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. Our efforts to build a Culture of Health and achieve health equity require 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 assistant vice president, Policy, the policy associate will work closely with other department members to support, track, and facilitate the department’s agenda. The associate will perform background research, conduct policy and political scans, develop policy memos, assist in monitoring programs and grants, and support overall logistics to manage the department’s activities.
The Foundation’s Policy department promotes policies that advance health equity and build a Culture of Health. We do this by coordinating with other departments in the Program unit and by leading enterprise-level policy priorities, directly influencing policymakers and the national policy context, and by supporting grantees in advancing policy work that aligns with our agenda and shared priorities. The department represents the Foundation’s policy activities to a diverse and wide range of external organizations, government agencies, partner institutions, and grantees at the federal, state, and local levels. The department emphasizes health equity in its efforts to identify strategic opportunities for new or ongoing bodies of work.
As with staff at all levels of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the policy associate is expected to demonstrate a passionate commitment to equity, to the Foundation’s mission, and its Guiding Principles.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Assist in overall department coordination and activities, including administrative, operational, and facilitation tasks as needed, including:
Prepare reports and materials for Board of Trustees, senior leadership, and department meetings.
Assist and support department activities, as assigned.
Maintain shared folders and workspaces.
Track progress on the department’s activities, including equity plans.
Actively participate in department activities and improve department functioning.
Support grantee engagement, and plan meetings with grantees and other partners.
Work with department and Foundation colleagues to support direct engagement with policymakers, including preparing comments to proposed regulations, supporting leadership in meetings with policymakers, and planning for briefings.
Program Development and Monitoring
Gather, synthesize, and analyze background information relevant to the department’s strategy and the development of individual programs from the literature, field, and other stakeholders.
Assist in coordinating external reviews for proposals and concept papers.
Assist department members in program and project development; monitor, track, and report on initiatives and programs, as assigned.
Work with key experts and grantees to develop strategies and action plans to fulfill the department’s objectives.
Work to develop and review grant proposals.
Understand, implement, and follow the grantmaking processes and policies of the Foundation.
Represent the Foundation publicly. Respond to public inquiries.
Foundation and Field Contributions
Work with other members to plan, organize, and execute departmental activities and initiatives.
Work with staff and consultants to harvest lessons from previous and current grantmaking, and actively disseminate results and “learnings” to other staff, grantees, and the field.
Attend external meetings and conferences; prepare trip reports.
Commitment to racial and health equity and the Foundation’s vision, values, and Guiding Principles.
Experience working in and fostering an inclusive environment working effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
Two (2) years of related work experience in health or a related field including the social determinants of health, preferably in the nonprofit or government sector; knowledge of philanthropy helpful.
Demonstrated proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office Suite and Teams and experience with file sharing systems (Dropbox, Google docs, OneDrive, and SharePoint).
Able to work and think independently with confidence, and in teams, to think imaginatively about opportunities; to create and respond to novel and innovative approaches to addressing an issue; to inspire others to work toward achieving team goals; and to be tolerant of ambiguity and differences in grantmaking approaches.
Intellectually curious; able to apply learning to work responsibilities.
Collaborative, collegial, and team-oriented; able to develop relationships with colleagues, grantees, consultants, external funders, and others.
Strong time, project, and people management skills; ability to balance multiple priorities.
Able to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals and periodicals, technical procedures, and governmental regulations. Able to synthesize and translate complicated material into clear and simple language.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Able to make decisions to justify recommendations.
Able to travel as required.
Education and experience equivalent to a master’s degree (e.g., Master of Public Health or Public Policy), or a bachelor’s degree and two (2) years of related experience or training, especially in Public Health, Public Policy, or a related health, behavioral, or social science field.
Physical Requirements/Working Conditions
The associate will perform job duties in a typical business office environment. Specific physical abilities required by this job include operating basic office equipment. The associate will be required to attend meetings, potentially both in person and off-site via phone or videoconference. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
This position is assigned to our Washington, D.C. office.
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.