Executive Vice President


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Office of the President and CEO


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 Executive Vice President Role

The executive vice president’s key responsibilities include: (1) establishing strategic objectives and managing resources to meet them; (2) managing the integration of the Foundation’s program work, Research, Evaluation, and Learning, and Communications to assure that all program functions are synergized for maximum coordination and output; (3) externally, maintaining a leadership position in the field and actively seeking out ways to leverage the current programs and investments of the Foundation as well as identifying future directions to serve the Foundation’s mission. He/she serves as a member of the senior management team and is responsible for the overall planning, budgeting, staffing, and evaluation of all program activities consistent with policies established by the president and CEO and the Board. He/she is responsible for guiding, inspiring, evaluating and developing directors/managing directors as they lead and manage their teams.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Provide vision, energy, and leadership for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) programmatic agenda as we work to build a Culture of Health.
  • Serve as primary advisor and counsel to the president and CEO on program issues.
  • Identify, facilitate, support and leverage opportunities to break down silos in program work.
  • Remove roadblocks to creating a learning culture. Work closely with Research, Evaluation, and Learning to build and implement relevant platforms and toolsets that support learning.
  • Translate overall Foundation strategic framework into strategies.
  • Oversee the Policy function at federal, state, and local levels.
  • Inform overall strategic direction of the Foundation based on knowledge of issues covered in group and results from individual programs.
  • Manage, supervise, evaluate and develop program staff leadership.
  • Remove roadblocks to success at the team level, including resource allocation, priority setting, and ensuring the skills needed are available.
  • Identify internal cross-team strategic issues and promote opportunities for leveraging work across teams.
  • Roll up team level budgeting, staffing and plans. Ensure adequate coverage for key areas, and that strategic priorities are addressed.
  • Approve grants up to $3 million in accordance with Foundation program policies.
  • Coordinate recruiting for the Group (with Human Resources support).   
  • Investigate and be abreast of all relevant external opportunities for collaboration and leverage of the work being done by other comparable institutions and foundations.
  • Serve as the Foundation’s face and voice primarily on program strategies but as needed for all Foundation strategies.

Minimum Requirements

  • Completion of an appropriate advanced degree is required (such as PhD, MD, JD) and extraordinary professional accomplishment and experience.
  • A minimum of 10 years related experience to include extensive experience in a complex management and leadership role with direct supervision and performance management experience; prior experience in a senior level policy position at the federal or state or city level and/or in private industry preferred. Recognized expertise as a thought leader in one or more aspects of the national health care dialogue.
  • Demonstrated passionate commitment to the Foundation’s mission, vision of building a Culture of Health, and Guiding Principles in support of that mission, in addition to possessing superior strategic and management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in partnership with a strong president and CEO, Board and a results-oriented senior staff.
  • Demonstrated successful experience fostering an inclusive environment, working with and leading knowledge-professionals from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated mature judgment and decision making in a changing and forward thinking environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to use both consensus and directive leadership, as appropriate.
  • Demonstrated capacity to prioritize and implement a broad strategic plan with buy-in from all key constituencies.
  • Excellent communication and diplomatic skills, including the ability to relate well to a wide range of constituencies and people at all levels. Political savvy, can listen well, and is able to clearly articulate the message and command the respect of his/her audience.
  • Effective, articulate and persuasive communication skills, including verbal, written and presentation.
  • Appreciation of the role of philanthropy in effecting change.
  • A results-focused, strategic, visionary thinker with strong analytical abilities as well as a consensus builder toward action.
  • A leader and tactician who understands the operational implications of plans and strategies, who is able to creatively design and implement systems and procedures that fit current and long-term needs.
  • Outgoing, uncomplicated and straightforward, with the skill to share information, listen and learn as well as give advice.
  • Decisive and innovative, yet flexible and able to compromise effectively when necessary.
  • Able to travel—including for site visits and representing the Foundation at outside meetings. 

Physical Requirements/Working Conditions

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 work 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.

RWJF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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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.

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Learn More About Our Work

Areas of Focus

Post Date

May 14, 2018

Due Date