Executive/Senior Legal Assistant



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.

Diversity, inclusion, and collaboration are fundamental principles at RWJF. Our staff’s wide range of experiences, passions, and perspectives enriches 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 currently seeks an executive/senior legal assistant (E/SLA). The executive/senior legal will be responsible for: (1) managing varied and complex duties in support of the grantmaking and award process that fulfills broad responsibilities where required outcomes are defined, but methods and procedures may vary based upon professional judgment or precedent; performing duties and assignments autonomously and conferring with attorneys as needed; (2) providing administrative support to departmental activities and operations; (3) providing a high level of administrative assistance directly to the vice president, general counsel and secretary; and (4) providing back-up assistance for department support staff, as needed.


Grant- and Award-Related Responsibilities:

  • Verifies tax-exempt status of all proposed grantees and, if necessary, requests and reviews additional documentation necessary to confirm eligibility.
  • Prepares letters of agreement (LOAs) for all grants, work with attorneys on special circumstances, makes edits, emails LOAs to grantees, and follows up as needed.
  • Responds to questions and requests for modifications to LOAs from grantees.
  • Finalizes program contracts, including printing final contract and obtaining appropriate signatures.
  • Approves and requests name changes for grants in progress, and sends memos to appropriate staff when grantee submits information to change name.
  • Monitors GuideStar Watch List regarding tax-exempt status of current grantees, informing appropriate staff and taking other action if a grantee’s status changes.
  • Prepares monthly memoranda of grant awards and other expenditures awarded so that other offices in the Foundation are assured that review by the vice president, general counsel and secretary or another attorney in the Law department was completed.
  • Maintains expenditure responsibility and supporting organizations listing for Accounting Office for use in preparing tax return.
  • Reviews and processes President’s Staff grant and Special Contribution award forms, working with Princeton Area Community Foundation.
  • Reviews matching gift requests for compliance with matching gift rules, including verifying tax-exempt status for matching gifts and follows up with participants and recipients if needed. Maintains employee and Trustee matching gift conflicts listing. Monitors Matching Gift mailbox and responds to requests.
  • Serves as a liaison between the Law department and the other departments related to updates to template LOAs, and improvements in grants management and matching gifts online systems.
  • Monitors several grant-related mailboxes and responds to requests.

Board-Related Responsibilities:

  • Serves as back-up for adding committee and Board meeting documents to the Board portal.
  • Assists with Board material preparation as needed.

Executive Assistant Responsibilities—Functions as primary support person regarding VP’s activities and responsibilities to include but not limited to:

  • Opens and prioritizes incoming mail for the vice president, general counsel and secretary.
  • Performs research and analysis on issues, as required, and independently prepares nonroutine letters and/or reports, which may be highly sensitive and confidential in nature.
  • Prepares and coordinates correspondence and memoranda for VP’s signature.
  • Serves as primary point of contact and liaison for the VP on day-to-day operational and administrative issues.
  • Schedules meetings and proactively follows up on matters arising from meetings.
  • Makes travel arrangements and processes expense reports.
  • Maintains tickler file.
  • Anticipates and advises vice president on matters requiring attention/follow-up.

Department Responsibilities:

  • Monitors Legal Questions mailbox and responds to requests.
  • Assists department legal administrative coordinator and legal assistant as needed.
  • Provides telephone coverage for the offices in the Law department as needed.
  • Performs other duties as related to the position as assigned.


  • A combination of education and experience equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree.
  • A minimum of three years of directly related experience in performing executive-level and administrative support duties. Experience as a paralegal in a nonprofit or legal work environment preferred.
  • Experience with grantmaking processes preferred.
  • Strong oral and written communications skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office Suite especially Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as experience with portable devices (iPad, iPhone, etc.) and general office equipment.
  • Experience with file sharing systems (Dropbox, Google Docs) and Human Resource systems (Workday, etc.) preferred. Proficiency with general systems and ability to learn new systems is required.
  • Ability to foster an inclusive environment working as part of a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.
  • Strong ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks, requests, people, and personalities simultaneously.
  • Must be flexible and able to positively deal with and manage change.
  • Strong planning, organization, and time management skills with the ability to meet deadlines, anticipate needs, and be proactive.
  • Strong attention to detail, accuracy with work, organizational skills, and follow through.
  • Strong team player with the ability to work independently as well as in a team-based collaborative environment.
  • Excellent customer service orientation, interpersonal skills, and ability to build trusted reliable relationships. Understands impact on their work on others and adapts to change effectively.
  • Confident, self-aware, flexible, and strong work ethic.
  • Ability to coordinate with and back up other administrative staff.
  • Must be a creative thinker, self-starter; takes initiative.
  • Ability to create, compose, and edit correspondence and other written materials.
  • Ability to examine and re-engineer as well as develop and implement new strategies and procedures.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of records and information.
  • Ability to coordinate and organize meetings and/or special events.
  • Ability to analyze and solve problems.
  • Flexibility about scheduling vacation, recognizing that the weeks leading up to each Board meeting (typically January, April, July, and October) are often hectic.


The incumbent performs job duties in a normal 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 to sit at a desk and work 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.

Putting Our Principles to Work

2018 Annual Message

RWJF President and CEO Richard Besser reflects on the guiding principles that drive our work to improve health and health care for everyone in America.

Read more

Learn More About Our Work

Areas of Focus

Post Date

April 30, 2018

Due Date

June 10, 2018 (10 a.m.)

RWJF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How to Apply

CLICK HERE to submit your resume and letter of interest.