Job- Manager, Pew Children’s Dental Campaign

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    Tarryn Reddy

    Pew Center on the States (PCS)

    The Pew Center on the States (PCS), an internal operating division of The Pew Charitable Trusts, identifies and advances effective policy approaches to critical issues facing states. It seeks to build high-performing states through effective government performance, long-term fiscal health, and smart investments. It researches emerging topics, develops 50-state comparisons, and highlights innovative approaches among states to complex problems. When the facts are clear, PCS advocates for nonpartisan, pragmatic solutions.

    PCS makes use of the basic tools required to help states explore and advance effective policies, regardless of the issue: credible, timely and user-friendly research; assessments of public support for change; strategic outreach and dissemination to ensure that good information is widely communicated to state decision-makers, media, influential stakeholders and the public; the capacity to bring together diverse perspectives and find common ground; and the ability to identify approaches that have proven successful elsewhere.

    PCS tracks and measures how well states are faring on a range of important issues through 50-state assessments, policy briefs, case studies, report cards and innovative tools. For instance, Trends to Watch is an online tool that compares and contrasts states on cutting-edge issues driving state policy in the 21st century. Our Government Performance Project measures and grades states on how efficiently and effectively they operate, and helps states learn from one another to improve their performance. And tracks, analyzes and investigates state news and policy developments daily.

    When the facts support particular policy approaches, PCS works to advance them. PCS operates major initiatives in early education, children’s dental health, intensive home visiting/parent mentoring for at-risk families, sentencing and corrections, and election reform. PCS also partners with other Pew projects in areas such as climate change, mortgage lending and foster care reform. While these issues are quite different, the projects have several important elements in common. All are grounded in credible, rigorous, nonpartisan research, focused on pragmatic solutions, and shine a spotlight on what works so that states across the country can learn about effective approaches.

    PCS staff have expertise in research, communications and coalition building; those engaged in issue-specific projects have deep substantive expertise.

    Project Description: Pew Children’s Dental Campaign

    The campaign, launched in July 2008 as an operating project of The Pew Charitable Trusts, seeks to improve access to dental health care for disadvantaged children. Dental care is the biggest unmet health need among children. To address that need, the campaign will advance state policy reforms in three principal areas: (1) access to dental care, including coverage under Medicaid, health care reform and reimbursement rates; (2) prevention, particularly community water fluoridation; and (4) expanding the workforce available, including new models of dental professionals, and more efficient use of existing providers. We are mounting a national campaign to raise awareness of the difficulties children face in obtaining needed dental care, recruit influential leaders to call for change, and showcase states that have made progress and can serve as models for reform. At the same time, we are launching intensive advocacy efforts in a number of states where policy changes can dramatically improve children’s lives and create a bellwether effect to drive momentum for reform in other states. Our efforts at both the national and state levels will involve an array of activities and tactics, including research to build the evidence base for reform; coalition-building; lobbying; communications and media outreach strategies; polling; technical assistance; convenings; and policy maker and public education. Although state policy reform is the chief focus of the initiative, we also seek opportunities to advance federal policies that would provide more coverage and funding for prevention activities, and encourage or require states to improve access to prevention and treatment for disadvantaged children.

    Position Overview

    The campaign manager will be part of a dynamic team responsible for implementing the dental health initiative. This position is at the project manager level, and will be responsible for designing and executing the initiative’s state advocacy campaigns to expand the workforce available to care for low income children. Workforce strategies include adopting policies to create a new type of dental provider or deploy existing providers more efficiently. The project manager will collaborate closely with other PCS colleagues, including the Research and Information unit, Government Relations, and the communications team on publications and tools designed to support state campaigns. The project manager will also contribute to, interact with, as well as learn from PCS staff running other state-focused reform initiatives focused on corrections, elections and government performance.

    This position, based in Pew’s Washington, D.C. office, will report to the project director, Pew Children’s Dental Campaign, Pew Center on the States. Tenure is dependent on the initiative’s progress and board deliberations. A renewal is being submitted to the board for consideration in March, 2011 which will extend the initiative through July, 2013.

