Project Director, Civil Justice Innovation Project

  • Job posted by The Pew Charitable Trusts

Job Type

Full Time




District of Columbia
United States


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, Australia, Brussels and London, and with additional staff in other regions of the United States and around the globe, 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.

Project Description:

The civil justice innovation project launches in 2018 as an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts. The project works to make the nation's civil legal system more accessible and affordable to the public by implementing the most promising technologies and tools to assist self-represented litigants and improve state court efficiency. The project provides technical assistance to courts to encourage the broad-scale adoption of these technologies and conducts evaluations to determine best practices.

Specifically the project will:

  • Promote the adoption of online dispute resolution as an official judicial procedure in five states, through deployment statewide or in a major municipal subdivision of the state court system.
  • Support the successful implementation of statewide legal-assistance portals in two states that provide access via the internet to diagnostics of civil legal problems and referral to a variety of information and services to assist self-represented litigants.
  • Identify the next set of states to target for the adoption of statewide legal-assistance portals.
  • Produce evaluations of four online dispute-resolution systems and two legal-assistance portals that estimate the expected return on investment for and examine changes in affordability, access, and time to case resolution for these technologies compared to traditional processing.
  • Convene a prominent civil justice working group to produce recommendations regarding additional technologies and reforms that would improve access to justice.

Position Overview:

The project director position, based in Pew's Washington, DC, office, will report to the senior director, state campaigns. The project director will have primary responsibility over all facets of the project, developing opportunities, delivering technical assistance and conducting evaluations, to achieve the goals of the project. This person will manage the initiative, supervise project staff and collaborate closely with other Pew colleagues, including communications, government relations, philanthropic partnerships and operations. 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.


  • Leadership and success of all aspects of the initiative, ensuring all aspects of the project, ensuring they are well coordinated and strategically focused.
  • Manage and mentor project staff. Contribute to professional development, providing constructive feedback on performance.
  • Design and monitor state technical assistance efforts, ensuring they are well-conceived and effectively implemented.
  • Oversee the development of a diverse coalition of stakeholders to support the project's goals.
  • Oversee an evaluation effort that will determine the impact on cost efficiency, timeliness and accessibility, user satisfaction, and return on investment of online dispute-resolution systems.
  • Oversee a research agenda that will fill important knowledge gaps in the field and be relied upon to guide continued reform.
  • In conjunction with Pew's communications team, develop a communications strategy to support the project's goals.
  • Manage the initiative's budget, ensuring compliance with all internal procedures, including those for entering into and managing contracts.
  • Collaborate with Philanthropic Partnerships to engage external funders.


  • Bachelor's degree required; law degree preferred.
  • At least ten years of experience in public policy that demonstrates a high level of understanding of issues including: the civil justice system; the use of technology to help address fundamental government services; experience working with senior state policy makers, researchers, advocates and other stakeholders strongly preferred. Excellent understanding of current trends, leading thinkers and climate for change in states and court systems.
  • Minimum of three years of previous direct supervisory experience required including experience overseeing performance management process for direct reports and providing career development advice and counsel.
  • Experience convening groups of policymakers, researchers, and other professionals, and supporting their efforts to reach consensus and move toward a desired outcome.
  • Proven success in overseeing complex projects and achieving measurable results. Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and to develop and move projects forward with a high degree of independence and autonomy.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. Must be flexible, creative, and consistent and assume high accountability for all areas of responsibility.
  • Strong and diplomatic interpersonal skills, demonstrating strong collaborative spirit and ability to make decisions.
  • Seasoned judgment. Ability to creatively solve problems, justify recommendations, and be responsive to colleagues and partners.
  • Superb oral and written communications skills. Ability to articulate complex ideas, thoughts and concepts clearly and effectively.
  • Ability to thrive in a creative, fast-paced and highly professional corporate culture that emphasizes excellence, collegiality and teamwork.
  • Acute political awareness and non-partisan perspective and approach.


Domestic travel will be required for this position.

Compensation and Benefits

We offer a competitive salary and complete 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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Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply