Program Officer, Transforming Health and Heath Care Systems

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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 that provides everyone in America 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 strengthen our ability to address our nation’s most pressing health issues. With a career at RWJF you will make a difference.

The Foundation is seeking a program officer (PO) to focus on its efforts to transform health and health care systems (THHCS). The overarching goal of this body of work is that health care, public health, and social service systems work together to fully address the goals and needs of the people they serve. RWJF’s strategic approach through this body of work aims to catalyze systems and policy change to ensure that health and health care systems are designed and coordinated with people’s everyday lives in mind, with a principal but not exclusive focus on Medicaid. Core to the Foundation’s mission, the initiatives and programs in this area focus on how health and health care systems need to change to give everyone a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being.

This PO will play a critical role in advancing the Foundation’s priorities by designing, managing, and monitoring strategies and initiatives that focus on better alignment of health care, public health, and social service systems in communities; enhancing capacity and incentives in the health care system; and ensuring that public and private policy changes reflect the voices of people served by health and health care systems. Drawing upon experience, the PO will lead the design and implementation of new and ongoing initiatives and programs; evaluate progress at the strategy and initiative levels; learn from our investments and activities in close collaboration with RWJF’s Research, Evaluation, and Learning and Communications departments; and create impact through dissemination of knowledge. This is an exciting opportunity to significantly impact health care practice and policy nationally. 

This is a full-time position reporting to the managing director of the THHCS theme. For more information on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation please visit


The program officer will be responsible for the following:

Program Development and Monitoring

  • Contribute to the design and implementation of new and ongoing Foundation and THHCS theme initiatives and programs in a way that is integrated with theme strategy and that advances health equity. Participate in continuous efforts to develop and modify strategy in response to changes in the field, as well as lessons and evidence emerging from RWJF and other initiatives. May lead work that cuts across the various aspects of the Foundation’s focus areas to design and manage strategy areas to achieve key objectives and outcomes of our THHCS work. Serve as a partner with the Managing Director and other staff in identifying strategic direction.
  • Work with RWJF colleagues, consultants, other funders, and external organizations to plan and develop initiatives and programs. Screen and assess prospective proposals, work with applicants to refine plans and budgets, and assure the appropriate quality of documents for programs being recommended for approval.
  • Participate in meetings, conduct site visits, and review grantee submissions as part of the overall responsibility for developing and managing existing initiatives and programs. Prepare oral and written summaries of program activities.
  • Monitor the programmatic aspects of funded initiatives. Work with program administrators in assessing the financial status of programs over time.
  • Engage diverse perspectives across the Foundation and apply that to the THHCS theme’s strategy development and initiatives.

Field Contributions, Learnings and Dissemination

  • Represent the Foundation publicly regarding strategy, program direction, funding, and progress. Respond to public inquiries about the application process.
  • Stay abreast of new developments through building and maintaining networks and attending external events. Participate in conferences, seminars, and other professional development activities to maintain and enhance expertise and professional status.
  • Build relationships with, and serve as connector and convener of, foundations, experts, leadership organizations, and other key partners.
  • Work with colleagues and consultants to develop measures of impact for major programs and activities, including assessment, evaluation, and dissemination of program results.
  • Work with other departments across the Foundation, including Communications, particularly regarding dissemination through the website and social media, and Research, Evaluation, and Learning.
  • Participate in the development and monitoring of THHCS theme performance indicators and learning questions.
  • Participate in Foundation-wide programs related to interest and program areas.
  • Analyze and evaluate all aspects of theme-wide and initiative-specific proposals including strength of the activity, value for dollars requested, and the applicant organization's health and stability. In supporting recommendations and in monitoring financial status, the PO works in collaboration with program and financial personnel across the Foundation.
  • Keep the managing director and other colleagues apprised of learning, including grant developments and occurrences in the field that are likely to affect theme decision-making, group strategies, or program decision-making.

Team Success

  • Actively participate in THHCS theme activities designed to improve theme functioning, including commitment to theme norms and providing support and back-up for other theme members.
  • Collaborate with the managing director and other theme members to provide insight and guidance on programmatic strategies, grantmaking, and grant management.
  • Lead and/or engage in continuous learning, tracking, and strategic activities and reviews.


  • Demonstrated commitment to the Foundation’s mission and vision and alignment with the stated values.
  • Demonstrated personal and professional commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Extensive understanding of the field of, and familiarity with concepts and principal networks related to, health care financing and delivery, health care systems transformation, and federal and state health care policy.
  • Experience handling multiple priorities effectively; must be adept at organizing time efficiently; ability to understand and work collaboratively and effectively with theme members.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated strong analytical, writing, and oral presentation skills for communicating a range of complex issues with internal leadership, external high‐level stakeholders, and people from the communities we are working to reach.
  • Strong project 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.
  • Personal and professional integrity, an independent and confident thinker, a sense of humor, and an ability to deal with ambiguity.
  • 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 program development and management.
  • Ability to think creatively about opportunities to create and respond to novel and innovative approaches and to inspire others to work toward achieving Foundation goals.
  • Ability to travel—including site visits and representation of the Foundation at outside meetings.
  • Completion of an advanced degree (e.g., MA, MPH, MJ, MBA, MPP, JD) and 3-5 years of relevant experience. A combination of education and experience may be substituted for the education requirements.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

RWJF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Post Date

January 7, 2019

Due Date