Senior Officer, Program Planning

The Pew Charitable Trusts   •  

Washington, DC

11 - 15 years

Posted 182 days ago

This job is no longer available.

Position Overview

The senior officer will develop and manage a diverse range of projects and provide counsel to program staff on strategy design for high-profile initiatives, with a focus on federal, state, and local government performance projects operated by Pew.

In partnership with program planning colleagues, the senior officer will:

(a) assist with the creation of multi-year strategic plans in accordance with the organization’s robust programmatic standards;

(b) analyze program reports in relation to approved strategies and recommend options for strengthening them;

(c) be a resourceful and trusted liaison between program VPs and staff and the planning director; and

(d) acquire substantial expertise in a range of issue areas and operating approaches at Pew to further build strategy’s capacity to collaborate with program staff. The individual will strengthen program planning and lead internal efforts that advance decision making by Pew’s board and senior management.

The position requires considerable experience in strategic planning, helping to define observable projected results and tracking progress of multi-faceted projects, as well as familiarity with advocacy initiatives to improve government performance and with public policy issues at the federal, state, and local government levels.

The candidate will possess highly developed, practiced inter-personal and written communication skills and demonstrate the ability to build positive and productive relationships with content experts and be able to work effectively and sensitively with leading professionals from a broad range of fields both inside and outside Pew. The senior officer, based in Washington, DC, reports to the director, program planning.


  • With the senior director, program planning and development, and director, program planning, assess the planning needs of programs with an emphasis on Pew’s federal, state, and local government performance efforts.
  • Develop a functional understanding of ongoing and past government performance projects, evaluations, challenges and successes and track the portfolios’ overall progress and direction, with an eye to identifying priority planning needs.
  • Provide guidance to senior program staff in developing complex, multi-year strategies and public-policy campaigns, with clearly defined theories of change and measurable or observable objectives.
  • Deliver strategic planning, program planning, and project design expertise through in-person consultation and written feedback to senior staff to support the development, implementation, and management of key initiatives.
  • Augment the capabilities of senior program staff to strengthen the design, implementation, and management of effective initiatives that achieve Pew’s policy objectives.
  • Develop and apply creative approaches to meet the organization’s strategic planning and program development needs, including generating program logic models; supporting the design of campaign or project plans; facilitating peer problem-solving sessions; and identifying and engaging internal and external expertise to address knowledge gaps.
  • Contribute to and strengthen the use of knowledge from Pew’s past and ongoing initiatives, and from the larger fields in which Pew works, to promote staff learning and skill building.
  • Develop positive, productive professional relationships with program colleagues, by adding value to their work and serving as a credible, trusted advisor. Build awareness of and demand for strategy’s services.
  • Collaborate with strategy colleagues to design and use evaluations to inform the development and management of program initiatives.
  • Share expertise with strategy and program planning colleagues to build the department’s and unit’s knowledge, expand its capacity, and improve the effectiveness of its engagements with program.  Mentor and contribute to the professional growth of program planning and development associates and throughout strategy. Supervise staff on assigned projects.


  • Bachelor’s degreerequired. An advanced degree (Master’s level) in a relevant field (e.g., business, economics, law, public policy) is strongly preferred.
  • At least ten years of relevant experience, including five years in a strategic capacity with an advocacy or public policy organization, or a consulting firm, preferably providing expert services to nonprofits pursuing public policy objectives.
  • Professional experience in at least one of the topics addressed by Pew’s government performance portfolios (e.g., state fiscal health, corrections, civil justice, higher educational debt and default, public health, healthcare, retirement savings, and public-sector retirement systems).
  • Strong project management skills. Demonstrated ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization. Ability to move quickly from one project to another, marshal resources, and manage expectations and timelines to achieve results.
  • Persuasive written and verbal communication and presentation skills; ability to synthesize material and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue and the means to address it. Uses a concise and effective writing style.
  • Quick-thinking, creative, flexible, and entrepreneurial; ability to work independently and autonomously; to effectively analyze issues; to think imaginatively about opportunities, to identify potential connections, and to respond with novel and innovative approaches to address an issue.
  • A consummate team player who is energetic, articulate, and self-assured; strong interpersonal skills; ability to exercise a productive presence in convening groups and shaping a dialogue; ability to effectively manage conflicts.
  • Ability to assess risks and opportunities when problem solving, and then make decisions, justify recommendations, and respond to issues with clarity and diplomacy. Excellent listening skills. Highly articulate.
  • Experience with and ability to access broad professional networks. Build solid relationships both inside and outside Pew to influence positive outcomes.
  • Strong understanding of how to manage by influencing others and the ability to accurately read nuances of meaning.
  • Ability to treat sensitive information about the business and affairs of Pew and those with whom it has relationships with discretion and confidence. High level of professional integrity.
  • Ability to thrive in the creative, fast-paced, and highly professional corporate culture of Pew that emphasizes excellence, collegiality and teamwork.