Shawna Davie, who joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2015 as a program associate, manages strategic initiatives and operations for the chief of staff. Her work has included planning and convening the three-day Culture of Health Partners Workshop for 120 representatives from major national nonprofit organizations. This initiative, which provided an opportunity for in-depth exchange, engagement, and action, identified and developed strategies for building a Culture of Health nationwide.
Drawn to the Foundation by its focus on the social and economic factors that affect health, Davie views RWJF’s work as “an opportunity to build consensus and facilitate conversation in building a national Culture of Health, and placing well-being at the center of everyone’s life, now and for generations to come.”
Previously, she completed a 2014 fellowship in RWJF’s National Urban Fellows program. This rigorous, 14-month program introduces Fellows to the health-related issues and circumstances that affect the populations served through public service initiatives, and helps to promote social justice and equity.
Prior to her work with the Foundation, Davie founded and served as executive director of Alignment Jackson at United Way of the Capital Area in Jackson, Miss. Alignment Jackson is a community-wide partnership that supports the Jackson Public School District’s strategic plan to raise its graduation rate from 65 percent to 80 percent by 2020. As executive director Davie raised startup funds, implemented a regional Graduation Matters campaign in area schools, and led a team that increased graduation rates by 11 percent at a high poverty, low-income high school in the state’s largest urban school district. She was a sought-after local and national speaker, presenter, and advisor on how to organize effectively around challenging and systemic issues in education. She also directed United Way’s education initiative, a project that increased graduation rates dramatically, improved third grade literacy scores district-wide by 15 percent, and provided a summer reading campaign that increased library circulation by 275 percent.
In earlier positions, Davie served as the United Way of the Capital Area’s Drop Out Prevention coordinator and Reproductive Freedom Project coordinator for the ACLU of Mississippi, where she participated in successful advocacy efforts to pass the state’s first comprehensive sex education law.
Davie earned her MPA from Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY) and holds a BA in English from Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss.
Born in St. Louis, Mo., Davie now resides in Princeton, N.J. She enjoys spin classes at her local gym, and travel to the warmer climates in the United States.