The Pew Charitable Trusts

Officer, Fiscal Federalism Initiative

Location US-DC-Washington
Posted Date 4 months ago(11/2/2017 5:28 PM)
Job ID
Program-Research & Science
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, Australia, Brussels and London, and with additional staff in other regions of the United States and around the globe, 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.


Project Overview: 
Pew’s fiscal federalism initiative is housed in the Research and Science portfolio and led by a Director. The initiative provides research and analysis on issues where federal and state fiscal interests and funding overlap. Our goal is to provide the data and analysis that is missing from the conversation and to inform the critical decisions by policymakers at both levels of government.

The initiative produces both short analytical pieces that are timed to inform the current debate and longer more in-depth research to illuminate issues where data is missing from the debate. The topics are focused on issues where federal and state interests intersect and cover both spending and tax policies – ranging from higher education and Medicaid to natural disasters and tax conformity, among others.


Position Overview:
The successful candidate will: research budget, tax, and economic issues at both the federal and state levels and take the lead on explorations of new research and lines of work. The officer will author and co-author research papers and issue briefs, help guide research development and implementation, critically review project materials, oversee contracts, play a key role in implementing the project’s communications and outreach strategy, and present research findings in appropriate venues.


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


  • Develop and manage multiple and diverse major research projects by:
    • Identifying and exploring new issue areas and helping to develop the project’s long-term research agenda;
    • Designing research strategies; 
    • Identifying and collaborating with experts in the field and other Pew projects when appropriate; and
    • Ensuring work is methodologically sound and responds to policy questions in a timely way.
  • Conduct original research and policy analysis of emerging revenue and expenditure policy issues and proposals, including staying current on legislative proposals before the Congress.
  • Author, co-author, and/or manage major research reports and issue briefs for the project.
  • Manage relevant research contracts. Identify appropriate researchers and experts for research contracts; evaluate proposals for research contracts, execute contracts, monitor progress, and ensure products are high quality, use rigorous analysis, meet the contract's objectives, and are delivered on time and within budget. Critically review research methodologies and fact-check materials produced by contractors and other staff. Manage the peer review process for project deliverables.
  • Work collaboratively within the Trusts to support internal review and quality control processes. 
  • Guide work of senior associates and associates, ensure quality of work conducted, and delegate assignments as needed. 
  • Work with the project director and project manager to support and execute the initiative's communications and outreach strategy. Collaborate with the Communications Department to prepare materials for the initiative's web site and other outreach opportunities and ensure that they are timely, accurate, and relevant.
  • Help build and maintain a network of state and federal economic and fiscal experts for the initiative.
  • Cultivate and maintain a broad knowledge of public policy discussions and research methodologies and practices. Participate in conferences, seminars, and other outreach and professional development activities as appropriate.
  • Participate with Pew colleagues who are state fiscal experts on collaborative work related to where state and federal policies intersect and work with management on development of new research proposals, particularly with regard to fiscal federalism. 
  • Complete other tasks as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required. An advanced degree in public policy, public administration, or other relevant area preferred.
  • At least eight years of relevant experience in federal and/or state policy required. Experience in analysis related to federal and/or state revenue and/or spending policy strongly preferred. Experience at federal and/or state levels a plus. 
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ability to synthesize issues and findings clearly and effectively and translating complex concepts for a policymaking audience. Ability to write quickly and succinctly as well as to revise and edit based on input from a wide range of reviewers.
  • Strong familiarity with fiscal and economic data. 
  • Strong analytical and quantitative skills. Proficiency with Microsoft Excel; familiarity with at least one data analysis and visualization program a plus (e.g., Tableau, Stata, R).
  • Ability to manage research undertaken by contracted experts based at universities, nonprofits, think tanks, and other entities to ensure rigorous, policy-relevant, and timely results consistent with Pew’s mission and guidelines.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Ability to develop and manage productive and collaborative relationships both internally and externally.
  • Ability to meet both individual and team goals in a professional and timely manner.
  • Proven ability to operate as a team player, think strategically and creatively, adjust to changing circumstances, organize time efficiently, meet multiple deadlines while remaining attentive to details, and support others to do the same.
  • Strong non-partisan perspective and approach with appropriate political awareness.
  • Ability to fit into a creative, fast-paced, and highly professional corporate culture which emphasizes excellence, collegiality and teamwork. 

It is anticipated that the officer will undertake occasional travel to promote the initiative's work.


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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