Officer, State Policy, Strengthening Public Sector Retirement Systems

06 May, 2019


Officer, State Policy, Strengthening Public Sector Retirement Systems

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 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.


Project Overview
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:

  • Provide highly credible, independent, and nonpartisan research, including 50-state reports, to help answer critical questions about which policy actions are most effective at controlling costs, meeting states’ policy goals, and providing workers with retirement security;
  • Provide selected states with customized technical assistance informed by tailored research; and
  • Engage influential stakeholders to build the support necessary to enact reform.

Position Overview
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 or a related field, knowledge of public-sector retirement and benefit systems, and work experience undertaking projects involving many partners, complex issues, and extensive writing and presentation skills.

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.


  • Manage and provide intensive technical assistance to states and cities engaged with the project and its partners, including high-quality data analysis, development of evidence-based policy options, and effective policy maker and stakeholder education of proposed policies and practices.
  • Identify and develop relationships with respected policy makers and stakeholders in the field and seek out potential partnerships to advance the project’s agenda and expertise.
  • Collaborate with and direct associates and senior associates who are providing technical assistance to states and cities.
  • Identify, hire, and manage contractors working on technical assistance. This work includes identifying the specific project needs and appropriate contractors to meet those needs, developing work plans and executing contracts, and managing contractors and contract deliverables.
  • Facilitate working group meetings and outreach to executive, legislative, independent agencies, and other stakeholder members.
  • Lead the coordination of project activities with external partners, including national and state-based stakeholder organizations and consultants, to support state reform efforts.
  • Develop and implement legislative and communications strategies.
  • Conduct state assessments (or oversee contractor assessments) and make recommendations of states to receive assistance from the project.
  • Ensure all state assistance components are well-coordinated and strategically focused.
  • Develop and disseminate state-based publications from the project and its partners, including generating ideas for publications (that may include original research), managing development of the ideas into viable publications, and drafting copy and graphics.
  • Maintain and continue to develop an understanding of emerging public-sector retirement and benefits system issues by monitoring publications and participating in conferences, seminars, and other professional development activities.
  • Contribute to and participate in tasks within the department as well as broader Pew-related projects and activities.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in public policy or other relevant field strongly preferred.
  • At least eight years of applicable experience in the public policy arena, particularly working in the state legislative arena. A working knowledge of public-sector retirement and benefit systems is desirable.
  • 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.
  • A clear, effective writing and presentation style.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated research and analytical skills applied to public policy issues, including an ability to synthesize and summarize large amounts of information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue.
  • Demonstrated time- and project-management skills, including an ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization. Ability to establish a systematic course of action to ensure project completion.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team, foster consensus, and collaborate with diverse partners to advance pragmatic solutions.
  • Acute political awareness and nonpartisan perspective and approach.
  • 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. An average of two to three trips per month to perform work or assessments in states and cities.


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.


Total Rewards
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.



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Job posted: 2019-05-06