Research Manager, Safe Checking in the Electronic Age
The Pew Charitable Trusts - Washington, DC
The Organization

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improving public policy, informing the public and stimulating civic life. Based in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., Pew produces fact-based research and develops practical solutions to challenging issues.

American Family Financial and Economic Security Portfolio

Pew is currently building the American Family Financial and Economic Security portfolio as a new initiative that will promote non-partisan, evidence-based solutions to improve the economic security of the American family. The portfolio will explore a number of related issues that focus on examining families' ability to save for the future, borrow and manage their funds safely and wisely, and earn and maintain income. Included in this portfolio of work are Pew’s current efforts to make checking accounts safer and more transparent, our research on the safety of small dollar loans, such as payday loans, as well as the Economic Mobility Project, which focuses public attention on the ability to move up or down the economic ladder within a lifetime or from one generation to the next.

Safe Checking for the Electronic Age

This project aims to restore transparency, fairness, responsibility, and free market principles to one of the most common consumer financial products, the checking account. The campaign promotes policies to revise and update consumer banking regulations to reflect current technology; eliminate abusive bank practices that have sprung up in regulatory gaps; and provide consumers information and choices that promote responsible checking account management in the age of electronic banking. The Project raises awareness, builds partnerships with industry and advocates for policies that reduce risks and allow Americans to responsibly manage their checking accounts. It provides the public with information about policies that promote a competitive marketplace in the age of electronic banking and foster a level playing field among financial institutions. The initiative educates the public and policy makers by analyzing current overdraft and deposit practices and disclosure provisions, as well as uncovering the hidden costs associated with many checking accounts.

Position Overview

The research manager reports to the project director, Safe Checking in the Electronic Age, based in Washington, DC. It is expected that this position is for a term period through December 31, 2013, with the possibility of an extension pending the success of the program, funding sources and board decisions on continued support.

Responsibilities
  • With the project director, develop a targeted research agenda to be accomplished through a combination of in-house research, contracts and sub-grants
    • Based on overall project goals, create and maintain prioritized list of research projects.
    • Outline limitations and opportunities of various approaches.
    • Help select external resources, such as consultants or academic collaborators, as well as external sources of data to acquire.
  • Produce research outcomes
    • Formulate sound research methodologies using a variety of strategies.
    • Execute research and analysis work directly.
    • Delegate tasks to staff research associates or consultants as appropriate.
    • Coordinate with collaborators at other institutions.
    • Create project plans and enforce adherence to timelines.
    • Ensure quality of research based on professional and Pew-specific standards.
  • With project director’s input and support from staff, write reports and briefs presenting findings. Manage peer review processes with assistance from quality assurance team.
  • Assist project director and communications staff in developing summaries, infographics, and multi-media presentations, as well as talking points and press releases.
  • Participate in development of analytical models to estimate impact of policy proposals on financial institutions and consumers.
  • Assist project director with outreach to policy makers, industry representatives, advocates and other stakeholders. Occasionally represent the project as opportunities arise.
  • Maintain current knowledge of market developments and external research, and ensure project team is notified of key developments.
  • Perform other project-related duties as necessary. Contribute to tasks of the American Family Financial and Economic Security Portfolio as assigned. Participate in Pew-wide projects as requested.
  • Work with operations staff to execute contracts for research work. Evaluate proposals; oversee contracting process; ensure that deliverables are met in a timely manner; maintain sound budgeting records; and work with operations staff to meet institutional requirements.

Requirements
  • A minimum of eight years of experience that demonstrates a high level of understanding of the consumer financial services sector. An advanced degree in a related field with a strong research focus preferred.
  • Significant knowledge of the current trends, business models, marketing practices and opportunities for change with respect to checking or other types of transaction accounts. Candidates with either public policy or industry/market research backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills. Demonstrated research experience, including significant participation in several substantial written products, such as reports. Experience with quantitative research software like SPSS.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including ability to synthesize research findings and recommendations in a clear, effective manner.
  • Ability to juggle multiple priorities and adjust to changing circumstances while maintaining attention to details. Capacity to resolve problems creatively and logically. Commitment to producing measurable results.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with ability to collaborate effectively with others from industry, academic, policy and advocacy backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated time- and project-management skills, including ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization.
  • An ability to make decisions after contemplating various courses of action, justify recommendations, and be responsive, clear and resolute when appropriate.
  • Ability to fit into the creative, fast-paced and highly professional corporate culture of Pew, which emphasizes teamwork while requiring a high level of personal excellence.
Travel

This position may involve periodic travel to research projects, conferences or meetings.

Pew is an equal opportunity employer.

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