Associate, Election Initiatives

The Pew Charitable Trusts
Jul 11, 2014
Aug 10, 2014
Ms. Human Resources
Full Time

Project Description
The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Election Initiatives aims to foster an election system that achieves the highest standards of accuracy, convenience, efficiency and security by supporting research that examines the most pressing election problems and undertaking an array of pilot projects to address issues identified during elections. Pew’s research and experiments inform our approach to identifying efficient, cost effective solutions – policies, practices and technologies – that address the key challenges facing the election process:
•Building an election system that reflects the way people live. American elections operate today much as they did at the turn of the 20th century. Election Initiatives aspires to bring elections into the 21st century with research that will advance solutions to modernize the voter registration system, improve the voting process for military and overseas voters and study new models for casting ballots that accommodate a modern, mobile society.
•Putting voters in charge of their own voting experience. Despite the reforms since the 2000 election, the election process continues to overlook the most important part: the voter. Election Initiatives seeks to empower voters by using technology to make personalized voter information widely and equally available via the Internet and other means.
•Eliminating barriers to innovation. Although voters recognize the need for reform, America’s election system has been remarkably resistant to change. Election Initiatives works to lower these barriers by encouraging policy makers and vendors to focus on data, not anecdotes to make informed decisions. Through better collection of election data and improved measures of performance, we foster innovative, evidence-based solutions to help states overcome barriers to innovation in election reform.
Pew recognizes that successful election reform must involve a variety of stakeholders in the process. We consult with election officials, policy makers, researchers, technology experts, businesses and other stakeholders in the election process to help guide our commitment to election modernization. Pew also works with partners to disseminate up-to-date, comprehensive, centralized election news, research and reform analysis to inform various stakeholders and the general public regarding election reform issues and best practices.

Position Overview
This position, based in Pew's Washington, DC office, will report to the research Manager of Election Initiatives and will be part of a project staff including a director, four managers, four senior associates, two associates and an administrative assistant.

The Associate’s primary responsibilities involve supporting the activities and goals of the portfolio of Pew’s Election Initiatives work, which includes the Elections Performance Index, Upgrading Voter Registration, the Voting Information Project, as well as other projects aimed at improving the research portfolio of the elections team.

The Associate will be an integral part of all these projects, spending much of his or her time researching and drafting reports, memos, policy briefs, 50-state scans and other research products that are highly relevant to policy deliberations. This individual will need to analyze and translate large amounts of data and research related to election administration into written products that policymakers and the public can easily understand.

Additionally the Associate will be part of team collecting, cleaning and coding data as well as communicating with states and counties when conducting research. Consequently, the Associate must be able to think creatively about how to collect, use and report elections information from state and local officials. This individual will be required to coordinate and sustain our inquiries and relationships as well as manage research consultants we work with.

The Associate also will work closely with the senior associate in the processing of contracts and subgrants, ensuring they are complete and accurate, as well other aspects of supporting the team’s operations such as assisting with meeting planning.

It is expected that this position is for a term period through December 31, 2015, with the possibility of an extension pending the success of the program, funding sources and board decisions on continued support.

Job Requirements
•Work as an individual and as part of the team in writing, editing, and reviewing reports, memos, policy briefs and 50-state scans that support the strategic goals of Election Initiatives.
•Assist in the production and dissemination of project publications, including generating ideas for publications, managing development of the ideas into viable publications and selecting appropriate consultants as authors.
•Take a lead role in writing and managing the publication process for Pew’s Election Data Dispatches, short articles on data and news relevant to our work in elections, which are published twice a week.
•Assist the research manager in all data driven Election Initiatives research, reports and publications to ensure that the work is of the highest quality and aligns appropriately with the project’s strategic goals.
•Collect and analyze data for Election Initiatives research, reports and publications.
•Assist with the processing of contracts and subgrants to effectively achieve the Election Initiatives’ project goals.
•Assist in the planning, development and smooth implementation of public forums and convenings.
•Contribute to and participate in tasks of the Election Initiatives and Pew as assigned, as well as broader Pew-related projects and activities as needed.

Associate’s degree required; Bachelor’s or other advanced degree in a relevant area such as public policy or statistics preferred.
•At least two years of experience in public policy in general, election administration, technology policy and open government preferred.
•Very strong written communication with the ability to write to various audiences in multiple formats. Strong writing, research, analytic and communications skills are essential, as is the proven ability to prioritize tasks as activity demands.
•Expresses ideas, thoughts and concepts clearly and concisely in a compelling way to convince or assist others, both in writing and orally. A clear, effective writing and presentation style.
•Demonstrated strong analytical, qualitative, and quantitative skills applied to public policy issues, including an ability to synthesize and summarize large amounts of information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue. Strong Excel and Stata skills and other statistical analysis software experience (e.g. SPSS, SAS, R) a plus.
•Ability to develop and manage productive and collaborative relationships, both internally and with a variety of external project partners and contractors.
•Experience working with public or election officials, academics, technology experts, voting technology vendors, and other relevant stakeholders preferred.
•A keen understanding of the importance of rigorous, timely and policy-relevant research, experience commissioning and managing such research and disseminating it effectively to policymakers, the media and the public strongly preferred.
•Ability to fit into the creative, fast-paced and highly professional corporate culture of Pew, which emphasizes excellence, collegiality and teamwork.
Occasional overnight travel for meetings and conferences expected.

Pew is an equal opportunity employer.

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