Leadership for Better Health

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s change leadership programs are designed to extend the influence and impact of leaders working to build a Culture of Health—a national movement to establish health as a shared value and essential priority across the nation, and to ensure that people are supported to live the healthiest lives possible where they live, learn, work, and play.

To make a shift as bold as building a Culture of Health—a shift that relies on increasing equity and combating the effects of racism and poverty—it is imperative that many of these leaders are from or working in communities with limited resources and opportunities. And to create change at every level of society, they must represent every sector and discipline, recognizing that people’s health is greatly influenced by complex social factors—education, neighborhoods, transportation, income, and faith—in addition to health care.

Applications open January 4, 2017 for the National Leadership Programs. Interested in applying or know someone else who is? Visit the program websites below to learn which is the best for you and steps you can take now to apply.

Applicant Webinar

Register for a webinar on Thursday, December 8, 2016, from 2-3 p.m. ET to learn more about the programs, what we’re looking for in a successful applicant, and how to get ready to apply!

RWJF Video

Businesswoman at whiteboard leads a meeting in an office.

Watch a video illustrating the vision behind the leadership development programs.

Watch a video illustrating the vision behind the leadership development programs.

Watch a video illustrating the vision behind the leadership development programs.

National Leadership Programs

Health Policy Research Scholars builds equity by investing in scholars from underrepresented populations or disadvantaged backgrounds whose research, connections, and leadership will inform and influence policy toward a Culture of Health.

Visit program website

The Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program equips teams of researchers and on-the-ground change agents with advanced leadership skills and a clear focus on health and equity, allowing them to apply health research and policy to meet the pressing needs of communities.

Visit program website

The Culture of Health Leaders program is supporting leaders—from all sectors that have an influence on people’s health—to create collaborative solutions that address health inequities and move their communities and organizations toward a Culture of Health.  

Visit program website

The Clinical Scholars program prepares and supports small teams of clinicians, from a range of disciplines, to lead transformative change—centered on health equity—in their communities.


Visit program website

Additional leadership development programs focused on building a Culture of Health

Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program

This program provides four-year postdoctoral research awards to historically disadvantaged physicians, dentists, and nurses who are committed to developing careers in academic medicine and to serving as role models for students and faculty of similar backgrounds.

Visit program website

New Connections: Increasing Diversity of RWJF Programming

New Connections provides research grants, networking, and skill building opportunities to early and midcareer scholars from under-represented backgrounds to help accelerate their career trajectories and bring their diverse perspectives forward to influence RWJF strategy.

Visit program website

Summer Health Professions Education Program

This program provides college students from ethically, racially and geographically diverse backgrounds—interested in careers in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and public health—a free summer enrichment program to help strengthen academic and career development skills.

Visit program website

State Health Leadership Initiative

The State Health Leadership Initiative aims to accelerate the leadership development of new state/territorial health officials as policy makers, administrators, and advocates for the health of the public.

Visit program website

Related Content

A meeting facilitator refers to a bar chart.

Investing in the Next Generation of Health-Focused Leaders

Through leadership development, collaboration and funding for innovative projects, RWJF's national leadership programs will break down silos and find innovative, outside-the-box solutions.

Read the blog post by Pam S. Dickson
Business professionals gather at a conference.

RWJF Leadership Programs Launch

More than 150 participants across multiple fields and professions selected to join four new leadership programs designed to help build a Culture of Health in the United States.

Read the news release
Attendees sit in the audience at The Science of Placebo conference.

A New Network to Build a Culture of Health

RWJF is working to create change at every level of society by engaging leaders who represent every sector and discipline, and who recognize that health is greatly influenced by complex social factors, not just by health care.

Read the blog post by Pam S. Dickson

Learn More About Our Work

Family-practice physicians discuss a patient's progress.
Health Leadership