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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), located in Princeton, N.J., is the largest philanthropy in America dedicated solely to health. Since 1972 we have been providing funding, assistance, and research for projects and programs to help people, their families, and their communities be as healthy as possible. RWJF is committed to working alongside others to build a Culture of Health where everyone has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being.

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. Diversity, inclusion, and collaboration allow our staff’s wide range of experiences, passions, and perspectives to enrich our work and strengthens our ability to address our nation’s most pressing health issues. With a career at RWJF you will make a difference.

The Foundation seeks a director who will be responsible for two areas of work; the direction and management of the Foundation programming in our home state of New Jersey (50%) and serve as a senior program officer to build Foundation strategic relationships with national partners to leverage opportunities to build a Culture of Health (50%).

As director of the New Jersey team the successful candidate will guide Foundation programing designed to make New Jersey a healthier place to live, work and play. This includes overall management, strategy formulation, planning, budgeting and staff management for all team activities.  

The successful candidate will also provide organizational leadership in design and implementation of our strategic relationships with large national partners to leverage opportunities to work together to build a Culture of Health. 

As with staff at all levels of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the director and senior program officer demonstrate a passionate commitment to health equity, the Foundation’s mission and its Guiding Principles.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Team Management:

  • Manage, develop and evaluate NJ Team staff members with matrix responsibility for other Program, Research Evaluation and Learning (REL), and Communications staff members working on the NJ Team.
  • Assure the development of a comprehensive annual team work plan including the necessary set of program activities to make progress towards the strategic objective; and allocate the NJ Team’s financial and personnel resources towards accomplishment of the work plan.
  • Collaborate with staff members to develop performance work plans, including the setting of goals and establishing expectations to support optimum performance and professional development.
  • Monitor and develop staff member growth through skill development and broadening of experience base.
  • Program liaison to the NJ Trustees.

Program Development and Monitoring:

  • Promote the development of the NJ team’s strategy including programs, convening, and coordinating and managing the integration of the Communications and REL programming into the team strategy and work plan.
  • Lead the design and implementation of new NJ team initiatives and approaches intended to meet the team’s objectives.
  • Serve as the lead for NJ activities internally and externally.
  • Partner with external NJ stakeholders to build a Culture of Health and advance health equity in NJ (e.g., implement recommendations of the New Jersey Policy Report).
  • Develop NJ team performance indicators—create tracking mechanisms, ensure effective ongoing monitoring of team’s overall work. 
  • Work with NJ team members, consultants, other funders and external organizations to plan, develop and respond to requests for funding. 
  • Assure funded activities are achieving project goals.
  • Manage written communications on NJ team plans, activities and performance to senior management and Board. These work products include but are not limited to:

°   Annual Update to the Board
°   Quarterly Program Approvals Report to the Board
°   Annual Team Budget; and
°   Annual Team Work plan.

Team Functioning:

  • As a contributor to identifying, cultivating, and managing strategic relationships, participates in team activities and improving team functioning, including compliance with team norms and providing support and back-up for team members.
  • Partners/collaborates with theme managing directors and themes to provide insight and guidance on programmatic strategies, grantmaking and grant management.

Grantmaking Processes:

  • Analyze and evaluate NJ team-wide and project-specific proposals including strength of the activity, value for dollars requested and our health and stability. 
  • Work in collaboration with staff in the Foundation to support recommendations and to monitor financial status.
  • Ensure the grantmaking processes and policies are followed. 
  • Assure that all grant proposals undergo a fair review process and are acted on expeditiously.
  • Manage the NJ team’s budget and cash payment system with the assistance of the team financial analyst.
  • Attend meetings, conducts site visits, and reviews grantee submissions as part of overall responsibility for developing and managing existing grants and programs. Prepare oral and written summaries of grant activities.
  • Keeps managing director and team informed about grant developments and occurrences in the field that are likely to affect theme decision-making, group strategies or grants decision-making. 

