Parita Patel, senior program officer, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2022, bringing her extensive philanthropic experience in the public and private sectors—and her knowledge of the power structures that change society—to support the Foundation’s efforts in helping all families enjoy a fair and just opportunity for health and wellbeing. Drawn to RWJF by its long-term focus on racial and economic equity, she relishes the opportunity to help expand efforts in building a national Culture of Health and driving programming toward a future when all families can participate in the economy.
Prior to joining RWJF, Parita held several senior programmatic roles for philanthropic initiatives and policy change efforts in Washington, D.C. and New York. She worked as a senior advisor and program officer for the Social Innovation Fund, an Obama-administration initiative designed to use evidence of impact to guide social policy, and as a director at Stand Together Foundation, advising on investment strategy for donors and building strategic partnerships with nonprofits.
In earlier positions, Parita designed and implemented strategic corporate citizenship programs on behalf of Changing Our World, a social impact consulting firm. She also coordinated programs for Leveraging Investments in Creativity, a philanthropic experiment to create a support system for artists in the United States. She served as a program director for Cable Positive, where she led peer-to-peer health programming for high school students; and she was a program associate for Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative between the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation to respond to the growing rate of childhood obesity.
Parita earned a BA in Public Policy and Social Change from Bentley University in Massachusetts. Inspired by her father’s sense of fairness and justice, she followed in his footsteps and studied law at the University of Bristol in England.
Parita was born in London and has lived in the United States for over 25 years. She resides in New Jersey with her husband where they enjoy raising their son, instilling in him an appreciation for nature, and when time permits visiting family and friends around the world. Over the years she has spent considerable time in Europe, and in exploring her ancestral roots in Gujarat, India.