The Pew Charitable Trusts

Senior Officer, Project Development and Strategy

3 months ago
Job ID
Program-Strategy & Operations
The Pew Charitable Trusts


The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and invigorate civic life.


We are an independent nonprofit organization – the sole beneficiary of seven individual trusts established between 1948 and 1979 by two sons and two daughters of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew.


Our work lays the foundation for effective policy solutions by informing and engaging citizens, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause and insisting on tangible results. Our projects encourage efficient, responsive governments – at the local, state, national and international levels – serving the public interests.


With offices in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Brussels and London and staff in other regions of the United States as well as Australia, Pew provides an exciting learning environment and the opportunity to work with highly talented individuals. We are a dynamic, rapidly evolving organization that values creativity and innovative thinking and fosters strong teamwork with mutual respect.


Position Overview:
Pew’s project development and strategy unit, within strategy and operations, identifies and explores new public policy issues in which Pew might play a role, develops strategies and initiatives to address these issues, oversees the launch of projects resulting from the approval of new strategies, and works with existing programs and projects to review and revise existing strategies and initiatives, as appropriate.

This position, located in Pew’s Washington, DC, office, reports to the director, project development and strategy. The senior officer will assist the director in carrying out the strategy team’s duties, including identifying issues for exploration, evaluating ideas generated by others inside and outside the organization, and preparing detailed new idea memoranda, strategy papers and new project proposals. The senior officer will be expected to take the lead on certain assessments and organize all aspects of an exploration. This includes: scanning the field and doing in-depth research on the issue, interviewing external and internal experts; preparing written and verbal updates for program senior management and Pew colleagues and leaders; ensuring the process is timely and effective; making smart course corrections when needed; and, most importantly, making strategic judgments along the way about whether an exploration should continue and why.

The position requires a highly experienced public policy strategist with strong research, analytical, and project management skills. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated ability to quickly master new topics and understand the interests and needs of an organization and its target audiences. The position requires adaptability, creativity, initiative, and the right balance of pragmatism and optimism about the art-of-the-possible—a perspective grounded by experience in a diverse range of policy settings. The ideal candidate will be a recognized professional in an area of public policy, with an extensive track record in designing and implementing creative solutions to public policy issues.


  • Stay current on public policy issues and research to aid in emerging issue identification; maintain awareness of effective public policy strategies and new trends and tactics.
  • Engage Pew staff and outside experts to generate and evaluate ideas for new lines of public policy work across Pew’s program interests.
  • Conduct data-driven research and extensive outreach to define the problem, identify possible solutions, and determine whether or not there is a potential role for Pew.
  • Form and lead with ad hoc teams to explore new and emerging issues and comprised of Strategy colleagues, internal staff and/or consultants.
  • Build and maintain productive working relationships with internal colleagues and external stakeholders during the course of an exploration. 
  • Develop and manage contracts with consultants as necessary to inform an exploration.
  • Conduct rigorous vetting processes, ensuring that new ideas have technically and politically viable solutions, and that they reflect the priorities and approaches appropriate for Pew.
  • Work closely with senior staff to ensure a collaborative and productive relationship for the Strategy Team as it works across program and operational units to explore new ideas and bring new initiatives to fruition.
  • Work with the director to respond efficiently and effectively to discrete inquiries from Pew leadership that require limited research and analysis and a quick turnaround.
  • Draft internal documents for the director and other senior-level Pew staff, engaging them at key strategic junctures in each exploration; incorporate feedback and guidance appropriately.
  • If a project under exploration moves forward for board discussion or approval, work with other Pew experts and campaign strategists as appropriate to develop multi-year strategic plans (including compelling narratives), a clear summary of deliverables, project budgets, and staffing requirements, among other components.


  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree preferred in domestic or international public policy or other fields relevant to formulation of public policy.
  • At least 10 years of professional experience in designing, launching, and/or operating strategies or projects aimed at informing and advancing effective public policy at the state, national or international levels.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and deliver tangible results from complex projects, including significant experience developing and managing interdisciplinary teams functioning across institutional management units.
  • Strong research and analytical skills and the ability to analyze and master new topics, and organize diverse and complex information into a clear and coherent narrative.
  • Knowledge of current domestic and international political and economic trends, leading thinkers, and major concerns within public policy.
  • Demonstrated intellectual and strategic leadership in one or more fields of domestic or international policy.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including the ability to present, facilitate, write clearly and effectively, convince and persuade, and listen carefully.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; proven ability to work productively with a wide array of stakeholders and perspectives and approach issues with a nonpartisan, objective mindset. 
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively, juggle multiple priorities, adjust to changing circumstances, organize time efficiently, remain attentive to details, and identify resources for projects.
  • Ability to fit into a fast-paced and highly professional corporate culture which emphasizes excellence, collegiality, and teamwork.


Occasional travel, including business meetings and conferences as required.


Compensation and Benefits:
As this is a full-time position, we offer a competitive salary and complete 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 help you 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.


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