The Pew Charitable Trusts

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Senior Associate, Research, Public Safety Performance Project

at The Pew Charitable Trusts

Posted: 3/17/2020
Job Reference #: 6141
Keywords: research

Job Description

Posted Date4 months ago(12/4/2019 3:14 PM)
Job ID
Program-Government Performance
The Pew Charitable Trusts


Full Job Title: Senior Associate, Research, Public Safety Performance Project

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 home town 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 Government Performance Portfolio within Program
Pew’s government performance work identifies and advances effective approaches to help solve complex challenges at all levels of government in the United States.

The portfolio’s work can be traced back to our founders’ early efforts to improve the lives of Americans by supporting efforts that promoted health, civic engagement, and democratic ideals. Today, we conduct research on emerging topics, develop data-driven reports, and highlight innovative approaches in addressing complex problems at the federal, state, and local levels. Current initiatives focus on health and human services, government management and budget, family economic stability, and safety and justice.

Our teams explore and advance effective policy reforms using credible, timely, and accessible research, assessing public support for change, identifying approaches that have proved successful elsewhere, and bringing together diverse perspectives to find common ground. In addition, our teams use strategic outreach and dissemination to ensure that good information is widely communicated to decision-makers, media, influential stakeholders, and the public.

Project Overview
The public safety performance project (PSPP) was launched in 2006 as an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts. The project helps policymakers advance fiscally sound, data-driven policies and practices in criminal and juvenile justice systems that protect public safety, ensure accountability, and control costs. For more information about this project, visit

Position Overview

The senior associate, as part of the PSPP research team, will help advance the project’s goals by producing and managing timely, germane research and collaborating with colleagues who are focused on technical assistance, partnerships, communications, and other activities to improve criminal justice systems. The position involves extensive writing tailored to an educated lay audience.

The ideal candidate will have an educational and employment background in research and/or public policy, knowledge of the justice system, and experience working with projects involving many partners and complex issues and large, complex data sets.

The position, based in Pew’s Washington, D.C. office, reports to the manager, research. 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.


  • Under direction of the research manager and in collaboration with project staff, identify and prioritize the most salient research questions for the project’s portfolio.
  • Collaborate with project staff and contracted partners to produce rigorous and timely research that will sharpen the national conversation and inform key stakeholders.
  • Package research products into online and print publications, to include reports, briefs, web analyses and data visualizations that are salient to policy deliberations and easily understood by justice stakeholders, the media and the public.
  • Contribute in the design and execution of national studies that analyze criminal justice trends, and/or oversee the work of contracted partners to conduct such research.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of justice policy research and practice, including participating in conferences, seminars and professional development activities.
  • Work closely with communications staff to implement effective dissemination techniques, including written products, web content, and stakeholder convenings.
  • Provide rapid-response research and analysis as needed by staff to respond to requests for information.
  • Assist in the design and execution of policy and program evaluations, and/or oversee the work of contracted partners to conduct such research.


  • Bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree is strongly preferred.
  • At least four years of applicable experience in criminal justice research and policy analysis or a relevant field, with demonstrated understanding of at least one of the following areas: sentencing/courts, community supervision, jails or corrections.
  • Experience analyzing criminal justice data (e.g., courts, probation, prison, jail and parole).
  • Experience working with state policy makers, criminal justice system administrators, researchers and other criminal justice stakeholders is strongly preferred.
  • Strong quantitative research skills and proficiency with statistical software packages such as Stata, R, SAS or SPSS.
  • Demonstrated time and project management skills, including an ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization. Ability to think strategically and creatively, adjust to changing circumstances, remain attentive to details and identify resources for projects.
  • Strong political awareness and nonpartisan perspective and approach.

This position requires occasional overnight travel, approximately once every two-four months, for meetings and conferences.

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.

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.