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 directly to the managing director for the Leadership for Better Health (LBH) strategic portfolio, the program officer (PO) will help advance the Foundation’s priorities through collaborative design, management, and monitoring of strategies and initiatives that advance our goal to support and sustain leaders and the leadership needed to effectively address structural barriers to achieve health equity. The portfolio does this by initiating our own programming, as well as working collaboratively with other portfolios, teams, and departments across the Foundation, and with external partners. The PO will help support and sustain the development of an alumni network and create and execute a plan for connecting people to provide support, share resources, and to foster collaboration to build more solidarity to advance health equity.
As with staff at all levels of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, program officers are expected to demonstrate a passionate commitment to equity and to RWJF’s mission and Guiding Principles.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Program Development and Monitoring
Center equity, structural racism, and intersectional forms of oppression in learning, program development and management, and strategy development, including adaptation of equitable grantmaking processes.
Design and implement new initiatives and bodies of work that advance portfolio and organizational goals and objectives; monitoring progress of existing programs and grants toward team goals and objectives, including providing thought partnership on program efforts and sustainability of the work.
Evaluate new proposals for alignment with strategic objectives.
Cultivate, nurture, and sustain trusting relationships with grantees and field leaders to inform program development, implementation, and management of programs, as well as to learn and stay informed of field advancements and context.
Manage the Leadership for Better Health alumni network in close partnership with external partners to foster and maintain connections among network participants (800+ alumni across the U.S.).
Learning and Dissemination
Track progress of several programs and grants toward team goals and objectives, synthesizing and integrating the learnings into program strategy.
Capture and share learning from program investments and activities internally and externally, contributing to, participating in, and occasionally co-leading internal Foundation efforts in strategy development and strategic learning.
Contribute to RWJF operations and functioning, fostering connections and working across teams and departments, and carry out other responsibilities assigned by deputy director/director and/or executive staff.
Foundation and Field Contributions
Collaborate across the Foundation, including with program unit colleagues (Communications, New Jersey, Policy, Research-Evaluation-Learning), and work in partnership with legal and finance in developing, implementing, and managing RWJF initiatives, as well as contribute to Foundation-wide projects.
Represent the Foundation publicly, including contributing and participating in grantee and partner meetings and responding to public inquiries.
Perform other projects and responsibilities, as assigned.
Experience co-leading and comfort working in networks and communities of practice with a focus on equity.
Deep understanding of equity initiatives within institutions, networks, and fields of practices from a systems perspective.
Experience facilitating learning and strategic thinking.
Experience forging and maintaining dynamic partnerships at the local and national level to achieve change.
Strong written and verbal skills; demonstrated persuasive and respectful presentation skills for communications with internal leadership, external high-level stakeholders, and people from the communities we are working to reach on a range of complex issues.
Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to communicate openly and directly.
Familiarity with, but not necessarily a professional background in, philanthropy and philanthropic processes.
Ability to travel, including site visits and representing RWJF at outside meetings.
Education and experience equivalent to an advanced degree (masters) and three (3) or more years of relevant experience.
All program officers at RWJF are expected to have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
Commitment to Equity: You have a history of fostering inclusive environments, engaging diverse voices, and are able to consider underlying inequities, structural drivers, privilege, and power dynamics in your work.
Connective Thinking: You excel at creatively exploring problems, issues, and opportunities. You are a lateral thinker who is able to translate ideas from different spaces, make connections between seemingly disparate ideas, and see how they fit within a broader whole.
Curiosity and a Rapid Learning Curve: You are intellectually curious and able to dive into new spaces and new networks. You like to explore different, disparate ideas and can swiftly make sense of complex issues.
Systems Thinking: You are able to identify leverage points and assess how new ideas have the potential to influence or change a system. You are comfortable with experimentation and risk-taking and are able to find and refine the truly transformative “nugget” in an idea—even if others don’t see it yet.
Excellent Networking Skills: You are a relational person and are able to build robust networks that allow you to cast a wide net, make connections, and see opportunities and challenges from diverse perspectives.
Open-Mindedness, Additive Thinking, and Humility: You are open-minded and willing to explore ideas, whether they are yours or not. You are an additive and generative thinker who builds on the ideas of others. And you are self-aware and recognize a grantmaker’s role in supporting the work of their grantees.
Well-Honed Research and Analytical Skills: You can apply rigor and an objective lens when researching and evaluating. You make sound decisions and are responsive, clear, and persuasive in your recommendations.
Able to Drive and Communicate: You are able to work both independently and collaboratively and to manage multiple priorities effectively. You spend your time generously and judiciously. You consistently deliver on project goals and outcomes.
Collaborative Approach: People enjoy working with you and you enjoy working with others. You are able to work effectively with others and work with efficiency, enthusiasm, and diplomacy—both individually and as part of a team. You foster an inclusive environment working effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team with people from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
Physical Requirements/Working Conditions
The program officer 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, both in person and off-site via phone or videoconference. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
This position is assigned to our Princeton, N.J. headquarters offices.
As of January 1, 2023, the Foundation has implemented a Hybrid: Flexible Purposeoperating 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), 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.