Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Human Resources

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (the 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. The Foundation 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 the Foundation. 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 the Foundation, you will make a difference.

The Role

The vice president and chief human resources officer (VP/CHRO) will be responsible for developing and executing a progressive talent strategy in alignment with the vision, values, and Guiding Principles of the Foundation, and in support of its overall strategic direction. The VP/CHRO serves as a strategic and operational leader who specifically oversees Human Resources functions including talent management, organizational development; employee relations; talent acquisition; on-boarding; off-boarding; performance management; training and staff development initiatives; policy administration; and compensation and benefits design and administration.

Key areas of focus include:

1.     Management and oversight of the Human Resources team to ensure that all programs and initiatives are integrated and effective in supporting the overall mission, goals, and objectives of the Foundation.

2.     Directly participating in institutional planning and decision-making as a member of the Operations Leadership team, and providing broad leadership and coordination to the Foundation as designated by the chief operating officer.

3.     Providing high-level, proactive, and aligned HR partnership to the president, EVP of Programs, COO, and peer-level VPs, especially the newly formed vice president, Equity and Culture (VPEC).

4.     Serving as a strategic leader whose role is to advance the Foundation’s mission by supporting the organization’s primary asset—its skilled human resources.

Core Job Responsibilities

Human Resources Leadership

  • Serve as internal consultant and strategic advisor to the president and Executive Leadership team on people and culture development.
  • Lead, manage, and develop an efficient and highly competent Talent and HR team who serve as valuable partners to the management of the organization, and supportive advocates of effective staff management and development.
  • Work closely with the team on human resources initiatives and programs. Oversee and coach work of HR leaders who manage employee relations, HR policies, recruitment, relocation, and compensation and benefits administration.
  • Align our talent strategy to be an employer of choice within our industry. ​
  • Guide senior leaders in implementing employee engagement initiatives at the organizational, team, and individual employee levels. ​
  • Work with the general counsel (GC) to ensure regulatory compliance with all state and federal employment laws.
  • Collaborate and partner with the office of the GC, as needed, on employee relations matters, anticipating regulatory changes, and implementing strategies to ensure adherence to ethical standards across the organization.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • In partnership with the VPEC, supports the development, articulation, and implementation of an EDI strategy to embed equity across the organization.
  • Under the guidance of the COO and EVP, and in collaboration with the VPEC, provides strategic leadership and change management of layering equity into the lifecycle of talent management—recruitment and retention of diverse candidates and staff, respectively; organization engagement and performance management that is inclusive and equitable, respectively; training and development; succession planning; and compensation and benefits, all of which are also inclusive and equitable.
  • Help set the tone and nurture a collaborative and culturally competent workplace environment and promote a culture of belonging and respect.
  • Provide organizational leadership around culture assessment and development, introducing and managing organizational change and development initiatives.

Talent Acquisition, Compensation, and Benefits

  • Build a robust recruitment strategy, focused on equity and our networks with grantees, that is aligned with our Guiding Principles.  ​
  • Provides strategic direction and oversight on compensation and benefits, ensuring regulatory compliance, equity, and competitive salary levels necessary to attract and retain qualified staff.
  • Modernize and make transparent our compensation philosophy and structure. Design a comprehensive strategy to integrate practices that focus on total wellness programming. This includes the processes for managing, analyzing, and determining the salary, incentives, and benefits each employee receives. ​

Leadership, Talent Development and Succession Planning

  • Directs the development of training and organizational development programs through staff or external consultants that address personal, professional, and organizational needs of employees and departments, supporting equitable opportunities for continuous learning.
  • Better utilize data to build scale leadership, talent development plans, and formulate cross-organizational processes to facilitate aligned succession plans.
  • Provide an equitable focus on administrative support. Work with the President and Executive Leadership team to establish a sound plan of succession that corresponds to the mission, strategy, and goals of the Foundation.

