Full Job Title: Officer, State Policy, Strengthening Public Sector Retirement Systems
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.
The Government Performance Portfolio within Program
Government performance, one of the five program portfolios at The Pew Charitable Trusts, identifies and advances effective approaches to improve policy at all levels of government. The portfolio’s project teams conduct research on emerging topics, develop data-driven reports, and highlight innovative approaches in addressing complex problems. Initiatives currently focus on three key areas for federal, state, and local governments: (1) health and human services; (2) management and budget; and (3) safety and justice.
GP utilizes the basic tools required to explore and advance effective policy solutions at the federal, state, and local levels. These solutions include credible, timely, and user-friendly research; assessments of public support for change; strategic outreach and dissemination to ensure that good information is widely communicated to decision-makers, media, influential stakeholders, and the public; the capacity to bring together diverse perspectives and find common ground; and the ability to identify and apply approaches that have proven successful elsewhere.
The GP portfolio is led by the vice president and head of government performance, with support from a vice president and senior directors who provide oversight over select projects and functions within the portfolio.
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:
Pew seeks to hire an officer to work in selected jurisdictions where Pew provides customized technical assistance and the support needed to enact reform and perform targeted research in areas that are critical to both our research and technical assistance work. The ideal candidate has an educational and employment background in public policy/related field with experience working on policy issues affecting states. Note, this knowledge could be gained from working within city, state, Congressional, or federal governments or with other policy institutions. Knowledge of public-sector retirement and benefit systems is preferred but not required, and knowledge of or experience working on budget, economic incentives, or financial policies would also be valued. Finally, ideal candidates will have experience working on projects focused on complex issues involving many partner organizations. Effective policy writing and presentation skills are also needed.
This position, based in Pew’s Washington, DC, office, reports to the manager, state policy, 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.
At least eight years of applicable experience in public policy with related work in the state policy or legislative arenas being highly valued. A working knowledge of public-sector retirement and benefit systems is desirable but not required. Instead, knowledge of or experience working on budget, economic incentives, or financial policies would be highly valued.
Regular domestic travel (average of 2 trips per month depending on the legislative cycle) to perform work or assessments in states and cities and/or attend conferences and meetings.
As this is a full-time position, 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.