Program Associate, Leadership for Better Health

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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.

RWJF is seeking a program associate to join the Leadership for Better Health theme. The program associate is a professional staff member who will work with members of the program theme to facilitate and support the work of the theme by: assisting in the effective facilitation of the theme, conducting project and related research, working with key experts, grantees and applicants to develop strategies and action plans to fulfill the theme’s objective, and assisting in designing and implementing new initiatives, evaluating proposals, and monitoring programs and grants.

The Leadership for Better Health theme seeks to ensure that leaders of every community work inclusively so that everyone has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being.

As with staff at all levels of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, program associates are expected to demonstrate a passionate commitment to equity, to the Foundation’s mission and Guiding Principles.


Theme Functioning:

  • Assists in overall theme coordination and activities.
  • Assists theme members with related activities, as assigned.
  • Prepares various types of memos and presentations.
  • Assists with administrative and facilitation tasks, as needed.
  • Is responsible for actively participating in theme activities and improving theme functioning, including compliance with theme norms and providing support and back-up for theme members.

Grantmaking Processes:

  • Responsible for understanding, implementing, and following the grantmaking processes and policies of RWJF.
  • Represents the Foundation publicly regarding program and theme direction, program funding and grantmaking results. Responds to public inquiries about the theme and the application process.

Foundation and Field Contributions:

  • Develops general background information for theme on major literature, field direction and stakeholders.
  • Attends outside meetings and conferences for the theme, at the discretion of the theme leads, and prepares trip reports.

Program Development and Monitoring:

  • Brings principles of equity and inclusion into program development and monitoring.
  • Gathers, synthesizes, and analyzes background information relevant to theme strategy and the development of individual programs.
  • Works with Research-Evaluation-Learning officers to monitor indicators and data sources for tracking theme progress.
  • Participates in site visits and reviews proposals.
  • Assists in coordinating external reviews for proposals and concept papers.
  • Assists theme members in program and project development and monitoring, as assigned.

Learning and Dissemination:

  • Works with staff and consultants to assess, evaluate, and disseminate results of programs and projects. Works with staff to develop measures of impact for major programs and activities.
  • Monitors, tracks, learns from, and reports on theme initiatives and programs. Works with staff and consultants to harvest learnings from previous and current grantmaking, and to actively disseminate results and learnings to other staff, grantees and the field.
  • Assists theme members and other staff with development of web content as needed.


  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and vision and alignment with our values.
  • Demonstrated personal and professional commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Two (2) years of related work experience in health or health care related field, preferably in the non-profit or government sector; experience with or knowledge of philanthropy desirable.
  • Experience or education specifically focused on community engagement, leadership development, and systems change.
  • Successful 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 handling multiple priorities effectively; must be adept at organizing time efficiently; able to understand and work effectively with others in a matrixed reporting structure.
  • Excellent analytic skills and ability to synthesize and translate complicated material into clear and simple language. Ability to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals and periodicals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. 
  • Strong written and verbal skills; persuasive and respectful presentation skills to various stakeholders.
  • Strong project and people management skills as well as a proven ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, enthusiasm, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a team effort.
  • Demonstrated strong interpersonal skills and a collaborative, energetic approach; able to develop productive relationships with a diverse group of colleagues, grantees, consultants, external funders, and others who contribute to RWJF's work.
  • Able to think creatively about opportunities to create and respond to novel and innovative approaches and to inspire others to work towards achieving Foundation goals.
  • Demonstrated self-awareness and sound judgment; ability to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be responsive and clear.
  • Personal and professional integrity, an independent and confident thinker, a sense of humor and able to work effectively with ambiguity.
  • Strong research and electronic communications skills, including use of Internet and social networking tools.
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative and team environment. 
  • Ability to travel as required.
  • Education and experience equivalent to Master's degree, or a Bachelor’s degree plus two (2) years related experience and/or training.


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 to 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 the annual message

Learn More About Our Work

Areas of Focus

Post Date

June 24, 2019

Due Date

July 28, 2019 (Closed)