Oxfam is a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty. Oxfam helps people build better futures for themselves, hold the powerful accountable, and save lives in disasters; take on inequality, climate justice, gender justice, and inequalities in the food chain, and advocate for the basic human rights and dignity of survivors of conflict and disasters. Oxfam challenges governments, multinational companies, international organizations, and other actors to use their vast power and influence to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable people.

Oxfam America also has a domestic Decent Work Program, which helps workers gain opportunity, improved conditions and stronger voice in their jobs.

Living Wage Initiative Fellow

Supervisor: Senior Advisor, Private Sector
Job Theme: Economic Justice, Program Development


Oxfam America is developing a new U.S. Living Wage Initiative (LWI) that will set a credible and realistic standard for paying a living wage and will celebrate employers who want to lead on wages.

Nearly half of U.S. workers make less than $15 an hour. Income inequality has skyrocketed in recent decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic has created the deepest crisis of unemployment, evictions and hunger since the Great Depression. These low wages and the impact of the pandemic disproportionately impact women and people of color, and are not being addressed by current federal, state and local policies. The result is tens of millions of workers earning wages that do not pay enough to support themselves or their families. Oxfam believes that part of the solution to this challenge can come from companies in the private sector themselves.

Currently, no national platforms exist to recruit, convene, verify and celebrate employers paying a living wage, or to help bring these practices into the mainstream of U.S. business norms. Having a single, transparent and credible methodology and public seal will simplify the complex challenge of determining living wages across U.S. labor markets for employers and ensure clarity and consistency for workers, investors, and consumers.

Through this new initiative, Oxfam intends to create clarity and consistency for employers, investors, workers and consumers alike, and help incentivize a race to the top among leading U.S. employers.

The Innovator will be a core member of the LWI team, playing a key supporting role in the final stages of development of what Oxfam intends to be a market-changing institution that advances the living wage movement in the United States and raises wages for hundreds of thousands of workers.

  • The Innovator will engage in research, analysis, strategic planning, and drafting of guidance language, contracts, and other material; as well as providing operational and strategic support for the LWI team.
  • The Innovator will also have the opportunity to participate in high-level negotiations with companies and stakeholders and to lead an important aspect of the development of the LWI at what will be a crucial time for this initiative.
  • In addition to the LWI specific work, the Innovator will be invited to participate as a full member of the Oxfam team, participating in staff meetings and teambuilding activities, and may be invited to engage in and support related aspects of Oxfam’s Decent Work Program in complement to the LWI.

The Innovator will be afforded opportunities to develop critical thinking that can advance their legal education and provide a solid grounding in anti-poverty, wage and equity issues.


  • Strong research and writing skills.
  • Strong critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to work independently and manage time effectively.
  • Creative, solution-oriented thinking.
  • Background in, or passion for, promoting worker rights, living wages, or other related issues.
  • Knowledge of certification standards and voluntary corporate initiatives, particularly that include or focus on labor standards, is preferred but not required.