Mental Health and Justice Policy Officer, Washington, Dist. Columbia

Created 10/13/2021
Reference 150009286
Country United States
State Dist. Columbia
City Washington
Zip 20004

Formal job title: Officer, Mental Health and Justice Partnerships

Application Deadline: Tuesday, November 2nd

Mental Health and Justice Partnerships
On any given day in the United States, there are far more people with serious mental health needs in jails than there are in mental health facilities. Building on the momentum that exists in the field to address this issue and Pew's history of working on criminal justice and behavioral health issues, Pew launched the mental health and justice initiative to connect stakeholders, establish models for reform, and improve the capacity of states and county governments to implement comprehensive alternatives to decrease the use of law enforcement, jails, and emergency rooms as the response for people experiencing an acute mental health crisis. This project envisions a continuum of services that ensures people with mental health and substance abuse needs are connected to treatment and engaged in recovery. This initiative will combine intensive state and national engagements to provide data-driven policy considerations, technical assistance, and design funding strategies, together with policymakers, philanthropy, and other stakeholders to implement promising practices across the county.

Position Overview
The officer supports Pew's efforts to help decision-makers and influential stakeholders nationally address key policy challenges by providing them with relevant data and research and bringing to bear national expertise and examples of policy reforms that have been successful in other cities.

The ideal candidate has a strong policy background, with expertise in mental health or related fields. The candidate should be knowledgeable about state policy and political landscape and have the proven ability to facilitate policy conversations and discussions of research with key decision-makers. In addition, the successful candidate can communicate and work effectively with diverse individuals and organizations in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Finally, the candidate should be able to work with relevant research and policy teams throughout Pew, to synthesize data and existing research, and to participate in conceiving and drafting original materials for both internal and external consumption.

The position, based in Pew's Washington, D.C., office, reports to the project director, mental health and justice. 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.


  • Support the design and implementation of a policy framework, tools to engage policy research, conceptualize technical assistance models, and analysis on key issues surrounding mental health and justice and crisis response systems, with a specific focus on policy solutions that address a community's ability to respond to the issue, engage, and fund the appropriate responses to barriers that preclude individuals from proper care.
  • Serve as an expert on Pew research, best practices, and policies in public forums, speaking engagements, task forces, and working groups.
  • Collaborate with Pew's government performance teams to identify the research, national experts, and materials needed to support the project's goals.
  • Develop and deliver digital and print products and presentations that will effectively convey research findings to key audiences, including policymakers, the media, and other stakeholders.
  • Monitor and identify emerging policy issues that are priorities of the initiative such as changes in public policy, government funding, demographic trends and research, and best practices.
  • Synthesize research to identify trends, best practices, opportunities and challenges, and compelling examples.
  • Collaborate with leadership to ensure strong, evidence-based research methodologies, and practices.


  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience is required. Advanced degree in public policy, with particular focus on mental health or other relevant field strongly preferred.
  • At least eight years of applicable experience.
  • Demonstrated time and project-management skills, including the ability to think creatively, juggle multiple priorities, adjust to changing circumstances, organize time, and remain attentive to details.
  • Demonstrated strong analytical skills, including the ability to synthesize and summarize large amounts of information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue.
  • Ability to write clearly and cogently for internal and public audiences.
  • A strong drive for achieving measurable results.
  • Seasoned judgment with the capacity to make difficult choices, justify recommendations and provide constructive feedback to colleagues and partners.
  • Experience working with a broad range of stakeholders including community-based nonprofit organizations, policy makers and other potential partners for the program.
  • Ability to work collegially within a creative, fast-paced corporate culture that emphasizes excellence and teamwork.

This position requires overnight travel to 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.

Employer Pew Charitable Trusts

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