The Illinois Policy Institute seeks a Pension Policy Director with excellent communication skills to inspire changes in hearts, minds and laws that will improve outcomes in Illinois.
Illinois is grappling with a public pension shortfall that tops $96 billion. After decades of underfunding and mismanagement, Illinoisans are learning the hard way that its state pension systems face insolvency without real reform. Continuing to promise benefits under a defined benefit system will bankrupt Illinois.
The ideal candidate embraces the notion that pension reform cannot merely tinker at the margins. Rather, the ideal candidate will have a sincere interest in effecting the serious long-term changes needed to properly structure incentives and accountability within government retirement systems. The goal ultimately is to place control of retirements in the hands of state retirees and not those of the politicians. Only then will the burden be lifted off of taxpayers, who are frequently called on to bail out the state’s failed pension systems.
The ideal candidate will not be content with a career based solely in the theoretical; rather, he/she will revel in solving real-world problems. The ideal candidate will have a passion for communicating how free market principles and real pension reform can change lives.
The Pension Policy Director will report to Vice President of Policy Ted Dabrowski. The position can be located in Chicago or Springfield. The position will include occasional travel, primarily across Illinois.
Key job responsibilities will include:
- Researching, analyzing and writing policy studies, issue briefs and commentaries on current, significant policy issues
- Utilizing quantitative analysis to calculate effects of policy and recommend solutions
- Reading, comprehending and translating complex legislation
- Developing an expertise of pension issues in Illinois
- Monitoring state and federal legislation, as well as local initiatives
- Tracking reform in other states that may inform Illinois’ reform efforts
- Understand and influence how Illinois’ fits into the overall national dialogue on pension and other state retiree costs
- Taking ideas, data and principles and turning them into compelling stories
- Making media appearances, including radio, television and print
- Making presentations and engaging in public speaking, as well as debating those with opposing views
- Educating lawmakers and influencers on key pension and retirement policy issues, promoting policies that increase individual liberty while countering those that boost government control
The ideal candidate for the Pension Policy Director role will possess the following attributes:
- Three-plus years of experience in business field, academia, public policy arena or nonprofit setting
- In-depth experience with pension issues/policy
- Knowledge of a variety of pension-related issues, including defined contribution versus defined benefit plans, municipal pensions, Social Security, OPEB, etc.
- Knowledge of the current system and free market alternatives that will improve the status quo
- Firm grounding in free market economics
- Superb storytelling, communication and debate skills
- Strong analytical and research skills
- Desire to work collaboratively with Illinois Policy Institute staff
- Strong project management skills and ability to multitask, set priorities and follow-through
- A sincere dedication to making Illinois a better place to live and work
- Strong commitment to the principles of personal responsibility and free enterprise
- An advanced degree in public policy, economics or related field preferred
- Media experience a major plus but not required
Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials:
- Cover letter detailing: salary requirements and your interest in the mission of the Illinois Policy Institute
- Writing sample that demonstrates your ability to communicate complex concepts to a lay audience in a compelling fashion (preferably on a topic related to pension issues)
- Links to media appearances, if applicable
Materials should be emailed to Claire Kittle, executive director of Talent Market, who is assisting with the search: firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls please.
About the Illinois Policy Institute
The Illinois Policy Institute’s vision is to make Illinois first in economic outlook and job creation and to become a free enterprise leader for the rest of America. The Institute inspires changes in hearts, minds and laws through its mission to promote personal freedom and prosperity in Illinois and America. As a leading independent research and education organization, it generates positive and sustainable policy solutions for citizens and lawmakers that help unleash talent and entrepreneurial ability.