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 (EDI), 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. Our efforts to build a Culture of Health and achieve health equity requires us to dismantle structural racism and other barriers to health. Part of this work includes actively shaping a multicultural, inclusive, antiracist organization where all staff thrive as we build and use our capabilities, voice, and power to advance health equity. 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 interim vice presidents, Program themes, the managing director will develop and implement program strategy within the Leadership for Better Health (LBH) theme. The theme supports leaders across the country to collectively and inclusively ensure that everyone has a fair and just opportunity for health and wellbeing. This includes continuing to evolve our longstanding RWJF-branded Leadership programs. Additional responsibilities will be developing new efforts to support groups of leaders working toward addressing structural barriers to health, including structural racism in systems aligned with our generational goals: to achieve equity and accountability in public health and healthcare systems; to ensure economic inclusion for family wellbeing; and to create healthy and equitable community conditions.
The core responsibilities of the managing director include:
Strategy development, including overseeing systematic learning and guiding the development of indicators of progress for the work.
Strategy implementation, including managing program staff as they develop and implement programming and grantmaking; planning; budgeting; and overall management of an interdisciplinary group of team members.
Management of theme activities to achieve theme and organizational goals.
Collaboration with senior leaders across the Foundation to coordinate, complement, or align strategic initiatives toward achieving our Foundation-wide strategy and generational goals.
Creation of an inclusive antiracist culture within the theme.
As with staff at all levels of RWJF, managing directors are expected to demonstrate a passionate commitment to equity and to the Foundation’s mission and Guiding Principles.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy, Program Development, and Monitoring and Refinement
Lead the development of the theme’s strategic plan, including programming, convening, coordinating, and reporting on it with other internal and external partners.
Oversee the curation and dissemination of learning resources, including targeted reviews of existing literature, surveys, and research in the field, evaluation of current and past grantmaking, and learning from other organizations and partners.
Oversee the design and implementation of new theme initiatives intended to meet the theme’s objective, advance our Foundation-wide strategy, and achieve the generational goals.
Collaborate with Research-Evaluation-Learning department to develop, test, and refine performance indicators to monitor the theme’s efforts to achieve the Foundation’s generational goals and vision.
Collaborate with other teams, themes, and Program departments to support leadership programming within these areas.
Work with theme members, consultants, other funders, and external organizations to oversee the planning, development, review, and response to requests for funding.
Communicate externally about the theme’s strategy and programming.
Oversee communication of theme strategy, plans, activities, and performance to colleagues, senior management, and Board.
Collaborate with senior leaders in other departments and other Foundation colleagues to maximize strategic impact of programming.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Theme Management and Operations
Oversee a team of staff in a matrix environment from various Foundation units who support theme work.
Oversee the development of an annual theme work plan; allocate the theme’s financial and personnel resources toward efficient accomplishment of the workplan.
Create and manage annual budgets.
Lead and oversee theme processes to achieve strategic objectives, including designing theme meetings and retreats.
Staff Management and Development
Create an open, collaborative, and highly equitable environment for strategy development and decision-making, with an opportunity for diverse opinions and staff from diverse professional, cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds and roles to be heard and included.
Manage staffs’ development regarding EDI, and antiracist practice and plans.
Assure the development of workplans for each Program staff member to support performance, learning, and professional development.
External Relations and Strategic Partnerships
Use the tools of philanthropy, including connecting, coordinating, convening, and communicating, as well as funding programs to help catalyze change.
Cultivate relationships; develop and execute regional and national strategic partnerships with, e.g., nonprofits, public systems, employers, other foundations to support progress toward the Foundation’s mission and goals.
Represent the Foundation externally in the media and at events (e.g., conferences, meetings); engage externally to influence and accelerate efforts to advance strategy.
Evaluate proposals for relationship of work to theme strategies and RWJF’s strategic framework, potential impact, value for dollars requested, and the organization's commitment to EDI and connection to historically marginalized populations.
Implement and promote practices to ensure all proposals are reviewed fairly, expeditiously, and consistently aligned with Foundation grantmaking processes and policies.
Ensure equity is centered in our grantmaking processes.
Work in collaboration with departments across the Foundation to monitor financial status and oversee theme budget and cash payment system.
Approve, and recommend grants to senior management for approval in accordance with Foundation Program policies.
Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and vision and alignment with our values.
Demonstrated personal and professional commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Experience building equitable practices within an institution committed to EDI as part of antiracist practice; and in fostering an inclusive environment working effectively with persons from diverse professional, cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
Seven (7) or more years of relevant work experience with three (3) or more years of progressive experience in a complex management and leadership role with direct supervision and extensive project management experience.
Experience in and deep understanding of leadership development, both traditional individually focused and collective. Deep understanding of the research and evidence behind effective leadership models, frameworks, and approaches to support changes in the conditions, narratives, systems, and policies that advance health equity. Experience applying that knowledge into practice.
Experience in the fields of leadership development, equity, network development, and collaborative systems change.
Familiarity with RWJF’s historical investments in individual leadership development programs.
Strong collaboration skills.
Strategic and management skills needed for change management, results-oriented strategy development, and understanding the dynamics within the field of leadership development and equity by the theme’s strategy.
People management skills, including employee development, performance management, supervising, mentoring, and team building.
Ability to effectively delegate and manage staff in a matrixed work environment.
Ability to lead and inspire a team and others around a strategic vision and bring a sense of humor and fun to the workplace.
Experience in creating and managing budgets.
Exhibits sound judgment. Able to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be responsive and clear.
Communication skills: able to synthesize and present complex information; identify innovative opportunities in a specific area while maintaining a focus on systemic change.
Ability to travel including for site visits and representing the Foundation at outside meetings.
Education and experience equivalent to an advanced degree (e.g., MA, MPH, MJ, MBA).
Physical Requirements/Working Conditions
The managing director 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 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.