Principal Associate (Flood-Prepared Communities)

Pew Charitable Trusts
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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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, DC, 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 Environmental Portfolio at The Pew Charitable Trusts
For more than twenty-five years, Pew has been a major force in engaging the public and policy makers about the causes, consequences, and solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Our environment work spans all seven continents with more than 250 professionals working at the local, national, and international levels to reduce the scope and severity of global environmental problems, such as the erosion of large natural ecosystems that contain a great part of the world’s remaining biodiversity, and the destruction of the marine environment.

Pew has worked in the United States and Canada since 1990 to protect vast stretches of wilderness and more recently expanded our land conservation efforts to Australia’s Outback and Chilean Patagonia. Safeguarding these places offers an opportunity to conserve wildlife habitat, shorelines and landscapes for current and future generations. Our work relies on the sciences of conservation, biology, and economics to advocate for practical and durable solutions to the loss of biodiversity.

In the sea, reforms to how our oceans are managed are essential to address overfishing, pollution, and loss of habitat. Pew began its oceans program in the United States, focusing on ending overfishing and protecting fragile marine habitat. Starting in 2005, Pew’s ocean conservation program expanded around the world and played a significant role in reforming marine fisheries management in the European Union and on the high seas and creating marine reserves around the world. Our work is grounded in the best available science and pursues domestic and international conservation measures that are long-term and provide permanent, durable protections for marine ecosystems.


Flood-Prepared Communities
Pew’s flood-prepared communities initiative works to reduce the impact of weather-related catastrophes, such as flood and hurricanes, on the U.S. economy, communities, and environment through four main policy areas:

  • Reforming of the National Flood Insurance Program;
  • Increased federal investment in mitigation programs to help communities prepare for future floods;
  • Improved resiliency and durability requirements for new and rebuilt infrastructure in flood-prone areas; and
  • Promote nature-based solutions like open green space, marshes and mangroves to better protect property and the environment.

Position Overview
The principal associate, flood-prepared communities leads efforts in one or more target states, including New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, to advance mitigation and nature-based policy solutions at the state-level to reduce the risk and cost of flooding. The principal associate is based in Pew’s Washington, DC office and reports to the officer, state campaigns, flood-prepared communities.


In partnership with the project director and officer, the principal associate manages one or more state initiatives with the goal of advancing legislative and regulatory policy solutions that prioritize the role of nature-based solutions in reducing flood risks. The position manages a stakeholder-driven process to develop a roadmap for how North Carolina can encourage development and land use practices that reduce flood risks. The position may also support executing tactics for policy campaigns in other states. The principal associate works in close collaboration with Pew colleagues in program and operations units, as well as external state consultants and partners. The work is expected to evolve based on the direction of each state strategy.

These campaigns contribute to Pew’s goal of incentivizing nature-based solutions as a flood risk reduction solution and promoting pre-disaster mitigation. This 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 the supervision of the officer, the principal associate has the following responsibilities:

  • Develop campaign strategies and coordinate implementation in a specific target state.
  • Oversee the initiative’s new line of work in North Carolina by working closely with stakeholder partners to develop a road map for low-impact development across the state. This includes setting measurable short- and intermediate-term goals, managing grantees, reviewing developed work products, conducting research and writing, holding regular meetings with partners, and tracking progress toward goals.
  • Work with the officer to develop research, advocacy and communication strategies to advance the project’s goals in selected states.
  • Sustain an informed awareness of topics related to flood mitigation and nature-based policy solutions, including maintaining a thorough understanding of state and local initiatives related to the issue.
  • Determine when the project is at risk of not meeting its long-term goals by identifying the causes and, when needed, working with the officer to resolve challenges.
  • Monitor and coordinate internal capacity for implementing strategic state policy goals.
  • Oversee North Carolina partners, contracts, and budgets.
  • Collaborate with Pew project teams and lead communication and stakeholder activities to advance strategies.
  • Collaborate with communications, government relations, legal affairs, and operations to manage the campaign’s presence in the selected state including, but not limited to, assisting with lobbying and ethics compliance, developing strategic partnerships, and coordinating activities between projects across Pew.
  • Represent the project and lead meetings with officials and key stakeholders from the disaster resilience, business, environmental, emergency management, and research communities in North Carolina.
  • Coordinate with research services and communications to develop a low-impact development road map. This includes reviewing drafts, working with communications to edit, coordinating with research services and the design team to produce a final, public product.
  • Support efforts to develop and maintain partnerships with external partners in key states. This includes coordinating with government relations and other operations units.
  • Collaborate with internal communications to develop and implement outreach plans including the drafting of blogs, op-eds, and memos.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.  Advanced degree in public policy or other relevant field strongly preferred.
  • At least six years of applicable experience in the public policy arena, particularly with knowledge of flood mitigation and nature-based policy solutions is desirable.
  • Prior to commencing employment with Pew, candidates for this position who were registered to lobby in any jurisdiction must certify termination of previous registration(s) and provide copies of termination notices with said jurisdiction(s) to Pew.
  • Experience working at the state or local level on issue advocacy, policy, or political campaigns is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of state public policy systems and networks is strongly preferred. Direct experience in any of the target states is highly desirable.
  • Proven time- and project-management skills, including an ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization. Ability to develop a systematic course of action to achieve project goals.
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively, adjust to changing circumstances, remain attentive to details and exercise sound judgment in problem-solving.
  • Ability to develop and move complex projects forward with a high degree of independence within a creative, fast-paced, action-oriented and collegial environment.
  • A clear, effective writing and presentation style.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team, foster consensus, and collaborate with diverse partners to advance pragmatic solutions.
  • Acute political awareness and nonpartisan perspective and approach. Experience convening groups of policy makers, practitioners, stakeholders, researchers and other constituencies. 

An average of two or three trips per month to perform work in states.


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.