Robert Zahradnik

Robert Zahradnik

  • Director
  • State Policy, State Fiscal Health and Economic Growth,
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts


Robert Zahradnik is policy director for Pew’s work on state fiscal health and economic growth. He supervises initiatives that help states improve the return on investment from economic development tax incentives and better manage revenue projections and volatility.

Zahradnik oversees research on tax incentive evaluation and long-term budgeting practices, and directs technical assistance provided to state leaders including data analysis, policy development, and outreach to key stakeholders and the public. He has presented to state legislators and a wide range of professional and academic associations.

Before joining Pew in 2010, Zahradnik worked for the chief financial officer of the District of Columbia as a manager in the Office of Budget and Planning and then as director of research in the Office of Revenue Analysis. In the latter position, he managed a research agenda that covered tax, budget, and economic policies and practices. He was also a senior policy analyst with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, DC.

Zahradnik holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Penn State University and a master’s of public administration from George Washington University.

Recent Work

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  • Pew: States Should Be Clear on Purpose of Rainy Day Savings

    Many states struggle with how much to save because their purpose for doing so is unclear, according to a new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Why States Save: Using Evidence to Inform How Large Rainy Day Funds Should Grow examines budget stabilization funds—often called rainy day funds—and offers recommendations to determine optimal savings goals and create enhanced budgetary... Read More

  • Why States Save

    This report examines how state policymakers should design the fund to help inform an optimal savings target. This report examines existing guidelines – set in statutory or constitution language – around the management of rainy day funds and offers key questions to consider while crafting such guidelines. Read More

  • Reducing Budget Risks

    In many cases, the cost of specific state tax incentive programs has increased quickly and unexpectedly by tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result, lawmakers have been forced to make difficult choices between raising taxes and cutting spending to keep budgets balanced. Read More

Media Contact

Jeremy Ratner

Director, Communications