Director of Messaging and Content Coordination


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, 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. The Foundation offers a collaborative, collegial, and creative work environment. With a career at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, you will make a difference.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the vice president, Communications, the director of messaging and content coordination will work across the Communications Department and the Foundation to ensure alignment and coherence of Foundation content and consistent use of the Foundation’s brand and voice. The director will connect the dots between what we believe, what we say, how we say it, when we say it, and to whom, to support our vision to achieve health equity. The director will work with Foundation colleagues—both informing and learning from their work—to address the wide field of factors that influence well-being, including barriers caused by the intersection of structural racism, other forms of discrimination, and the social conditions that impact health. Directors are based in the Foundation’s Princeton, N.J. office.

All staff are expected to demonstrate a passionate commitment to equity and the Foundation’s vision, values, and Guiding Principles.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Overall Messaging and Narrative

  • Direct and synthesize message and narrative research, and distill RWJF’s knowledge and positions across a range of topics including outside our funding priorities.
  • Manage the development and implementation of a department-wide editorial calendar, which aligns the deployment of key communications products and messages to maximize strategic communications impact.
  • Manage a team of communications and message research partners and track and distill learnings from the Foundation’s message testing and audience research, with close attention to health equity considerations in both process and final products.
  • Lead efforts to develop and catalog messages on RWJF’s work, including current funding and highlights from the Foundation’s historical work.
  • Be the main contact for firms and external partners on messaging.
  • Be the primary contact for internal content creation and curation.
  • Partner with theme/team communications colleagues to support their messaging needs and those of their grantees (e.g., surveys to solicit grantee feedback on messaging challenges; shareable messaging toolkits for grantees and partners).
  • Work closely with media relations, executive communications, brand, and digital to ensure consistency in, and alignment with, messaging and content across functions and platforms.
  • Oversee the RWJF Writing Style Guide.

Cross-Foundation Coordination and Learning

  • Develop and maintain message and resource banks, accessible to all staff, on the Foundation’s knowledge base and positions across a range of topics (including, but not limited to, areas we fund). Tools in these banks would range from talking points to research synthesis documents to annotated guides to previous statements on various topics.
  • Develop a process for intentional coordination with:

    o   Program communications staff on grantee products, message research, and content for Foundation platforms;
    o   Research, Evaluation and Learning staff to ensure our messaging and content reflects the most up-to-date science;
    o   Digital team members to ensure consistent messaging and content on the web and in social media;
    o   Media relations to prepare for opportunities to use the Foundation’s voice, both proactively and opportunistically;
    o   Brand staff for internal and external events and products; and
    o   Senior leaders on emerging areas of programming, learning, and exploration.

  • Direct message trainings and other related learning opportunities for Foundation staff.

Minimum Requirements

  • Commitment to racial and health equity and the Foundation’s vision, values, and Guiding Principles.
  • Ten (10) or more years of demonstrated experience in communications, preferably with an organization with various departments and a multidisciplinary staff.
  • Experience fostering an inclusive environment working as part of a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Experience managing contracts with and working with communications firms, consultants, and external partners to develop strategy and execute on tactics.
  • Experience handling multiple priorities; good time management skills.
  • Experience assessing the audience, the strategic objective, and desired outcome; develop and execute a strategy to drive toward that outcome; and evaluate and measure the success of communications efforts.
  • Ability to think critically and strategically.
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills, including demonstrated ability to work in a complex team matrix environment; must be collegial and engender trust among colleagues.
  • Demonstrated maturity, good judgment and analytic skills; ability to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be responsive and clear.
  • Strong project and people management skills, including demonstrated ability to think independently and with limited supervision, flexibility, ability to juggle multiple priorities and work jointly with others.
  • Strong creative thinker who is willing to take novel and innovative approaches to addressing an issue.
  • Impeccable written and oral communication skills, as well as an ability to synthesize and present complicated material in a clear and compelling manner. Fluency in Spanish a plus.
  • Ability to learn about and use emerging communications trends.
  • Energetic and passionate, with the ability to inspire others to work toward achieving goals.
  • High tolerance for ambiguity.
  • Demonstrated enthusiasm and strong commitment to fulfill the Foundation’s mission.
  • Completion of an advanced degree in relevant fields of study. A combination of education and experience may be substituted for the education requirement.

Physical Requirements/Working Conditions

The director 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.

How to Apply

The director 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.

Submit your resume and letter of interest.

Application Deadline: October 31, 2021


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.

How to Apply

Submit your resume and letter of interest.

Application deadline: October 31, 2021

(Post Date: September 27, 2021)

This position is located in Princeton, N.J. If hired, you would be required to work from our Princeton office when our facilities re-open.

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