Program Associate, Healthy Communities

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

Associates are professional staff responsible for facilitating and supporting the execution of work in their unit/theme. They perform a wide range of activities that are specific to their role. Associates are based in the Foundation’s Princeton, N.J. office.

The Foundation’s Healthy Communities theme supports efforts that contribute to a new vision for healthier, more equitable communities. We aim to provide tools and supports that create tangible, improved conditions in communities so that everyone can live in a healthy community—a place that is safe, with access to parks, recreation, clean water and air—with stable, affordable homes, where people live free from discrimination; without fear of eviction or displacement; and hopeful about their neighborhood and their future.  

Reporting to the deputy director, the associate for Healthy Communities will work with members of this program theme to facilitate and support the work of the theme by: assisting in the effective management of theme functions; conducting project and related research; working with key experts, grantees, and applicants to develop strategies and action plans to fulfill the theme’s objectives; assisting in designing and implementing new initiatives; evaluating proposals; and monitoring programs and grants.

Specific Qualifications

  • Experience or education focused on public health (health equity and the conditions that promote health); public policy; community and economic development; fair housing; civic engagement; social movements and advocacy; or other similar mission orientation helpful.

Program Operations

Assist in overall theme/unit coordination and activities, including administrative, operational, and facilitation tasks as needed, including:

  • Preparing reports and materials for Board of Trustees, senior leadership, and strategy meetings.
  • Assisting and supporting theme/unit with activities, as assigned.
  • Maintaining shared folders and workspaces.
  • Tracking progress on the theme/unit’s equity plan.
  • Actively participating in theme/unit activities and improving theme/unit functioning.
  • Supporting grantee engagement, and planning meetings with grantees and other partners.

Program Development and Monitoring

  • Gather, synthesize, and analyze background information relevant to theme/unit strategy and the development of individual programs from the literature, field, and other stakeholders.
  • Participate in site visits and review proposals.
  • Assist in coordinating external reviews for proposals and concept papers.
  • Assist theme/unit members in program and project development; monitor, track, and report on initiatives and programs, as assigned.
  • Work with key experts and grantees to develop strategies and action plans to fulfill the theme/unit objectives.

Grantmaking Processes


  • Work to develop calls for proposals and evaluate proposals from applicants
  • Understand, implement, and follow 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.

Minimum Requirements

  • Commitment to racial and health equity and the Foundation’s vision, values, and Guiding Principles.
  • 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 and experience with file sharing systems (Dropbox, Google docs).
  • Able to work and think independently with confidence, and in teams, to think imaginatively about opportunities; to create and respond to novel and innovative approaches to addressing an issue; to inspire others to work toward achieving team goals; and to be tolerant of ambiguity and differences in grantmaking approaches.
  • Intellectually curious; able to apply learning to work responsibilities.
  • Collaborative, collegial, team-oriented, and energetic; able to develop productive relationships with colleagues, grantees, consultants, external funders, and others.
  • Strong time, project, and people management skills; 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.
  • Able to make decisions to justify recommendations.
  • Able to travel as required.
  • Education and experience equivalent to a master’s degree (e.g., Master of Public Health or Public Policy), or a bachelor’s degree and two (2) years of related experience or training, especially in Public Health, Public Policy, or a related health, behavioral, or social science field.

Physical Requirements/Working Conditions

The 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.

How to Apply

Submit your resume and letter of interest.

Application Deadline: November 7, 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: November 7, 2021

(Post Date: October 4, 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.