Strategic Relationships:

  • Strengthen and create new opportunities for important relationships for RWJF in public, non-profit, and philanthropic organizations.
  • Partner with program staff across focus areas, initiate and contribute to the design and implementation of team initiatives in a way that advances health equity. Serve as a partner with staff in identifying strategic objectives and direction.
  • Implement a theory of change and provide operational guidance for themes, teams, and units to engage with important partners.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Office to coordinate the CEO’s engagement with important leaders.
  • Assess strategic relationships strategy and impact.
  • Oversee strategic relationships staff.

Foundation Responsibilities:

  • Integrate the Guiding Principles into team strategy and objectives for optimum outcomes.
  • Approve NJ grants up to $100,000 following Foundation program policies.
  • Ensure lessons learned from projects and processes are shared throughout the Foundation.
  • Represent the Foundation publicly regarding strategy, program direction, program funding, and grantmaking results. Respond to public inquiries about the application process.
  • Convene with other directors and managing directors to assess functionality of team operational environment; identify issues needing attention and bring to the attention of senior management.
  • Lead and participate in the internal committees of the Foundation and accomplish other responsibilities assigned by executive staff. 
  • Collaborate with administrative management to manage the support staff with whom they work.
  • Participate in Foundation-wide projects related to interest and program areas.
  • Participate in conferences, seminars, and other professional development activities to maintain expertise and status.
  • Perform other projects and responsibilities as assigned.


Minimum Requirements

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and vision and alignment with our values.
  • Demonstrated professional commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated leadership and experience at improving the wellbeing of New Jersey residents.
  • Completed advanced degree (e.g. MA, MPH, MJ, MBA) and a minimum of 7 years of relevant work experience, minimum of 3 years of experience in a complex leadership role with supervisory and project management experience. Experience working in non-profit, higher education, government or other organization with a focus on supporting NJ residents is required.
  • Demonstrated experience handling multiple priorities; can organize time; can clarify roles and responsibilities for team staff members; and work with team members in the Foundation’s organizational structure. Ability to work within set decision-making roles.
  • Project and people management skills as well as an ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, enthusiasm, and diplomacy both individually as part of a team effort.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing complex budgets.
  • Demonstrated employee development and performance management skills. Ability to provide mentorship/guidance to encourage the development of staff.
  • Able to think creatively about opportunities to create and respond to fresh approaches and to inspire others to work towards achieving Foundation goals.
  • Able to synthesize material, focus quickly, and identify opportunities while continuing to see the big picture.
  • Strong written and verbal skills; demonstrated persuasive and respectful presentation skills for communications with internal leadership, external high-level stakeholders and people from the communities we are working to reach on a range of complex issues.
  • Experience fostering an inclusive environment working as part of a multidisciplinary team and working with persons from diverse cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Professional integrity, an independent thinker, a sense of humor and ability to work in ambiguity.
  • Comfort with using communication tools (social networking, etc.) to further RWJF’s work.
  • Ability to travel; including site visits and representing the Foundation at outside meetings.



The incumbent performs job duties in a traditional business office environment. Tasks are generally carried out with no specific or unusual physical or environmental demands. While performing the duties of this job the incumbent is regularly required work at a desk with a computer for extended periods of time. Specific physical abilities required by this job include operating basic office equipment such as personal computers, duplicating machines, fax machines and standard office telephones. The incumbent may be required to attend meetings, both on-site and off-site, via phone or videoconference.

RWJF is an Equal Opportunity Employer

2019 Annual Message

Our Homes Are Key To Our Health

In a Culture of Health, everyone has an opportunity to reside in an affordable, safe, stable home. In this year’s annual message, RWJF President and CEO Rich Besser highlights housing as a key factor of thriving communities.

Read annual message

Learn More About Our Work

Areas of Focus

Post Date

July 22, 2019


Due Date

August 25, 2019 (Closed)