Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Program Officer / Senior Program Officer, Leadership for Better Health

Princeton, NJ

Position Description

Executive Summary

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is the largest philanthropy in America dedicated solely to health. Since 1972, we have worked to help people, their families, and their communities be as healthy as possible—no matter what their physical, economic, or demographic challenges may be. We do this by providing funding, assistance, and research for projects and programs targeting some of the most pressing health issues in our nation.

RWJF has committed itself to a vision of working alongside others to build a Culture of Health where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to live as healthy as possible. Our goal is to help families and communities find ways to make the healthy choice the easy choice, and keep wellbeing front and center for generations to come. Building a Culture of Health that benefits everyone requires unprecedented leadership and collaboration. No individual, organization, or government program can alter the course of America’s health alone. We must all work together.

Building a Culture of Health is a bold shift that relies on increasing equity and combating the effects of racism and poverty. It requires engagement among leaders who represent every sector and discipline, and communities with limited resources and opportunities. It demands recognition that health is greatly influenced by complex social factors—education, neighborhoods, transportation, income, and faith—in addition to health care. Today’s health challenges are influenced by factors well beyond the clinic walls, from our access to economic opportunity to the safety of our surroundings. To address these factors, we need forward thinking leaders with a shared vision of what shapes health—and a desire to work together. At RWJF, we are developing a wide network of diverse leaders dedicated to making positive change together.

Reporting to the Managing Director, Leadership for Better Health (LBH), the Program Officer OR Senior Program Officer (PO/SPO) will focus on the Foundation’s efforts to develop and support leaders who will take committed, coordinated, and collaborative action toward increasing individual and collective health and wellbeing. To achieve its mission, LBH will develop strategies and a culture that supports high performance teamwork. Core to the Foundation’s mission, LBH programs and initiatives focus on how individuals and organizations can shift mindsets, tackle systemic barriers to health and wellbeing, and organize individuals into teams, collaboratives, and partnerships to advance social change.

The PO/SPO will play a critical role in advancing Leadership for Better Health’s priorities by designing, managing, and monitoring programs which develop the capabilities and the capacity of individuals to bring together and align the efforts of multi‐sector stakeholders engaged in community transformation to improve health. These leaders will range from community organizers to change agents in planning, transportation and community development to healthcare, the arts, the environment and education. Drawing upon experience in leadership development initiatives, with an on‐the‐ground as well as systems‐level perspective of the successes and challenges associated with these endeavors, the new PO/SPO will provide intellectual and organizational leadership in designing and implementing new and on‐going projects, evaluating nominations, applications, and proposals; monitoring programs and grants; learning from our investments and activities in close collaboration with RWJF’s Research, Evaluation, & Learning Unit; and creating impact through dissemination of knowledge.

The PO/SPO will also be expected to be an external ambassador for the Foundation and the Foundation’s leadership on health equity and should have experience forging and maintaining dynamic partnerships at the local and national level to achieve change. We are especially interested in candidates with demonstrated experience leading others and who are comfortable working in networks and communities of practice.

A successful PO candidate will be results‐driven, have 3‐5 years of relevant experience, hold an advanced degree (e.g. MA, MPH, MJ, MBA, MPP), and have proven leadership potential. A combination of education and experience may be substituted for the education requirements.

A successful SPO candidate will have a commitment to mentorship, have an advanced degree and 6+ years of relevant experience, have a total of 7‐10 years of proven leadership and is recognized in a field for a specific area of knowledge related to leadership development. A combination of education and experience may be substituted for the education requirements.

A strategic thinker, s/he will have excellent organizational and interpersonal skills and will take a thoughtful approach to collaboration and community and partner engagement. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required with the interest and competence to interact with a constituency of individuals from broad and diverse backgrounds, including internal leadership, external partners, high‐level stakeholders and people from the communities we are working to impact, on a range of complex issues. The PO/SPO must demonstrate that she/he is capable of working beyond the level of an individual contributor. The SPO must be able to demonstrate an excellent leadership and executive skills; that is, the ability to facilitate the efforts of others (individual contributors) as well as to productively oversee, manage, coordinate, and lead them in producing meaningful results.

Application Form




Supporting documents:

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Search Team

Maeve Clifford

Maeve Clifford