Senior Associate, State Policy, Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative

  • Washington, DC, US

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The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and invigorate civic life.

We are an independent nonprofit organization – the sole beneficiary of seven individual trusts established between 1948 and 1979 by two sons and two daughters of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew.

Our work lays the foundation for effective policy solutions by informing and engaging citizens, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause and insisting on tangible results. Our projects encourage efficient, responsive governments – at the local, state, national and international levels – serving the public interests.

With offices in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Brussels and London and staff in other regions of the United States as well as Australia, Pew provides an exciting learning environment and the opportunity to work with highly talented individuals. We are a dynamic, rapidly evolving organization that values creativity and innovative thinking and fosters strong teamwork with mutual respect.

Government Performance:

Government Performance (GP), an internal operating division of The Pew Charitable Trusts, identifies and advances effective policy approaches to critical issues. It researches emerging topics, develops data-driven reports, and highlights innovative approaches to complex problems. When the facts are clear, GP advocates for nonpartisan, pragmatic solutions.

GP initiatives focuses on six areas: (1) strengthening the economic well-being of America's families; (2) promoting fiscal health at the state, federal and local levels; (3) advancing innovative, data-driven state policy in targeted areas, such as corrections, elections, and children's dental health; (4) ensuring a safe food supply; (5) encouraging safety and innovation in drugs and medical devices; and (6) fostering cutting-edge biomedical research. GP makes use of the basic tools required to help explore and advance effective policies, regardless of the issue: 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.

Project Description:

In the current fiscal environment, most states are facing tough budget choices, and are lacking the resources needed to support traditional levels of public services. Increasingly, policy makers are seeking those combinations of programs and policies that will yield the greatest benefits in the most cost-effective way. The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative (Results First), a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, works with states to implement an innovative cost-benefit analysis tool that helps them invest in policies and programs that are proven to work.

Results First is working intensively in selected states and counties in targeted policy areas to embed cost-benefit analysis into policy and budget decision-making. This work is focused on both helping jurisdictions inventory their program expenditures; customize and implement a cost-benefit tool originally developed by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy; and linking this analysis to states' policy and budget processes so that leaders can use the results to inform difficult decisions. Results First is also working to develop related evidence-based policy tools that would enable states to use the results of meta-analyses performed by additional organizations to better inform their policy and budget choices; these organizations include Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, the Institute of Education Sciences' What Works Clearinghouse, the Office of Justice Programs'[[|]], and the RAND Promising Practices Network.

Position Overview:

Based in Pew's Washington, DC, office, the Senior Associate, State Policy, will provide strategic support to all aspects of the project's policy work, with a particular focus on intensive assistance to selected states. Reporting to the Senior Manager, State Policy, the Senior Associate also will collaborate closely with internal colleagues and external partners to advance project goals. This position is for a term period through December 31, 2018, with the possibility of an extension pending the success of the program, funding sources, and board decisions on continued support.

Job Requirements

  • In collaboration with senior project staff, lead and support selected states in implementing the inventory and cost-benefit model tools, and use the results in policy and budget decisions; this will include developing state-specific strategies, communicating regularly with state partners, working closely with Results First's technical assistance providers, conducting at least monthly in-person site visits, and guiding and monitoring states' progress toward goals.
  • Build and maintain relationships with policy makers, staff, and stakeholders in assigned states to collect information, track policy efforts related to Results First, and develop partnerships, advocacy and education strategies to advance the project's agenda and expertise.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the policy and political landscape in selected states; monitor and identify emerging issues relevant to the project's goals.
  • Help design and execute strategies for effective dissemination of research and communications documents to advance policy change in selected states.
  • Become highly familiar with the Washington State Institute for Public Policy cost-benefit tool and other promising models.
  • Assist in ensuring all of the major technical assistance and outreach efforts are well-coordinated and strategically focused.
  • Organize and facilitate meetings with stakeholders in selected states and contribute to the team's effort to plan and host annual convenings.
  • Represent Results First at conferences, meetings, and other events, including preparing materials for distribution and making presentations, as needed.
  • Contribute to and participate in tasks of Results First, as well as broader Pew-wide projects and committees as needed.


  • Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree in public policy, public administration, or a related discipline preferred.
  • A minimum of 4 years of relevant experience.
  • Experience implementing complex projects aimed at informing and advancing effective public policy.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of policymaking and issue campaigns at the state level; demonstrated knowledge of evidence-based practices in social policy areas (e.g., criminal justice, child welfare, or pre-K-12 education preferred).
  • Demonstrated project management and organizational skills; able to meet multiple deadlines by setting priorities and identifying resources.
  • Excellent applied research and analytical skills, including the ability to synthesize information, and identify themes.
  • Acute political awareness and non-partisan perspective and approach; demonstrated ability to build relationships among individuals and organizations with a range of interests and perspectives.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; able to communicate complex concepts in a clear, effective manner for a lay audience.
  • Ability to exercise a logical and resourceful approach to evaluating and addressing problems.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop and manage productive and collaborative relationships both internally and externally; comfortable working both independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to think strategically, juggle multiple priorities, adjust to changing circumstances, resolve problems creatively and logically, organize time efficiently, and remain attentive to details.


We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits package.


It is anticipated that this position will undertake regular travel, approximately two to three trips per month, to conduct site visits, and attend professional conferences.

Pew is an equal opportunity employer.

Apply Here


The Pew Charitable Trusts

Areas of focus:

  • 901 E Street NW
    Washington, DC, US 20004
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  • Employment type:

    Full Time
  • Professional level:

    None specified
  • Job functions:


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