Dear EAs, 

Saw this on an email list and reposting b/c it seems like such a uniquely high-impact opportunity:

The Colorado Department of Agriculture seeks a Colorado Bureau of Animal Protection Manager: 

It sounds like you'd have the power to help tons of farmed animals. 

The Governor of Colorado is a wonderful person who wants to improve animals' lives.



PS I have no connection to this job opportunity.




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I don't know anything about the governor of Colorado, and I assume that many other Americans on the Forum also don't know anything.

Is there anything a potential applicant to this job should know about his animal welfare policies, more specifically?

Yeah, I think this would be good context—the CO gov's husband is a die-hard animal rights activist and seems to have influence:

He declared a "MeatOut" day recently to support plant-based eating and has signed various animal welfare initiatives into law, such as a cage-free law.

So it seems that someone very EA-minded could get this position if they apply.

Thank you for your correction Aaron! I removed “As you probably know” from my comment about the Colorado governor.

Here’s what I know about Gov. Polis: -He is very nice. -He is committed to advancing animal welfare in Colorado. -As Charles points out, a politician wanting to help farmed animals—rather than just wanting to help industries use farmed animals—is almost unheard of in US politics. So Gov. Polis is a huge deal. -And yes, animal rights is the #1 priority for Colorado’s Second Gentleman. They are a power couple.



Basically, imagine if you could enter PlayPumps Inc. as a director, and redirect attention from the inside to mosquito nets or malaria vaccines.

So this position is the same, but for animal welfare.


To explain, normally the people in here would balance the competing interests of the agriculture industry, consumers, environmentalism and animal welfare. 

So non-EA people in this position might end up fighting for much less numerous pets—the far more neglected and numerous farm animals doesn't get attention.


To see this tension, notice text in the ad itself. 

The below describes the program you would be a part of.

The Bureau of Animal Protection (BAP) work unit ... work together to respond to instances of animal abuse, neglect, mistreatment, and abandonment.  Leading the program is a BAP program manager.   This program coordinates investigations involving BAP agents and assists legal counsel on civil or criminal actions if needed based on the results of an investigation. 

Compare this with the description for the Dept of Agriculture itself in the same ad.

Agriculture is a part of all our lives. As an employee of the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), you would be working in an agency that affects every person in the state because when you eat, wear clothes, or drive a car--you are part of agriculture. The primary goals of CDA are to strengthen and advance Colorado's agriculture; promote a safe and high quality food supply;  protect consumers; and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. 


It seems possible that for an EA, the counterfactual is huge, in the same sense that moving non-EA money to EA causes is huge. 

This morning at 7 am PST, Marlon Reis, partner of Colorado Governor Jared Polis, personally wrote and sent an email to a group of EAs and EA aligned organizations imploring more applications for the position in the post.


Note that the application has closed, but Mr. Reis provided his personal contact to provide information, if you are an applicant. If you want this please message me (by the way, I got access to this email incidentally).

In the email, Marlon gives his opinion of specific history in the department.

In addition to the direct impact of helping animals through this large state organization, success can provide leadership and change to others in the rest of the country. US farming practices have also  been influential around the world. 

Note that Mr. Reis chose to message a group of EAs. 

Effective Altruism accounts for a large part of all farm animal welfare leadership in the world.

There really isn’t anything similar to EA that offers potential talent or funding.

Aaron Gertler
Moderator Comment2

Note: I edited this post's title to tone it down a bit after a couple of users reached out to express their concern about the original title (which included the phrase "Super-high-impact job!!!").

Enthusiasm is a good thing, but I feel the same way about the original title as I do about titles in all caps — I think it's better if the Forum has slightly more standardized formatting, without some titles shouting so much more loudly for attention. (But I'm not sure this consideration outweighs leaving titles as the user originally wanted — would appreciate feedback on that point.)

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