    • Working with the project director, provide overall direction to and manage day-to-day affairs of the initiative’s advocacy campaigns in targeted states. Work collaboratively with partners in each campaign state, and make and implement recommendations designed to improve each campaign’s ability to meet its goals. Track progress, assist in developing strategies and responding to opportunities and challenges, and identify resources and information to assist partners as needed.
    • Lead the process of selecting new states in which to mount campaigns and designing advocacy plans tailored to the needs and opportunities in each. Research appropriate partners to carry out advocacy campaigns. Evaluate and make recommendations regarding potential partners in each state in which the initiative is engaged.
    • Write contracts and project funding agreements to formalize partnerships and craft work plans. Work closely with those partners to implement advocacy plan. Monitor the performance of partner organizations on an ongoing basis.
    • Coach and assist state partners in building broad coalitions to promote policy reforms in the initiative’s target states. Work creatively with state partners to build a national learning community to advance campaign goals through conferences, regular conference calls, and other vehicles. Plan conference calls, and other opportunities to foster collaboration and make advocates more effective. Help plan national partners networking meetings.
    • Keep abreast of research, publications, other organizations’ conferences or activities, and other developments in the field that affect the policy environment where the campaigns operate.
    • Work with state partners and advocacy organizations to generate grass roots support for the campaign’s federal advocacy efforts.
    • Work collaboratively with project director and other project team members to ensure that the initiative’s research activities are responsive to the questions and concerns of policy makers and state partners, especially in the initiative’s target states.
    • Help identify national partners to support state campaigns. Assist in developing work plans and contracts, and monitor the implementation of the partnership. Provide technical assistance to state and national partners on policy issues and effective advocacy strategies.
    • Develop contacts and build relationships with state policy makers, dental health organizations, oral health and children’s coalitions, advocates and a wide range of other influential constituencies, including groups not traditionally involved in oral health, to collect information, track state policy and identify opportunities for reform and potential partners.
    • Plan, conduct and ensure follow-up for site visits with prospective and current partners.
    • Maintain contact with staff of related organizations at the state and national level.
    • Serve as spokesperson for PCS and the dental campaign at national and state conferences and events.
    • Work collaboratively with other PCS staff, particularly communications staff and those working on other projects related to children’s policy.
    • Supervise other campaign staff as assigned, including professional campaign staff, administrative staff or Pew Leadership Year fellows.
    • Collaborate with other PCT staff, including the Communications department and the Donor Services unit, to provide project partners, donors, Pew’s board and the public with regular updates on project advancements.
    • A minimum of eight years of experience that demonstrates a high level of understanding of advocacy and health policy, including working with state policy makers, researchers, advocates and other stakeholders. Excellent knowledge of the current trends, principal theories, leading thinkers, major concerns and climate for change in the state health policy field. Experience in children’s health, oral health, health care workforce, or related field is strongly preferred.
    • In-depth knowledge of the political climate, functions of government, and policy development process in the states. Experience designing, implementing or overseeing public policy advocacy campaigns strongly preferred.
    • Bachelor’s degree, and an advanced degree in public policy, law, public health, or other relevant discipline.
    • Good project management skills and a demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and develop and move projects forward with a high degree of independence and autonomy.
    • A keen understanding of the importance of rigorous, timely and policy-relevant research; experience disseminating it effectively to policy makers, the media and the public.
    • Ability to develop and use a strong network of relevant contacts, including connections with experts, government officials and influential leaders in the field who can provide expert information and advance results. Ability to leverage relationships to influence positive outcomes.
    • Strong and diplomatic interpersonal and communication skills. Experience supervising and mentoring staff. Ability to develop and manage productive relationships with a range of constituencies who represent different perspectives. A demonstrated ability to foster consensus and collaborate with national partners and others to advance pragmatic solutions.
    • Expertise convening groups of senior policy makers, researchers, advocates, health care organizations and providers, and other professionals, and supporting their efforts to move toward a desired outcome. Excellent facilitation skills.
    • Superb oral and written communication skills. Ability to articulate complex ideas, thoughts and concepts clearly and effectively.
    • Experience and demonstrated skill interacting with the media.
    • Ability to thrive in a creative, fast-paced, and highly professional corporate culture that emphasizes excellence, collegiality and teamwork.
    • Demonstrated commitment to nonpartisan, pragmatic policy development.


    It is anticipated that the individual in this position will travel domestically and to the Trusts’ Philadelphia offices as needed.

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