Officer, Government Relations

21 Sep, 2020


Officer, Government Relations

Pew Charitable Trusts
Washington, DC


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.
Government Relations 
Government Relations (GR) was established in 2006 to complement and advance Pew’s work in the public policy arena. In 2010, the department was reorganized and staff that had been spread throughout the institution were consolidated into a single unit. Government Relations is comprised of a Senior Vice President and five units overseeing advocacy of Pew’s programmatic agenda as well as operations and institutional advocacy. The priorities of the department are to: (1) provide relevant, timely and insightful advice on legislation of direct relevance to the Trusts, its programs and advocacy goals; (2) develop close effective relationships with key congressional offices, the administration and the government affairs staffs of major trade organizations relevant to our work; (3) develop Pew’s annual advocacy strategy as well as manage and facilitate its implementation; (4) work hand in hand with program staff and policy experts to guide advocacy from inception to successful completion; (5) coordinate, collaborate and communicate with and between Government Relations and program staff to advance institutional priorities, (6) monitor, track, review and approve all interactions between Pew staff and government officials including participation in coalition efforts and work with our external stakeholders; and (7) ensure full compliance by Pew with all applicable regulations related to lobbying and advocacy.
Position Overview
The Officer will be an integral part of the Government Relations team in Washington, D.C. and will have lead responsibility for providing government relations strategy to Pew’s safety and justice programs with a concentrated emphasis on the work of the Public Safety Performance Project and the newly launched Mental Health and Justice Partnerships project. The public safety performance project was launched in 2006 and helps policymakers advance fiscally sound, data-driven policies and practices in criminal and juvenile justice systems that protect public safety, ensure accountability, and control costs. The mental health and justice initiative will connect stakeholders, establish models for reform, and improve the capacity of states and county governments to implement comprehensive alternatives to decrease the use of jails as crisis centers for people with severe and persistent mental illness. Working closely with both projects’ management team and communications staff, the Officer will be responsible for ensuring that the projects government relations objectives are well-planned, strategic and effectively implemented. He/she will coordinate our external partnership(s) and manage internal and external lobbyists (including contract administration, compliance and goal setting).  The Officer will perform research on pending legislation, law and regulations, monitor progress toward programmatic advocacy goals, report on same and design successful advocacy campaigns to advance policy goals.  The Officer will report to the Director of Government Relations.


  • Serve as a senior member of the Government Performance Government Relations team overseeing all government engagement efforts for the assigned projects.
  • Act as an advisor and resource to the projects to ensure that their government policy objectives are achieved. Advise the projects on which governmental actors to target (e.g. legislative and/or executive at the federal, state and local levels) and the best strategies to impact the respective actor’s decision-making (e.g. coalition building, technical assistance, research and analysis of proposed legislation/regulations, direct lobbying, etc.). Work to ensure knowledge and in some cases alignment of local, state, and federal government relations objectives.
  • In coordination with the project staff, design and execute government relations initiatives for the projects. These initiatives will include developing and utilizing tactics such as: individual policymaker meetings, planning policymaker briefings, drafting and reviewing public comment letters and hearing testimony, e-advocacy/grassroots messaging, developing targeted messaging and presentations for specific audiences, etc.
  • Maintain a broad knowledge of issues related to safety and justice policy. Inform and advise the project teams on relevant federal, state and local policy developments. Identify viable opportunities to influence policy change.
  • Direct the effort to identify, evaluate and implement effective strategies for pursuing federal government relations efforts in support of the project’s work on adult and juvenile sentencing and corrections reform, community supervision and pre-trial jails.
  • Lead federal appropriations advocacy efforts for program priorities in Congress. Manage key federal/state partnerships to secure stable funding for technical assistance work by communicating state successes to federal officials in both the executive and legislative branches in various formats. Research current federal Justice grant programs and guidelines and assess the opportunity to reform same in line with project goals.  Design and implement successful advocacy campaign to advance this work.
  • In consultation with communications team, manage messaging and media strategy to help ensure that communication and outreach are well-designed components of the federal reform strategy and serve broader institutional goals, including collaborating on press releases, op-eds, memos and other mediums with Pew communications staff.
  • Serve as a liaison between program staff and Legal/Government Relations compliance staff to ensure full compliance with relevant federal and state lobbying disclosure and ethics rules.
  • Coordinate advocacy efforts in this policy area to ensure alignment with other Pew projects that may include lobbying and preform legislative research to inform programmatic goals and strategies.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required.
  • A minimum of eight years of professional experience working with policymakers and staff in government relations, government service, state or federal campaigns and/or policy advocacy. A working knowledge of sentencing and corrections policy is preferred.
  • Strong political and interpersonal skills. Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ease in reaching out to policymakers and their staff, and in communicating complex concepts in a clear effective fashion.
  • Recognized ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization and experience managing complex projects and issues.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
As applicable
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.
Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-09-21