The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF; the Foundation), located in Princeton, N.J., is the largest philanthropy in America dedicated solely to health. Since 1972, we have focused on developing and promoting innovations in health and healthcare to improve the lives of millions. In partnership with others, we are working toward a nation that is rooted in equity, compassion, and respect; a nation that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. This requires addressing many harmful obstacles to wellbeing, including poverty, powerlessness, and discrimination.
We take seriously our responsibilities, and we pledge to work in ways that reflect our Guiding Principles. These are rooted in equity and influence everything we do at RWJF. Equity, diversity, inclusion, and collaboration allow our staff’s wide range of experiences, passions, and perspectives to enrich our work and strengthen our ability to address our nation’s most pressing health issues. The Foundation offers a collaborative, collegial, and creative work environment. With a career at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, you will make a difference.
About This Opportunity
Reporting to the vice president and general counsel, the associate general counsel/senior policy counsel will advise the Foundation with respect to (1) direct policy engagement, policy-related communications, and advocacy activities; (2) programmatic grantmaking and related matters; (3) internal and external training activities related to policy and advocacy; and (4) other matters concerning the Foundation’s status as a tax-exempt, private foundation.
As with staff at all levels of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the associate general counsel/senior policy counsel is expected to demonstrate a passionate commitment to equity, to the Foundation’s mission, and its Guiding Principles.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Provide legal representation on all matters related to the Foundation’s policy and advocacy activities (programmatic), including supporting the vice president and general counsel in providing advice and counsel to the president and chief executive officer, the executive vice president, and the vice president, Communications; providing advice and counsel to the Board and relevant committees on policy-related matters; engaging with outside counsel and advisors on policy; and reviewing and advising on all policy-related external communications.
Provide legal representation to the Foundation’s program and operations functions, with a special focus on various program teams/themes and matters, including advocacy, lobbying, political activity, and voter engagement.
In collaboration with other law department members, design, organize, and conduct training for program and operations staff on a variety of topics, such as grantmaking structures, expenditure responsibility, advocacy, lobbying, political activity, and voter engagement.
In collaboration with the vice president and general counsel and deputy general counsels, advise senior leadership and staff on Foundation policies and procedures and legal issues and develop solutions that balance ethical and prudent legal advice with effective risk assessment and that are responsive to internal and external needs in a complex organization.
Lead the Foundation’s internal and external efforts to improve efficiency, impact, and compliance in charitable advocacy efforts, including but not limited to, supporting the Foundation’s legal technical assistance program and overseeing grants and external collaborations designed to improve the capacity of advocacy organizations in the field.
Represent the Foundation externally at conferences and other events and participate in activities intended to provide leadership to the fields of philanthropy and law.
Contribute to and participate in the internal committees of the Foundation and carry out other responsibilities as assigned.
Assist in the preparation of minutes and other records for certain committees.
Commitment to racial and health equity and to the Foundation’s vision, values, and Guiding Principles.
Experience working effectively in and fostering an inclusive environment as part of a multidisciplinary team with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
Significant experience in advising nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations broadly, with a focus on the relevant state’s charitable laws, as well as federal tax, federal lobbying and state laws that relate to advocacy, lobbying, political activities, and voter engagement.
Demonstrated familiarity with, and experience applying the laws and rules relating to private foundations, such as lobbying prohibition, expenditure responsibility, excess business holdings, self-dealing, program-related investments, and taxable expenditures.
Ability to translate complex legal concepts for nonlawyer audiences and demonstrated experience in conducting engaging legal training for nonlawyers.
A collaborative, “get-to-yes” orientation, and the ability to think and solve problems creatively, to oversee multiple and complex matters, and to work effectively with staff, both individually and in group settings.
Sense of humor and flexibility to regularly incorporate the feedback of others into work processes.
Excellent communication, public speaking, and interpersonal skills; collegial, energetic, able to develop productive relationships.
Experience handling multiple priorities and organizing time effectively.
Ability to provide sound legal judgment and demonstrate business acumen and integrity.
Superior analytical, problem-solving, and negotiating skills.
Maintain a high level of discretion and confidentiality.
Able to travel as needed for meetings and other events.
Experience in or with the systems we seek to impact a plus.
JD degree, New Jersey license (or ability to obtain New Jersey license to practice as in-house counsel), and a minimum of 10 years of related experience working at a law firm, private foundation, university, or other nonprofit.
Physical Requirements/Working Conditions
The associate general counsel/senior policy counsel will perform job duties in a typical business office environment. Specific physical abilities required by this job include operating basic office equipment. Will be required to attend meetings, potentially both in person and off-site via phone or videoconference. Some domestic travel may be required. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
This position is assigned to our Princeton, N.J., HQ offices.
As of January 1, 2023, the Foundation has implemented a Hybrid: Flexible Purpose operating model. All RWJF employees will be required to come into Foundation offices during the year for purposes related to their position such as critical tasks (e.g., building operations, grantee meetings, etc.), organizational events (e.g., training and development), and internally-focused team activities. All RWJF offices remain open for all Foundation employees for focused work, optional organizational activities, and connecting with colleagues informally as needed for individual purposes.
The starting salary range for the associate general counsel/senior policy counsel is $242,000 to $252,000. Why work at RWJF? Learn more about the benefits of working at RWJF.
Application Deadline: April 23, 2023
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented applicants.