Robert Zahradnik

Robert Zahradnik

  • Principal Officer
  • State and Local Fiscal Health,
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts


Robert Zahradnik works on state fiscal health and economic growth. He leads 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

View All
  • Best Practices for Improving Fiscal Management

    The Pew Charitable Trusts’ states’ fiscal health project studies the budget and economic challenges facing states and helps them design targeted, evidence-based solutions. The project addresses four policy areas: strengthening economic development tax incentives; building effective budget reserves; ensuring that debt is affordable; and evaluating municipal finances. Read More

  • Evidence-Based Policies Could Strengthen New Jersey’s Fiscal Health

    New Jersey faces significant fiscal challenges, including chronic budget shortfalls, substantial long-term obligations, and rising costs for services. These difficulties have led to 11 downgrades from rating agencies in the last seven years. Overcoming them will not be easy, but evidence-based policies can help put the state on stronger financial footing. Read More

  • Best Practices for State Rainy Day Funds in Nebraska

    Robert Zahradnik, principal officer for The Pew Charitable Trusts’ state fiscal health project, testified Sept. 22 before Nebraska’s Appropriations Committee about best practices for state rainy day funds. He presented research by the project on savings strategies to mitigate revenue volatility, setting withdrawal conditions for rainy day funds, and determining the optimal amount to... Read More

Media Contact

Jeremy Ratner

Director, Communications