Program Associate


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.

About this Opportunity

Reporting to the senior director, the program associate will work with members of the Program unit leadership in the office of the executive vice president (EVP). The associate will facilitate and support cross-Foundation projects by assisting in the effective facilitation of the unit, conducting project and related research; developing documents and presentations; working with experts, consultants, grantees, and applicants to develop strategies and action plans to advance the unit’s priorities; and helping design, implement, and track new initiatives; evaluate proposals; and monitor programs and grants, if needed.

While the associate can be primarily based at one of the Foundation’s three offices (our headquarters in Princeton, N.J., New York City, or Washington, D.C.), this is not a remote position. The associate will be required to visit the Princeton office as defined by the Foundation’s return-to-work policies, still to be determined.

As with staff at all levels of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, program associates are expected to demonstrate a passionate commitment to the Foundation’s vision of building a Culture of Health in our nation that is grounded in health equity, and to the guiding principles that undergird our organizational culture.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Assist in overall unit coordination and activities, including internal meeting planning, project management, and coordinating consultant activities.
  • Support the coordination between the EVP Office and other departments across the Foundation.
  • Prepare documents and presentations.
  • Assist supervisor and unit with various administrative and programmatic needs.
  • Assist with cross-cutting workgroups on specific issues or operational process improvement initiatives.
  • Participate in unit activities and find opportunities to improve unit functioning.

Strategy Development and Monitoring:

  • Gather, synthesize, and analyze background information relevant to organizational strategy and the development of programs.
  • Assist in program and project development and monitoring, as assigned by the supervisor.

Learning and Dissemination:

  • Work with leadership, staff, and consultants to assess, evaluate, and disseminate results of projects and processes.  
  • Support EVP office to develop overview documents and syntheses to support internal communications and learning.

Grantmaking Processes:

  • Understand, implement, and follow the grantmaking processes and policies of the Foundation.
  • Represent the Foundation publicly regarding program and organizational direction, program funding, and grantmaking results.
  • Gather, synthesize, and analyze background information relevant to grantmaking policies and processes to improve our equitable grantmaking practices.

Foundation and Field Contributions:

  • Develop background information for the unit and organization on major literature, field direction, and contributors.
  • Attends outside meetings and conferences for the unit and organization, at the discretion of the supervisor, and prepares trip reports to share learning.
  • Builds and strengthens relationships with external working partners by conducting research, outreach, and coordination within and outside the Foundation to develop partnership strategies.

Minimum Requirements

  • Commitment to racial and health equity and the Foundation’s vision, values, and Guiding Principles.
  • Experience working effectively in and fostering an inclusive environment as part of a multidisciplinary team with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Two (2) years of related work experience in health or health care, nonprofit or government sector; experience with or knowledge of philanthropy desirable.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office Suite and experience with file sharing systems (Dropbox, Google docs).
  • Project and people management skills, including demonstrated ability to think independently, to be flexible, and to juggle multiple priorities for multiple managers, and to be tolerant of ambiguity and differences in grant making approaches.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • 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.
  • Motivated to support the Foundation’s mission and goals; creative, flexible; able to work independently and in a team, highly collaborative environment; 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.
  • Interpersonal skills: collegial, energetic; able to develop productive relationships with colleagues, grantees, consultants, external funders, and others who contribute to program development and management.
  • Able to facilitate group conversations.
  • Good judgment; able to make decisions; justify recommendations; and is responsive and clear.
  • Strong research and electronic communications skills, including use of internet.
  • Ability to travel as required.
  • Master's degree or equivalent education and experience in a related field; or bachelor’s degree and two (2) years related experience and/or training. 

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 on-site and off-site, via phone or videoconference.


The starting salary range for the program associate is $69,000 to $73,000. Why work at RWJF? Learn more about the benefits of working at RWJF.

How to Apply

Submit your resume and letter of interest.

Application Deadline: Sunday, August 28, 2022


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.

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