Vice President, Research and Science

Washington, D.C.
Aug 08, 2018
Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors, Vice Presidents
Jobs Outside Higher Education
Research & Development
Institution Type

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 best interests of the people. We partner with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share our interest in fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.

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.

Position Overview
The vice president, research and science, is responsible for enhancing the quality and impact of the research conducted within Pew's five program portfolios (environment Americas, environment international, federal government performance, Philadelphia, and state and local government performance), with an eye toward producing quality research products. The vice president leads the research and science portfolio, with oversight responsibility for Pew's overall research review process, and also oversees specific research and science projects, where Pew both conducts and supports research on priority topics.

To this end, the vice president leverages the strengths of the combined research team; helps craft research findings that inform policy reform and implementation; champions the value of research throughout the organization; coordinates with other members of the senior management team to ensure research integrity across all projects; manages the research review process that works to ensure the quality of deliverables for research projects across Pew; seeks to apply research in various fields in ways that advance public policy reform; identifies opportunities to support and enhance existing systems and processes to equip program teams for success; and continues to foster a research community within Pew.

The vice president also oversees the program coordination and services function, which coordinates program-wide engagement with operations units, oversees key crosscutting program functions, and manages the program executive team, which supports the executive vice president and chief program officer.

The vice president reports to the executive vice president and chief program officer. She or he will work in partnership with other vice presidents to foster collaboration amongst program initiatives and teams; realize synergies; and ensure efficient, effective, and uniform processes and practices for both quality research and effective operational needs are in place and utilized across the program units. The vice president sits on the leadership team for the institution and is a member of program's senior management team, which is comprised of the executive vice president, six vice presidents, and five senior directors.

The research and science portfolio includes several project and support teams that house nearly 70 staff, including:

  • The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences, which provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are in their first few years of their appointment at the assistant professor level.
  • The Lenfest Ocean Program, a grantmaking program that funds scientific research on policy-relevant topics concerning the world's oceans and communicates the results of the supported research to decision-makers and other interested audiences.
  • The Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation, which seeks to improve ocean health by generating high-quality research and fostering a global community of experts who collaborate to address marine conservation issues.
  • Conservation science, which supports and manages environmental research projects in partnership with Pew's broader environmental portfolios and provides in-depth expertise in the development and support of new environmental research efforts.
  • Pew's fiscal federalism initiatives, which conduct research addressing the relationship between federal, state, local policies, and budgets on topics of shared interest and responsibility. These areas include such topics as broadband connectivity, higher education, natural disaster (response and preparedness), and student loan research.
  • Stateline, Pew's digital newspaper that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy, is a team of veteran journalists that combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country. Stateline focuses on four topics that are key to state policy: demographics, fiscal and economic issues, health care, and the business of government.
  • Research review and support (RRS), a group of experienced researchers and analysts that carries out the research review process that works to ensure quality research across Pew. RRS helps project teams design and implement high-quality research reports, studies, issue briefs, surveys, and other data-driven research; validates research quality for all projects from initial proposal through to the post-analysis data checks; advises project teams on methodological or analytical questions; and provides research assistance.
  • Program coordination and services, a team that works to ensure effective management systems across the program department and coordinates with other operating departments (communications, finance, government relations, human resources, legal, and workplace services) to achieve program objectives.
  • Program executive team, which prioritizes, facilitates, and coordinates workflow and communications between the executive vice president and other departments, including the president and CEO, program leadership, and external partners to ensure the smooth running of the executive vice president and chief program officer's office.


  • Identify and implement strategies to inform policy change through applied research.
  • Work with project teams across Pew to design, manage, and deliver rigorous, fact-based research that explores board-approved policy issues in order to have national and international impact. Work with teams to develop research and survey approaches that answer relevant policy questions and are conducted in a high-quality, rigorous, and timely manner.
  • Conceptualize and design the research methods used for a variety of research products, including empirical analysis, compilation and analysis of data sets, and literature reviews. Maintain and develop a broad technical knowledge of research methodologies.
  • Maintain research and survey review and tracking processes that are responsive to Pew's commitment to high-quality research. Modify the research and survey review processes as necessary and ensure that any changes are communicated across the institution.
  • Collaborate with program teams on the development of written reports and other research products that are highly relevant to policy deliberations and easily understood by the public, media, and policymakers. Collaborate with Pew's communications unit, external writers, and other consultants as necessary to ensure a broad audience that reaches key stakeholders.
  • Engage regularly with significant organizations and professional associations. Understand the conditions and dynamics in general research approaches and developments and issues in his/her specific discipline or field. Know the major players and why they are significant. Maintain a productive network of leading researchers in the public policy, economics, health care, and environmental arenas.
  • Lead Pew's efforts to broaden and deepen the evidence-based policymaking field. Participate in conferences, seminars, and other professional development activities. Represent Pew at public forums and in front of key audiences.
  • Collaborate with partners within program and the other operations departments to improve coordination across program and operating units, including, for example, identifying and addressing issues related to grants management and assessing training needs at all levels of project management.
  • Lead the work of the teams listed above and set their strategic direction in coordination with the executive vice president. Oversee the work and development of research and science staff. Assist project directors within research and science in the development and monitoring of program budgets.
  • Manage and mentor staff, including overseeing managers with junior staff.
  • Contribute to and participate in tasks of the department as assigned. Participate in Pew-wide projects as requested.
  • Serve as a member of the program leadership team.


  • Bachelor's degree required and advanced degree or Ph.D. and research experience strongly preferred.
  • A minimum of 15 years of senior leadership experience in an academic or public policy setting required.
  • Minimum of 10 years of previous direct supervisory experience required, including experience managing performance management processes for direct reports and providing career development advice and counsel.
  • Specialized technical expertise in a field relevant to Pew's public policy priorities, which include economics, public finance, econometric analysis, conservation, and health preferred. Recognized authority in area of expertise or has played a leadership role in a specialized area.
  • Expertise in research design and skilled in higher-order quantitative and qualitative research methods. Extensive familiarity with a wide variety of data sources, as well as sources of sound advice for research design.
  • Expertise and up-to-date awareness of research review processes and associated software products, and expertise to make them usable by Pew researchers.
  • Broad understanding of domestic and/or international policy and keen awareness and/or experience with using research and data to inform policy.
  • A strong network of relevant contacts that can provide expert information, analysis, and advice to advance results. Able to leverage relationships to influence positive outcomes. Excellent knowledge of the current trends, principal theories, leading thinkers, and major concerns within portfolio area.
  • A strong results orientation, with a track record of solving problems creatively. A strong commitment to producing measurable results.
  • Ability to navigate a complex institution and to develop strong internal relationships. Seasoned judgment; able to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be responsive, clear, and firm with colleagues and partners.
  • Excellent analytic and problem-solving skills. Ability to synthesize large amounts of information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue/problem, determine whether it is ripe for intervention, and identify the means to address it.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. An excellent listener who can work productively and diplomatically with a wide array of different people and institutions that frequently disagree with and are in competition with one another. Excellent written and oral communications skills. Expertise as an editor.
  • Excellent time and project management skills. Highly flexible, with the ability to juggle multiple priorities, adjust to changing circumstances, remain attentive to details, and identify resources for projects.
  • Ability to fit into Pew's nonpartisan, creative, fast-paced, and highly professional corporate culture, which emphasizes excellence, collegiality, and teamwork.
  • Ability to analyze budgetary information and assess organizational capacity.

Occasional day and overnight travel, including some international, throughout the year.

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.

Equal Employer Opportunity (EEO) Statement
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.


Similar jobs

Similar jobs