Monica Hobbs Vinluan, JD, who joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2015 as a senior program officer, has been a passionate professional advocate for health promotion and a distinguished government relations professional on a variety of health and well-being issues for two decades. Through her work at the Foundation, she strives to ensure that all children in the United States have a healthy start. She views her role as “bringing new strategies and approaches to helping make sure all children get the nutritious foods and drinks they need to learn, grow and thrive.”
Previously, Vinluan served as director of the Healthier Communities Initiatives for the YMCA of the USA, which catalyzed community and state-level leadership teams to put in place strategies and policies that enabled people to make healthy choices. The Healthier Communities Initiatives—funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RWJF and a host of other funders—created nearly 250 community teams and enacted 39,000 policy changes in advocating for physical activity, healthy eating and health equity policy strategies.
Vinluan’s experience also includes serving as a senior policy associate with the National Recreation and Park Association. She was a regulatory counsel with Stateside Associates and a federal legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights. She also worked with the National Women’s Law Center, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the National Association of Child Advocates and in the office of former United States Senator Charles Robb of Virginia.
She earned her Juris Doctorate at the American University Washington College of Law and her BA in Political Science from Virginia Tech. She was the recipient of the Sandra P. Grasso Scholarship for her commitment to advancing social justice and feminism, and was also honored for her work in opening the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech.
Born in Virginia, Vinluan currently resides there with her husband and two children. She enjoys “just about any out-of-doors activities,” including hiking, camping and attending her children’s numerous sports activities. She is also very proud of her achievement in keeping “every ‘best mom’ coffee cup, picture, card and sign that my kids have ever made for me!”