Starting in 2011, Rona Smyth Henry, MPH, MBA, became the foundation’s first director of staff development. In that role she oversees training and development work for the foundation’s internal staff.
Prior to her current role, Henry served as a director in the Office of National Program Affairs. She oversaw the Foundation’s effort to manage its national programs efficiently and effectively. Serving as a resource to over 50 national program offices (NPOs), she managed training on program development, implementation and management to both RWJF staff and NPO staff. She also coordinated a biennial Foundation program meeting.
Since joining the Foundation in 1995, Henry also has worked in the areas of childhood obesity, nursing, end-of-life care, and supportive services. She recalls that RWJF attracted her by “the opportunity it presented to work with grantees doing innovative work with the potential for national impact.” She also relished the prospect of “working at different levels to effect change, such as demonstration, advocacy, research, and communications, and coming at health problems from so many angles.”
Previously, Henry was associate director of the Foundation’s Partners in Caregiving: The Dementia Services Program and deputy director of the Dementia Care and Respite Services Program, while holding the position of instructor at the Wake Forest University Bowman Gray School of Medicine. While at Bowman Gray, she also served as business manager for the department of psychiatry. One highlight of her experience during that period was her co-authorship of Marketing for Adult Day Programs: Targeting Caregivers to Reach Participants, which enabled nonprofits to adopt a more systematic and effective approach to marketing adult day services.
Henry has been an active health care consultant and volunteer, especially in the area of aging and adult day services. She has presented at numerous conferences and meetings on aging and adult day services.
Henry earned an MPH and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley and completed a post-graduate fellowship in hospital administration at Duke University Hospital.
Born in California, Henry now resides in Plainsboro, N.J., with her daughter and husband, Robert, a Web designer. She and her family have traveled extensively and Henry has lived overseas (England and Australia). She is committed to international understanding and has hosted several exchange students. She is an avid reader and enjoys being a member of two book groups. She is currently serving as member of the board of trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Princeton and on the Marketing Committee for Leadership New Jersey.