Officer, Mental Health and Justice

Location US-DC-Washington
Posted Date 2 months ago(9/24/2020 3:55 PM)
Job ID
Program-Government Performance
The Pew Charitable Trusts


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 some of today’s big challenges – and we know we are more effective and creative collectively than we are individually. With Philadelphia as our hometown and the majority of our staff located in Washington, D.C., 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 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 initiatives 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
Pew’s government performance work identifies and advances effective approaches to help solve complex challenges at all levels of government in the United States.

The portfolio’s work can be traced back to our founders’ early efforts to improve the lives of Americans by supporting efforts that promoted health, civic engagement, and democratic ideals. Today, we conduct research on emerging topics, develop data-driven reports, and highlight innovative, non-partisan approaches in addressing complex problems at the federal, state, and local levels as well as the interplay that can occur between jurisdictions. Current initiatives focus on health, fiscal and economic policy, and safety and justice, and take into account significant trends such as evolving technologies, and the increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the United States population.

Our teams explore and advance effective, evidence-based policies using credible, timely, and accessible research, assessing public support for change, identifying approaches that have proved successful elsewhere, and bringing together diverse perspectives to find common ground. We work in collaboration with organizations that share our commitment to rigorous research, measurable results, and public service, and we focus on developing durable policy change. In addition, our teams use strategic outreach and dissemination to ensure that good information is widely communicated to decision-makers, media, influential stakeholders, and the public.

Mental Health and Justice Partnerships
On any given day in the United States, there are far more people with serious mental health needs in jails than there are in mental health facilities. Building on the momentum that exists in the field to address this issue and Pew’s history of working on criminal justice and behavioral health issues, Pew launched the mental health and justice initiative to connect stakeholders, establish models for reform, and improve the capacity of states and county governments to implement comprehensive alternatives to decrease the use of law enforcement, jails, and emergency rooms as the response for people experiencing an acute mental health crisis. This project envisions a continuum of services that ensures people with mental health and substance abuse needs are connected to treatment and engaged in recovery. This initiative will combine intensive state and national engagements to provide data-driven policy considerations, technical assistance, and design funding strategies, together with policymakers, philanthropy, and other stakeholders to implement promising practices across the county.


Position Overview
The officer supports Pew’s efforts to help decision makers and influential stakeholders nationally address key policy challenges by providing them with relevant data and research and bringing to bear national expertise and examples of policy reforms that have been successful in other cities.


The ideal candidate has a strong policy background, with expertise in mental health or related fields. The candidate should be knowledgeable about state policy and political landscape and have the proven ability to facilitate policy conversations and discussions of research with key decision makers. In addition, the successful candidate can communicate and work effectively with diverse individuals and organizations in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Finally, the candidate should be able to work with relevant research and policy teams throughout Pew, to synthesize data and existing research, and to participate in conceiving and drafting original materials for both internal and external consumption.


The position, based in Pew’s Washington, D.C., office, reports to the project director, mental health and justice. 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.


  • Support the design and implementation of a policy framework, tools to engage policy research, conceptualize technical assistance models, and analysis on key issues surrounding mental health and justice and crisis response systems, with a specific focus on policy solutions that address a community’s ability to respond to the issue, engage, and fund the appropriate responses to barriers that preclude individuals from proper care.
  • Serve as an expert on Pew research, best practices, and policies in public forums, speaking engagements, task forces, and working groups.
  • Collaborate with Pew’s government performance teams to identify the research, national experts, and materials needed to support the project’s goals.
  • Develop and deliver digital and print products and presentations that will effectively convey research findings to key audiences, including policymakers, the media, and other stakeholders.
  • Monitor and identify emerging policy issues that are priorities of the initiative such as changes in public policy, government funding, demographic trends and research, and best practices.
  • Synthesize research to identify trends, best practices, opportunities and challenges, and compelling examples.
  • Working with Pew’s legal and government relations teams, ensure that the project is in strict compliance with all federal, state and local lobbying and ethics laws. Collaborate with leadership to ensure strong, evidence-based research methodologies, and practices.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required.
  • At least eight years of applicable experience with particular focus on mental health or other relevant field strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated time and project-management skills, including the ability to think creatively, juggle multiple priorities, adjust to changing circumstances, organize time, and remain attentive to details.
  • Demonstrated strong analytical skills, including the ability to synthesize and summarize large amounts of information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue.
  • Ability to write clearly and cogently for internal and public audiences.
  • A strong drive for achieving measurable results.
  • Seasoned judgment with the capacity to make difficult choices, justify recommendations and provide constructive feedback to colleagues and partners.
  • Experience working with a broad range of stakeholders including community-based nonprofit organizations, policy makers and other potential partners for the program.
  • Ability to work collegially within a creative, fast-paced corporate culture that emphasizes excellence and teamwork.

This position requires \overnight travel to meetings and conferences.


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.


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