Full-Time Senior Officer, Planning, Strategy (Environment)
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 some of today’s big challenges – and we know we are more effective and creative collectively than we are individually. With Philadelphia as our hometown and the majority of our staff located in Washington, D.C., 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 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 initiatives 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.
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, 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; and reviews, informs, and strengthens existing strategies and initiatives to meet new or revised objectives.
The senior officer will assist the project director in carrying out the strategy team’s duties, including providing planning support to the environment portfolio, which currently consists of 21 projects across three focus areas – environmental policy, land and freshwater conservation, and marine conservation and fisheries. The senior officer will provide high-quality consultative guidance to environment portfolio leadership and staff with emphasis on ensuring program strategies and plans are rigorous, clear, and innovative by problem solving with the program teams to address substantive issues.
The position, as needed, will be expected to take the lead on certain research and analysis activities to answer questions that arise as part of planning engagements, including facilitating third-party explorations of new topic areas. This may include: conducting literature reviews and primary research; interviewing external and internal experts; preparing written and verbal strategic recommendations for program senior management and Pew colleagues and leaders; and managing timelines and budgets. The senior officer will also support the project director on Pew’s annual planning process, with a focus on the environment portfolio, including reviewing documents and ensuring deadlines and guidelines are met. For certain projects, the senior officer will work with other colleagues on the planning team through a matrixed team structure. Additional specific duties are detailed in the responsibilities section below.
The position requires an experienced public policy or strategic planning expert with strong knowledge of domestic and international environmental issues. The ideal candidate has a demonstrated ability to quickly master new topics and understand the interests and needs of an organization and its target audiences. The senior officer displays excellent interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills and approaches partnership with the portfolio leadership and staff with an adaptable, creative, and solutions-oriented attitude.
The position, based in Pew’s Washington, D.C., office, will report to the project director, planning – environment and annual planning, strategy.
- Support the project director and collaborate with the environmental portfolio through an array of planning activities including:
- Support and collaborate with the program portfolio colleagues in identifying and exploring new ideas for possible program development through a variety of activities, including facilitating program planning sessions, engaging with internal and external experts, scoping problems and potentials solutions, and building consensus around a shared vision.
- Conduct in-depth topic research in both prospective and current program areas to address knowledge gaps and inform decision-making.
- Support the development and use of planning tools and frameworks, such as theory of change diagrams, logic models, impact maps, problem statements, and the identification of approaches that could contribute to potential solutions, including technical assistance, policy development, and advocacy.
- Facilitate project team discussion and problem-solving and assist in solutions-oriented decision-making.
- Pose questions to identify and test underlying assumptions in project design components and provide impartial guidance to strengthen the team’s approach.
- Undertake a rigorous vetting process to determine the technical, economic, and political viability of project design solutions and provide recommendations on the potential role for Pew.
- Assist in translating planning analyses into proposals, including documents intended for Pew’s board, by providing guidance on the appropriate content and level of detail, and sharing substantive feedback on drafts.
- Support the effective development, tracking, and occasional course-correcting when necessary, of projects and plans, including strategies, objectives, and deliverables.
Support the project director and the program department in annual planning:
- Support the project director in designing, implementing, and overseeing the organization’s annual program planning process.
- Provide, update, and answer questions on guidance to create meaningful milestones that meet Pew’s criteria and address the strategic objectives.
- Ensure board deadlines are met efficiently and effectively.
- Communicate clearly, efficiently, and persuasively in professional engagements with a wide range of internal stakeholders.
- Develop succinct, executive-level summaries, including findings and recommendations.
- Offer support to the project director and program leadership and staff in connecting the dots across project, portfolio, and program areas to improve organizational coordination, information sharing, and impact.
- Build and maintain productive working relationships with internal colleagues and external stakeholders.
- Serve as a mentor to and contribute to professional development of other staff on the planning team.
- Support the project director in developing and periodically updating work plans, timelines, and scope of work documents that summarize the strategic planning engagements with the environmental portfolio, applying effective project management practices.
- Develop and manage contracts as necessary.
- Work with the project director to respond efficiently and effectively to inquiries from Pew leadership and other special projects in the strategy portfolio.
- As a senior officer within the strategy department, share expertise and knowledge, and contribute to ongoing improvement and learning both within and outside the department.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required. Advanced degree in environmental public policy, strategic planning, or other fields relevant to formulation of environmental programs, or equivalent years of experience, preferred.
- At least 10 years of applicable experience demonstrating intellectual leadership and designing, launching, and implementing strategies or projects aimed at informing and advancing effective environmental policy and programs at the local, state, national or international levels required. Consulting experience preferred.
- Knowledge of current domestic and international social, political, and economic trends, leading thinkers, and major concerns within public policy and society relevant to environmental issues.
- Demonstrated expertise in one or more fields of environmental domestic or international policy. Demonstrated ability to manage and deliver tangible results from complex projects, including significant experience working as part of interdisciplinary teams.
- Strong research and analytical skills and the ability to organize diverse and complex information into a clear and coherent narrative.
- Resourcefulness in identifying and gathering relevant information and data, including interviewing high-level experts.
- Excellent written and oral communications skills, including the ability to present, write clearly and effectively, convince and persuade, and listen carefully.
- Excellent facilitation skills including the ability to quickly synthesize and frame key themes during meeting discussions and to drive project teams to solutions-oriented decisions.
- Strong interpersonal skills; proven ability to work productively with a wide array of stakeholders and perspectives and approach issues with a nonpartisan, objective mindset.
- Ability to think strategically and creatively, juggle multiple priorities, adjust to changing circumstances, organize time efficiently, remain attentive to details, and identify resources for projects. Proven project management skills and knowledge of project management methods preferred.
This position requires occasional travel to meetings and conferences.
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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