U.S. Benefits & Perks*

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 22 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Paid travel to Wikimedia Foundation events all around the world!
  • Equipment including a laptop, monitor, plus a one-time stipend to cover any additional needs to make sure you have the best work experience
  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

*Please note that for remote roles located outside of the U.S., we defer to our PEO to ensure alignment with local labor laws.

More information

Wikimedia Foundation
Applicant Privacy Policy
Wikimedia 2030
Our Commitment to Equity
This is Wikimedia Foundation 
Facts Matter
Our Projects
Our Tech Stack


About Wikimedia

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and hosts Wikipedia and several other Wikimedia free knowledge sites. Every month, the Wikimedia sites are accessed by more than a billion unique devices. Wikipedia consists of more than 40 million articles across hundreds of languages. Every month, more than 70,000 volunteer editors contribute to Wikipedia. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) non-profit that is funded primarily through donations and grants. It currently employs over 240 staff members. 

Want to learn more about Wikimedia? Visit Wikimedia's website.