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DC - Principal Officer State Policy and Partnerships

  • 1.  DC - Principal Officer State Policy and Partnerships

    Posted 05-20-2019 10:06 AM

    Full Job Title: Principal Officer, Strengthening Public Sector Retirement Systems (Strategic Partnerships)


    The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. For more than 70 years, we have focused on serving the public, invigorating civic life, conducting nonpartisan research, advancing effective public policies and practices, and achieving tangible results. Through rigorous inquiry and knowledge sharing, we inform and engage public-spirited citizens and organizations, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause. We are a dedicated team of researchers, communicators, advocates, subject matter experts, and professionals working on today's big challenges – and we know we are more effective and creative collectively than we are individually. With Philadelphia as our home town and the majority of our staff located in Washington, DC, our U.S. and international staff find working at Pew personally and professionally rewarding.

    Wise stewardship of resources allows Pew employees to pursue work that strategically furthers our philanthropic mission in significant and measurable ways. We collaborate with a diverse range of philanthropic partners, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens who share our interest in fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society. Pew attracts top talent, people of integrity who are service-oriented and willing to take on challenging assignments. We provide competitive pay and benefits, a healthy work-life balance, and a respectful and inclusive workplace. Pew employees are proud of their colleagues, proud of where they work, and proud of the institution's reputation.

    Strengthening Public Sector Retirement Systems
    Public pension reform is one of the most significant fiscal challenges facing states and municipalities today. In fact, our research shows that as of 2016, state governments had pension debts totaling $1.4 trillion. Although some plans are well-funded, in other places, if changes are not made, retirees, workers, and taxpayers will be left with rising costs and unpaid promises for years to come.

    There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every state and municipality has a unique set of policy preferences and budgetary challenges. Given the high stakes for states' budgets and workers, policy makers need trusted information and guidance to help them consider possible options, understand what is known about each, then make decisions based on the best available information. This project will work with states to examine their challenges and help policy makers consider data-driven policies that result in sustainable retirement systems while maintaining states' ability to recruit and retain skilled workers.

    Specifically, the project will:

    • Provide highly credible, independent, and nonpartisan research, including 50-state reports, to help answer critical questions about which policy actions are most effective at controlling costs, meeting states' policy goals, and providing workers with retirement security;
    • Provide selected states with customized technical assistance informed by tailored research; and
    • Engage influential stakeholders to build the support necessary to enact reform.

    Position Overview
    Pew seeks to hire a principal officer to develop and oversee project strategy for strengthening measurement and accountability, including efforts to foster collaborative working relationships with national and local organizations, in order to better support public officials in strengthening public retirement systems over the long-term.

    The principal officer is expected to contribute at multiple levels, assessing and identifying trends among key national influencers in the public pensions space, taking lead responsibility for designing and implementing partnerships strategies, collaborating with project staff as well as experts in the field, and supporting the entire spectrum of activity under the project, including research, communications, and national initiatives. The ideal candidate has an educational and employment background in public policy or a related field, knowledge of public sector retirement and benefit systems, strong analytical skills, and work experience undertaking projects involving many partners, complex issues, and extensive writing and presentation skills.

    This position, based in Pew's Washington, DC, office, reports to the project's director and has a set time frame that could be extended based on the success of the program, funding sources, and board decisions on continued support.


    • In collaboration with the project's director, identify and develop strategies to collaborate and partner with national and local organizations.
    • Lead efforts to draft, review, and shepherd contracts and other agreements through the administrative and review process, as well as manage external contractors who provide research and actuarial expertise in support of Pew technical assistance efforts.
    • Develop and facilitate working group meetings and outreach to executive, legislative, independent agencies, and other stakeholder members.
    • Help conduct state assessments and make recommendations of states to receive assistance from the project.
    • With guidance from the director, assist in ensuring all collaborative and partnership arrangements are well-coordinated and strategically focused.
    • Assist in the production and dissemination of state-based publications from the project and its partners, including generating ideas for publications (that may include original research), managing development of the ideas into viable publications, and drafting copy and graphics.
    • Identify and develop relationships with respected policy makers and stakeholders in the field and seek out potential partnerships to advance the project's agenda and expertise.
    • Maintain and continue to develop an understanding of emerging public-sector retirement and benefits system issues by monitoring publications and participating in conferences, seminars and other professional development activities.
    • Work collaboratively across a team of researchers, policy analysts, and communications professionals; help develop and implement research on public sector retirement benefits, with a particular focus on state-specific analyses.
    • Contribute constructively at every stage of the project, including:
      • Develop strategies for monitoring relevant developments on state pension and retiree health care systems and identifying key emerging trends;
      • Critically synthesize information sources, including careful consideration of the limitations and opportunities presented by each;
      • Help coordinate research being conducted by team members and consultants;
      • Conduct primary research, including empirical analysis, compilation and analysis of data sets, literature reviews, and interviews;
      • Accurately analyze and communicate results through reports and other research products that are highly relevant to policy deliberations and easily understood by the public, media, and policy makers, often in collaboration with Pew Communications staff and external writers and other consultants;
      • Attend and present at conferences, trainings, and stakeholder convenings;
      • Contribute to communication and outreach efforts by ensuring all external communications are factually accurate and reflect the findings of our analyses, maintaining a constant commitment to accuracy in all work, participating fully in Pew's rigorous internal quality control process; and helping to facilitate internal and external partnerships; and
      • Ensure all external communications are factually accurate and reflect the findings of our analyses.



    • Bachelor's degree is required; advanced degree in public policy or other relevant field strongly preferred.
    • At least 12 years of specialized experience in the public policy arena gained through professional education, training and professional experience. A working knowledge of public-sector retirement and benefit systems is highly desirable.
    • Prior to commencing employment with Pew, candidates for this position who were registered to lobby in any jurisdiction must certify termination of previous registration(s) and provide copies of termination notices with said jurisdiction(s) to Pew.
    • Strong quantitative skills.
    • A clear, effective writing and presentation style.
    • Ability to think strategically and creatively, adjust to changing circumstances, remain attentive to details and exercise sound judgment in problem-solving. Ability to develop and move complex projects forward with a high degree of independence within a creative, fast-paced, action-oriented and collegial environment.
    • Excellent research and analytical skills applied to public policy issues, including an ability to synthesize and summarize large amounts of information and focus quickly on the essence of an issue.
    • Strong time and project management skills, including an ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization. Ability to establish a systematic course of action to ensure project completion.
    • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team, foster consensus, and collaborate with diverse partners to advance pragmatic solutions.
    • Acute political awareness and non-partisan perspective and approach.
    • Experience convening groups of policy makers, practitioners, stakeholders, researchers, and other constituencies. Demonstrated ability to build relationships and support efforts to develop consensus and move toward a desired outcome.

    Regular travel (1-2 trips per month) required for conferences and meetings.

    Total Rewards
    We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.

    The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

    Apply Here


    Human Resources
    The Pew Charitable Trusts
    Washington DC