Molly McKaughan

Senior Officer, Program Results Reporting

Molly McKaughan, senior officer of Program Results Reporting in the Research-Evaluation-Learning unit, leads the Foundation's initiative to produce Program Results Reports on the results and findings of completed projects and national programs, Progress Reports on a selection of active projects and programs, and Grantee Stories on a selection of fellows, scholars, leaders and researchers supported by RWJF. The reports, produced by a team of 20 freelance writers and editors, are available on the RWJF website for researchers, policy-makers, and the public. A Program Results Report describes the problem addressed, RWJF's funding to address it, the objectives of the program/project and the strategies used, the results or findings from the work, lessons learned from implementation, post-grant activities, and a bibliography of publications. Progress Reports provide answers to a series of questions from interviews with the program officer, the project/program director, partners and advisors, and others working in the field about the problem, how the project/program is addressing it, what it’s accomplished to date, challenges faced and lessons learned from them, and what the future holds.

More than 3,270 reports were available as of March 1, 2014. As McKaughan notes: “Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, our president and CEO, has called this work the historical record of the Foundation, and RWJF is the only foundation engaged in this level of results reporting.” As RWJF has started doing retrospectives on its work in various fields—those on tobacco, end-of-life care, chronic care, and substance use have been posted to date—the Program Results Reports have proved invaluable to the consultants examining RWJF's work and its outcomes.

McKaughan joined RWJF in 1996 (first as a consultant, becoming a staff member in 1998), after previously serving as a program officer at the Commonwealth Fund and as a consultant to other foundations and nonprofits. In 1996, she and former Special Program Officer Marian Bass developed a pilot project to report on the results of RWJF projects and programs; 18 months later the project became part of the way RWJF does its work and the first Program Results Reports were posted to the Foundation’s website. “I am proud of my part in creating this body of work,” she observes. “Every report provides useful information, and together they offer lessons to the field and staff on topics of interest such as disparities in health and health care or improving quality. I am always looking for new ways to present the results of the Foundation’s work to the public and to help RWJF staff learn from past work."

McKaughan has had a distinguished career as a writer, editor, and consultant specializing in health care philanthropy and nonprofits. In this capacity, she worked from 1988 to 1994 with ICF Incorporated and the Commonwealth Fund on the Americans Over 55 at Work Program and other projects. She also taught magazine journalism as an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, served as senior editor at New York Magazine, and was a visiting professor at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. Her early career included managing editor positions at Next Magazine, Quest Magazine and the Paris Review, where she also was an assistant to George Plimpton, the writer and Review’s founding editor. McKaughan authored The Biological Clock: Balancing Marriage, Motherhood, and Career (Doubleday, 1987; Penguin, 1989); her articles and interviews have appeared in such publications as People, Woman’s Day, Across the Board, Home, Quest, the Wharton Magazine and the Paris Review, and she is a published poet.

As a freelance writer and editor, her clients have included RWJF, the Commonwealth Fund, Grantmakers In Health, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Conference Board, National Medical Fellowships, the Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust, the Charles Dana Foundation, the Hastings Center, Lehigh Valley Hospital, the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, the Peer Review Organization of New Jersey, the RAND Corporation, AT&T, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

McKaughan received a bachelor’s degree cum laude from Smith College in Northampton, Mass.

Molly McKaughan