Program Associate, New Jersey
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF; the Foundation), located in Princeton, N.J., is the largest philanthropy in America dedicated solely to health. Since 1972, we have focused on developing and promoting innovations in health and healthcare to improve the lives of millions. In partnership with others, we are working toward a nation that is rooted in equity, compassion, and respect; a nation that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. This requires addressing many harmful obstacles to well-being, including poverty, powerlessness, and discrimination.
We take seriously our responsibilities, and we pledge to work in ways that reflect our Guiding Principles. These are rooted in equity and influence everything we do at RWJF. Equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI), and collaboration allow our staff’s wide range of experiences, passions, and perspectives to enrich our work and strengthen our ability to address our nation’s most pressing health issues. Our efforts to build a Culture of Health and achieve health equity requires us to dismantle structural racism and other barriers to health. Part of this work includes actively shaping a multicultural, inclusive, antiracist organization where all staff thrive as we build and use our capabilities, voice, and power to advance health equity. The Foundation offers a collaborative, collegial, and creative work environment. With a career at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, you will make a difference.
About This Opportunity
Program associates are responsible for facilitating and supporting the execution of work in their unit/department/theme and perform a wide range of activities specific to their role. Reporting to the senior director, the program associate for the New Jersey department will work with members of this department to facilitate, support, and potentially lead collective efforts with partners and grantees to advance public and private investments in policy and systems change efforts. The program associate plays an important role supporting the department’s equitable and efficient functioning, grantmaking, contributions to the Foundation and the field, and learning and dissemination. This includes activities such as assisting in the effective facilitation of the department; conducting project and related research; work with experts, grantees, and applicants to develop strategies and action plans to fulfill the department’s objectives; helping design and implement new initiatives; evaluating proposals, monitoring programs and grants; and planning and facilitating grantee meetings.
The New Jersey department seeks to honor the legacy of Robert Wood Johnson II in N.J., by increasing community power, changing narratives about health and wellbeing, and promoting policies, practices, and systems changes to advance health equity. This is accomplished by developing, implementing, and refining New Jersey-specific strategies and programming in collaboration with key external partners and other RWJF departments.
Our vision is a future where all New Jersey residents, especially those who have been historically marginalized or harmed by structural racism and other forms of oppression, exercise their power and agency to live their healthiest lives possible. Structural racism, compounded through generations of policies and practices, causes different New Jersey populations to experience vastly different realities. Our work seeks to address the drivers of inequitable health conditions in three key areas of opportunity: birth equity, affordable housing, and public health infrastructure reform.
As with staff at all levels of RWJF, program associates are expected to demonstrate experience and a commitment to equity, and to the Foundation’s mission and Guiding Principles.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Assist in overall department coordination and activities, including administrative, operational, and facilitation tasks as needed, including:
- Prepare reports and materials for Board of Trustees, senior leadership, and strategy meetings.
- Maintain shared folders and workspaces in Office 365 and Salesforce in partnership with department staff.
- Support engagement that includes planning and facilitating meetings with grantees and other partners.
- Liaise with program associates in other themes/teams and departments to support shared program opportunities.
- Assist and support department with administrative activities and functions as assigned.
Program Development Monitoring and Learning
- Gather, synthesize, and analyze background information relevant to department strategy and the development of programs.
- Plan, implement, and participate in learning site visits and department retreats.
- Coordinate external reviews for proposals and concept papers.
- Assist department members in researching, designing, implementing, and managing program projects; monitor, track, and report on initiatives and programs, as assigned.
- Develop and disseminate learning digests to share information with department staff through Salesforce and other shared portals.
- Center equity in all work, including identifying consultants, partners, and grantees. Work with department members to develop strategies and action plans that consider input and reporting from experts and grantees.
- Develop calls for proposals and evaluate proposals from applicants.
- Implement the grantmaking processes and policies of the Foundation.
- Represent the Foundation publicly; respond to public inquiries.
Foundation and Field Contributions
- Work with staff and consultants to harvest “learnings” from previous and current grantmaking, and actively disseminate results and “learnings” to other staff, grantees, and the field.
- Attend external meetings and conferences; prepare trip reports.
- Commitment to racial and health equity and the Foundation’s vision, values, and Guiding Principles.
- Experience working in and fostering an inclusive environment working effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
- Two (2) years of related work experience in health or a related field including the social determinants of health, preferably in the nonprofit or government sector; knowledge of philanthropy helpful.
- Experience fostering an inclusive environment working as part of a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
- Demonstrated proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office Suite, Zoom, and Teams along with experience with file-sharing systems (Office 365, Salesforce).
- Interest in working on issues relevant to public health and the social determinants of health and addressing structural racism built into these systems. Specific issue area focus of the department are birth equity, housing, and public health infrastructure.
- Experience working in a New Jersey nonprofit or advocacy organization or philanthropy specifically addressing policy or systems change.
- Can work and think independently with confidence, and in teams, and think imaginatively about opportunities; create and respond to new approaches to addressing an issue; inspire others to work toward achieving team goals; and be tolerant of ambiguity and differences in grantmaking approaches. Approach work with humility, self-reflection, and bravery.
- Intellectually curious and able to apply learning to work responsibilities.
- Collaborative, team-oriented, and energetic; able to develop relationships with, e.g., colleagues, grantees, consultants, external funders.
- Skills in time, project, and people management; ability to balance multiple priorities.
- Able to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals and periodicals, technical procedures, and governmental regulations. Able to synthesize and translate complicated material into clear and simple language.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; writing samples will be requested.
- Able to make decisions and justify recommendations.
- Good sense of humor and ability to have fun with internal and external partners.
- Able to travel as required.
- An undergraduate education with at least four (4) years of experience or master’s degree with two (2) years of related experience in nonprofit development, public policy, or a related social science field.
Physical Requirements/Working Conditions
The program associate will perform job duties in a typical business office environment. Specific physical abilities required by this job include operating basic office equipment. Will be required to attend meetings, potentially both in person and off-site via phone or videoconference. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
This position is assigned to our Princeton, N.J., HQ offices.
As of January 1, 2023, the Foundation has implemented a Hybrid: Flexible Purpose operating model. All RWJF employees will be required to come into Foundation offices during the year for purposes related to their position such as critical tasks (e.g., building operations, grantee meetings, etc.), organizational events (e.g., training and development), and internally-focused team activities. All RWJF offices remain open for all Foundation employees for focused work, optional organizational activities, and connecting with colleagues informally as needed for individual purposes.
The starting salary range for the program associate is $69,000 to $73,000. Why work at RWJF? Learn more about the benefits of working at RWJF.
Application Deadline: May 28, 2023
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented applicants.
Our Committment to Diversity and Inclusion
We are committed to building a Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and wellbeing.
Staff and Trustees
The work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is fueled by our staff, leadership team, and Trustees’ unwavering commitment to health equity.