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 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 vice president, program management, the senior director, Grants Management will refine, develop, and implement the Foundation’s grants management processes, practices, and systems; advise leadership and staff on all aspects of grants management from concept through award closure, including regulatory compliance requirements; and oversee the development of the Foundation’s knowledge management function.
We are experiencing a unique and powerful opportunity for transformative change for the future in how we lead and impact health equity through our grantmaking and management practices in support of the Foundation’s strategic framework. At this pivotal time in the Foundation’s history, we are seeking a senior director with a stellar record of collaboration, transformation, and equity-centered, values-driven grantmaking practices.
As part of the Program unit, the Grants Management department works with applicants, grant recipients, contractors, partners, and program departments and units across RWJF to design, document, implement, and refine grantmaking policies, processes, practices, and systems, including knowledge management to support RWJF’s goals. We do this by aligning the Foundation’s grantmaking operations with the Foundation’s Guiding Principles and the field’s best practices, keeping a central focus on equity, efficiency, and continual improvement to best support our grant seekers, applicants, grant recipients, partners, and staff.
As with staff at all levels of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this position is expected to demonstrate a passionate commitment to the Foundation’s mission to ensure everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity for health and wellbeing and a commitment to carrying out his/her responsibilities consistent with the Foundation’s Guiding Principles.
The core responsibilities of the senior director include:
Lead the transformation, aggregation, and coordination of all Grants Management functions with internal and external partners, including building excellent and consistent grants management practices to support the continued development of an efficient, effective, and equitable approach. (20%)
Lead the assessment of our processes and systems' needs, and work closely with the Foundation’s leadership in Technology, Finance, Law, and Program Development to transform our grant processes and grants management system, including the selection and implementation of a new grants management system that furthers our impact. (20%)
Develop and implement an organization-wide consolidation of grants management goals, functions, and objectives; track progress; embed accountability measures; and continually evaluate impact and effectiveness. (20%)
Lead a cross-functional leadership team to ensure the design and delivery of program and grant operations, policies, and practices that are equitable and inclusive, and reflect the Foundation’s risk tolerance. (10%)
Manage the Grants Management department to implement equitable and inclusive grantmaking policies and practices and a strong knowledge management function within RWJF. Create an inclusive antiracist culture within the department. (10%)
Establish a framework for monitoring and tracking outcomes of internal work on grants management and knowledge management using industry best practices, and conduct assessments based on those criteria to evaluate internal performance over time. (10%)
Collaborate with senior leaders across the Foundation to coordinate, complement, and align strategic initiatives toward achieving our Foundation-wide strategy and generational goals. (10%)
Essential Job Responsibilities
Advance grants management consistency across the Foundation by ensuring that training objectives and accountability measures are embedded across all goal areas.
Build and maintain timely communications on changes to policies, procedures, and systems in collaboration with the cross-functional leadership team.
In partnership with other RWJF senior leaders, foster a culture in alignment with RWJF principles.
Research, document, and disseminate best practices in design, evaluation, and implementation of successful grants management policy and practice.
Provide leadership with ongoing philanthropy trends and best practice recommendations.
Develop and maintain relationships with key internal partners and leaders to assure that policies, processes, and tools are built on best practices, are equitable, enhancing applicant and grantee experience, and aligned with organizational priorities and outcomes.
Partner with Program, Finance, Information Technology, and Law teams to address risks and/or misaligned roles or responsibilities that emerge with cross-functional operations.
Grants Operations Management
Collect, interpret, and analyze data and develop reports to track changes in our grantmaking over time and identify areas of opportunity.
Lead on mapping the requirements to reflect consistent and excellent grants operations and develop relevant dashboards and key performance indicators.
Curate and maintain grants management data and content for internal audiences that will help benchmark and track performance.
Guide and support knowledge management (KM) team within the Grants Management department, and integration of the Foundation’s KM strategy and approaches.
Facilitate effective and equitable use of knowledge in support of the Foundation’s vision and objectives, and leverage KM-affiliated data to inform organizational learning, accountability, and performance.
Perform other duties as assigned.
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.
Ten (10) 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.
Demonstrated experience with leading grants management function, including grantmaking policies, financial, compliance, data visualization, and knowledge management.
Demonstrated experience with KM-related concepts, systems, and processes.
Deep experience in and understanding of grants management, including understanding of the research and evidence behind effective and equitable grantmaking policies and practices, and applying and leading that knowledge into grants management practice.
Experience building equitable practices within an institution committed to EDI as part of antiracist practices and in fostering an inclusive environment working effectively with persons from diverse professional, cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
A track record of translating vision to strategic planning, goal development, and tactical efforts toward implementation to achieve improved outcomes with a related ability to establish clear metrics and implement a process to chart progress for grants management and knowledge management.
Data visualization expertise and an ability to oversee, analyze, and interpret data and translate analyses into insights and recommendations.
Strong project and program management, planning, and organizational skills.
Proven ability to design, build, and resource a team; coach, develop, and guide team members; conduct talent assessments; manage conflict and resolve problems to ensure optimal outcomes for objectives and priorities.
Self-directed, exemplary leadership, with the ability to influence decisionmaking through strong relationships and collaboration.
Strong collaboration skills and exceptional people management and leadership experience.
Demonstrated experience in change management and organizational development processes. Significant change management experience, with the capacity to provide intellectual and emotional leadership, and convene and unite a team during challenging and demanding organizational shifts.
Strong analytical, investigative, and research skills.
Diplomatic and skilled communicator who is comfortable raising and debating issues to find the best solutions.
Demonstrated track record in advancing grants management strategies while shepherding an organization through significant internal change and cultural realignment. Deep expertise in philanthropy and foundations similar in scope and reach to RWJF.
Education and experience equivalent to an advanced degree (e.g., MA, MPH, MJ, MBA).
Physical Requirements/Working Conditions
The senior director will perform job duties in a typical business office environment. Specific physical abilities required by this job include operating basic office equipment. The senior director 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 Princeton, N.J., headquarters 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), 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.