Project Director, Food Additives Campaign Ė Washington, DC

Job ID: 





Pew Health Group

Posted Date: 


Apply for this job:


More information about this job:



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.

The Pew Health Group

The Pew Health Group (PHG) seeks to improve the health and well being of all Americans. Based on research and critical analysis, the program advocates policies that reduce unacceptable health risk, focusing on areas that include consumer, medical and consumer product safety.


Food Additives Initiative

The PHG food additives initiative reviews the available scientific evidence on whether or not chemical additives to our food supply have substantial health risks, and seeks to evaluate whether current regulatory oversight is scientifically based and adequate to protect the public.  The project assesses policy solutions to address these concerns, and uses public education, nonpartisan research and other activities to further the objective of improving the scientific foundation for food additive regulatory policies.


Position Overview

This position, based in Pewís Washington, D.C. office, will report to the director of Food and Consumer Product Safety. The Food Additives Project Director will be responsible for overseeing the entire food additives project, including the research and drafting of key scientific and policy papers and educational efforts, and for supervising all program staff. The Director will oversee the selection, vetting, and work of the Task Force on Food Additives, and will supervise staffers to ensure peer reviews of papers. The Director will also oversee presentations to the Task Force, agencies, Congressional staff, media, potential allies, and others.


The Director will supervise the design and implementation of research and analysis for the project, special projects; ensure that internal and external communications are maintained, and bear responsibility for all programmatic investments and budget activities.  The Director may also undertake special projects aimed at improving the overall operation of the project and other projects in the PHG portfolio. 


The Food Additives Project Director will carry out a number of core functions, including the development and implementation of strategic and operational plans for the food additives project.  Among the key deliverables for the Director are: 

  • Convene a prestigious task force on food additives and their impact on health to guide the projectís research agenda, assure its scientific rigor and accuracy, and assist in disseminating information to key audiences.
  • Publish reports that assess the health risks posed by certain food additives. Findings will be shared broadly, including with the FDA, to inform its own additive review.
  • Based on the science, assess or develop pragmatic and effective evidence-based policy solutions to address those risks.
  • Release a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of the existing FDA food additive review process.  This analysis will evaluate how FDA uses developing science to identify hazards and will make recommendations to improve the rigor and timeliness of the review processes.
  • Broadly disseminate the projectís reports at public and policy forums, as well as electronically on a newly created project Web site.
  • Host high-profile events on food additives for a range of stakeholders, including state and national policy makers, food industry leaders, the medical community, journalists and opinion leaders. 
  • Conduct additional direct outreach to Capitol Hill, sponsoring briefings on the projectís findings.
  • Highlight the projectís reports through articles, op-eds, editorials and letters to the editor.

This position currently has an end date of December, 2012. The project may be extended pending the success of the effort, board approval and additional funding. 


The Project Director will represent Pew before local, state, tribal and federal policymakers and with nonprofit organizations and universities.  The director will recruit and maintain superb relationships with the projectís consultants and advisors.  The director will supervise a staff of approximately four in Washington, DC, and work in partnership with other Pew departments.


The Director will develop programmatic objectives, workplans and oversee day-to-day operations for the projectís coordinating center and public and policymaker education and outreach efforts, including:

  • Reviewing campaign materials to ensure accuracy;
  • Convening regular project meetings and developing and managing assignments originating from those meetings;
  • Accompanying project staff on congressional or agency visits;
  • Developing and assisting with strategy;
  • Respond to inquiries from press, government officials, and others regarding the work of the food additives project and, where appropriate, will use those inquiries to support and promote the goal of the project.



The ideal candidate will have significant work experience in food and/or environmental/chemical policy (experience with food additives would be helpful but is not required), legislation, public education, and ideally advocacy issue campaigns in related areas; a strong network of relationships with the fieldís key leaders would be a significant plus.  The candidate should demonstrate an understanding of the research and advocacy necessary to advance science-based policymaking. The candidate should demonstrate the ability to work with a wide array of staff, national experts, stakeholders, consultants, evaluators and funders to develop and implement the strategy for a national effort to research and promote safety of food additives.  Additional requirements:


  • Experience in managing successful advocacy and/or science policy project(s).
  • At least 10-15 years of relevant professional experience, including a solid understanding of the federal policy-making process and science policy issues. Significant experience working with the federal government (including Congress and federal agencies) or at issue-based national advocacy groups is strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge and experience at a senior level with key tools in advocacy and policy change, including policy analysis, issue campaigns, and communications strategies.
  • Able to oversee staff in setting short- and long-term planning goals in line with program strategy.  A task-oriented style, with focus on achieving clear and ambitious goals. Demonstrated ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization. Able to develop and move projects forward with a high degree of independence and autonomy.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ease in briefly summarizing the essence of issues and means to address them.  Strong oral, presentation, facilitation, and written communication skills such that complex ideas, thoughts and concepts are clearly articulated for a general audience. Clear, effective writing style.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; able to develop and manage productive relationships with consultants, partners and others who contribute to the development of a project by anticipating possible outcomes.  Excellent listening skills. Highly articulate.
  • Media-savvy and politically astute. Able to use effective marketing techniques and media exposure to communicate the impact of current polices and science on food additives.
  • Exhibit skills of diplomacy. Able to work productively with a wide array of different people and institutions that frequently disagree with and are in competition with one another. 
  • Strong understanding of how to manage by influencing others and the ability to read nuances of meaning accurately.
  • Seasoned judgment tested by difficult circumstances, able to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be responsive, clear and firm with colleagues and partners. 


We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits package, including a generous 401(k) plan, four weeks vacation and flexible benefit options.



It is anticipated that the individual in this position will travel from Washington D.C. periodically, including to The Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia office as needed.  



Main Page

setstats††††††††††† Copyright (C) All rights reserved under

††††††††††† If you have any comments, please  send your email to