Public Interest Advocate (WISPIRG)

WISPIRG is hiring an experienced Public Interest Advocate responsible for running our state-based organizing and advocacy in Wisconsin. In particular, WISPIRG’s Advocate will help build a movement to transform Wisconsin’s transportation system; push to end predatory financial practices like payday lending; lead issue campaigns to protect and promote Wisconsinites’ health and wellbeing; and more. 

Mission and Background 

WISPIRG, the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, is a nonpartisan policy and action group with thousands of supporters across the state. Our mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented public interest activism that protects consumers, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, and fosters responsive, democratic government. Over the past thirty years, we’ve led successful campaigns to stop wasteful, harmful highway expansions and promote public transit, walking and biking, and electric transportation options; protect consumers from predatory financial practices like payday lending and rent-to-own; pass legislation to address Wisconsin’s lead-in-drinking-water crisis; and much more. WISPIRG is a member of U.S. PIRG, the nationwide network of State PIRGs.

Job Description

The WISPIRG Public Interest Advocate is responsible for helping to determine which issues to prioritize in Wisconsin, and developing the strategy, approach and local message to win our issue campaigns. The Advocate will meet with local, state and federal decision-makers and opinion leaders, and represent our organization to allies and the media. The Advocate will also help build and foster our grassroots and online base of support. Finally, the Advocate will help recruit staff and volunteers to join us, fundraise for our programs, and maintain good systems for tracking and building on our work.

Representative Responsibilities

  • Program Development & Campaign Strategy: Develop our approach to public interest problems within a broader political context, creating specific programs and campaigns. Participate in and oversee policy development, research, grassroots organizing and messaging.
  • Advocacy: Bring problems and solutions to the attention of decision-makers—including federal district office staff, state legislators, the Governor’s staff, state regulators and local officials. Develop appropriate messages and materials for making the case to decision makers; build relationships with key players in Wisconsin, in the Midwest and at the federal level.
  • Media Outreach: Serve as the public spokesperson for our public interest campaigns through media events, press releases, editorial board meetings and other outreach, with a goal of building name recognition for the organization, educating the public about our issues and building and demonstrating support for our positions.
  • Coalition Building: Identify, reach out to and work with partners who can help us win our campaigns. Co-lead the statewide Coalition for More Responsible Transportation that has been working for more than half a decade to fix Wisconsin’s transportation spending priorities. Convene the Consumer Roundtable, a coalition of legal aid providers, consumer advocates and organizations standing up for a fair economy.
  • Fundraising: Write grant proposals, build relationships with foundation staff and meet with large donors, all to bring more resources to our campaigns. Work with our citizen outreach staff to build and develop our grassroots membership base.
  • Staff Recruitment & Development: Recruit and manage staff and volunteers to increase our impact and build our power.


Candidates must have at least 3-5 years of relevant professional experience, have excellent judgment and discretion, and the ability to oversee significant projects.  Qualified candidates will have a demonstrated commitment to advancing the public interest and to transpartisan, citizen-based social change, as well as a track-record of leadership. We're looking for goal-driven and results-oriented individuals who have excellent verbal, writing and analytical skills, the ability to speak persuasively in a charged atmosphere, and enthusiasm for our work. The ideal candidate will have experience in state-level political advocacy and organizing, a proven ability to recruit, train and develop staff, the ability to raise money, and demonstrated success in building relationships with the full spectrum of public interest and political stakeholders.

Pay & Benefits

Target annual compensation for this position is commensurate with the candidate’s relevant professional experience and/or advanced degrees. WISPIRG offers a competitive benefits package.


Madison, Wisconsin


Please apply online at . Direct your application to Kate Canada, Hiring Director.

WISPIRG is part of The Public Interest Network. The Public Interest Network operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done. Learn more about our core values:

WISPIRG is an equal opportunity employer.


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