Organizational Development and Performance Management

  • Provide coaching/advising of senior leaders on team development and key organizational and management issues. Develop a unified approach and corresponding tools for executive and senior leaders to evaluate, design and align their structures to build high-performing teams.
  • Design and align HR strategy, including a talent management strategy, to support the overall mission and strategic framework of the Foundation. Evaluate and ​redesign the processes, tools, and activities to manage, maintain, and/or improve the performance of employees​.

General Compliance, Data Analytics, and Reporting Maturity

  • Directs overall management of the Foundation’s staff recruitment and employment processes, ensuring that all federal and state laws, regulations, and standards are met, and that the Foundation's equal opportunity and diversity goals are met.
  • Development of predictive models, scenario planning, risk analysis and mitigation, integration with strategic planning.​

Getting Started: In the First Year

The Foundation is at an exciting and pivotal moment in pursuing its vision of a Culture of Health and Health Equity and seeking to realize its Guiding Principles inside and outside the organization. The VP/CHRO is a critical partner in these efforts. In the first year, in addition to investing time to know staff, you will focus on:

  • Supporting the organization’s efforts around EDI, including those of the VPEC, and the staff-led Equity Leadership Group recently formed.
  • Designing and implementing a plan to evaluate the Foundation’s Job and Compensation Program, Band Structure to ensure an equitable, competitive, and modern structure.
  • Focus on implementation of a comprehensive professional development strategy and program with key goals and objectives.
  • Serve as an important contributor in the implementation of the Foundation’s transition to the post-COVID way of work.

Who You Are 

The successful candidate will have a minimum of 10 years of experience in managing the functions under talent strategy, management, and organizational development in a complex management and leadership role with direct people oversight and accountability for key performance indicators.  

In addition, the VP will demonstrate:  

  • Passionate commitment to supporting the Foundation’s mission and to the Foundation’s Guiding Principles.
  • Commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, personally and in previous leadership positions.
  • Success leading internal change management processes.
  • The ability to quickly understand and articulate the Foundation’s mission and work to many audiences.
  • A track record of impactful leadership, creative problem-solving, and organizational capacity building.


  • Quality Management—Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Change Management—Develops workable implementation plans; communicates changes effectively; builds commitment and overcomes resistance; prepares and supports those affected by change; monitors transition and evaluates results.
  • Visionary Leadership—Looks for ways to fulfill the vision; shows commitment to the organizational mission and Guiding Principles; displays passion and optimism; inspires respect and trust; mobilizes others to fulfill the vision.
  • People Management—Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement; takes responsibility for subordinates' activities; makes oneself available to staff; provides regular performance feedback; develops subordinates' skills and encourages growth; solicits and applies customer feedback (internal and external); uses feedback to modify thinking; fosters quality focus in others; improves processes, products and services; continually works to improve supervisory skills.
  • Delegation—Delegates work assignments; matches the responsibility appropriately; gives authority to work independently; sets expectations and monitors delegated activities; provides recognition for results.
  • Leadership—Exhibits confidence in self and others; inspires and motivates others to perform well; effectively influences actions and opinions of others; accepts feedback from others; gives appropriate recognition to others.
  • Negotiation—Negotiates diplomatically but firmly on behalf of RWJF. Anticipates and addresses gaps and nuances in proposed contractual or grant arrangements; recognizes and negotiates win-win outcomes with both internal and external stakeholders.


  • Business Acumen—Understands and supports Foundation mission, Guiding Principles and Promise; understands organizational implications of decisions; demonstrates knowledge of environment; aligns work with strategic goals.
  • Diversity—Demonstrates knowledge of and shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; educates others on the value of diversity; promotes a harassment-free environment; builds and cultivates a diverse workforce.
  • Ethics—Treats people with respect; keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; works with integrity and ethically; upholds organizational values.
  • Organizational Support—Follows policies and procedures; completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; supports organization's goals and values; benefits organization through outside activities; respects diversity.


A bachelor’s degree is required. 

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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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