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Public Policy Strategy Consulting

Pew Charitable Trusts
Washington, Ohio, US
Closing date
Jan 24, 2022

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Academic / Research
Policy / Legal
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
The Strategy Portfolio within Program

The goal of the strategy portfolio is to inform critical institutional decisions about Pew's programs, strengthen the design and implementation of Pew's work, and generate knowledge that advances Pew's program objectives. We pursue this goal by (1) enhancing the organization's efforts to generate ideas for new initiatives and larger bodies of work; (2) applying a wide range of planning approaches to help programs turn ideas into effective action; (3) using evaluation to improve program performance and inform decision-making; (4) ensuring that staff has access to information that meets their needs to design, implement, and manage high-performing strategies, initiatives, and campaigns; and (5) collaborating with colleagues in preparing a wide range of planning and other types of documents for consideration by Pew's board of directors. The strategy portfolio was created in 2017 through the merger of Pew's longstanding planning and evaluation department and a new program unit focused on strategy and idea development and has approximately 30 professional staff.


Pew's planning unit, housed within strategy, works in partnership with program and portfolio leadership and staff to identify, develop, and refine high-profile initiatives in line with institutional and programmatic needs and priorities. Specifically, in partnership with and support of program and portfolio leadership, the unit
  • Identifies and explores new public policy and research issues in which Pew might play a role
  • Develops program designs, strategies, and initiatives to address these issues
  • Reviews, informs, and strengthens existing strategies and initiatives to meet new or revised objectives.

Position Overview

Working in partnership with planning staff and relevant colleagues across the institution, the principal associate will support all phases of the planning lifecycle including developing new initiatives, refining existing ones, and helping to gracefully sunset projects, managing some projects independently. In performing this work, the principal associate will collaborate to ensure program strategies and plans are rigorous, clear, and innovative by problem solving with the program teams to address substantive issues. The principal associate will respond independently or in collaboration with colleagues to inquiries from Pew leaders or others that require limited research and a fast turnaround. The position offers the opportunity to shape the work of the environment, government performance, Philadelphia, and research and science portfolios which currently consist of 35+ projects, including focus areas ranging from environmental policy, land conservation, marine conservation and fisheries, and marine habitat protection to family economic security, health and human services, management and budget, and safety and justice.

The position requires a talented public policy strategist with strong interpersonal, analytical, and writing skills and excellent project management skills. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated ability to quickly master new topics and understand the interests and needs of an organization and its target audiences. The position requires adaptability, creativity, initiative, and a solutions-oriented attitude. This position, located in Pew's Washington, D.C. office, will report to the senior manager, planning.

  • Collaborate with colleagues to explore new project ideas and strengthen existing ones by:
    • Conducting research including literature reviews and primary research, and identifying and engaging internal and external experts to address knowledge gaps, synthesizing findings and making recommendations.
    • Supporting the development and execution of planning tools and frameworks, such as theory of change diagrams, logic models, impact maps, problem statements, and potential solutions, including technical assistance, policy development, and advocacy.
    • Facilitating project team discussion and problem-solving.
    • Asking strategic questions to validate underlying assumptions in project design and providing impartial guidance to strengthen the team's approach.
    • Participating in a rigorous vetting process to determine the technical and political viability of project design solutions and provide strategic recommendations on the potential role for the organization.
    • Managing work plans, timelines and budgets, leveraging project management best practices
    • Assisting in translating planning analyses into proposals, including documents intended for Pew's board, by providing guidance on the appropriate content and level of detail, sharing substantive feedback on drafts, or drafting documents where appropriate.
  • Stay current on public policy issues and research and maintain awareness of effective public policy strategies and new trends and tactics.
  • Deliver clear, efficient, influential, and collaborative communication across a wide range of internal stakeholders, including written and verbal strategic recommendations for leadership.
  • Assist with formation of, and work with, ad hoc teams formed to explore new and emerging issues and comprised of strategy colleagues, internal staff, and/or consultants.
  • Develop and manage contracts with external partners and consultants as necessary.
  • Support implementation of Pew's yearly annual planning process.

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience required. Advanced degree preferred in domestic or international public policy, or other fields relevant to formulation of public policy.
  • At least six years of experience helping design, launch, and/or operate strategies or projects aimed at informing and advancing effective public policy at the state, national or international levels. Consulting experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and master new issues quickly. Knowledge of current domestic and international political and economic trends, and major concerns within public policy.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; proven ability to work productively with a wide array of stakeholders and perspectives and approach issues with a nonpartisan, objective mindset.
  • Strong research and analytical skills; asks probing questions, synthesizes material, and focuses quickly on the essence of an issue and the means to address it.
  • Resourceful in identifying and gathering relevant information and data, including interviewing high-level experts; highly skilled at analyzing and organizing a large volume of complex information into a clear and coherent narrative.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including the ability to present, facilitate, write clearly and effectively, convince and persuade, and listen carefully.
  • Ability to work effectively on teams and independently, with a high degree of initiative.
  • Track record of thinking strategically and creatively, juggling multiple priorities, adjusting to changing circumstances, organizing time efficiently, remaining attentive to details.
  • Ability to fit into a fast-paced and highly professional corporate culture which emphasizes excellence, collegiality, and teamwork.


Moderate travel required for 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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