Erissa Scalera

Senior Program Officer

Erissa Scalera, senior program officer, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2021, bringing her rich experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to her work in helping the Foundation ensure that all children and families have a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. She embraces RWJF’s commitment to equity and its systemic approach to building a Culture of Health.

Before joining RWJF, Erissa served as the director of Corporate Social Responsibility at, working at a systems level to develop strategies, programs, and partnerships to improve the lives of caregivers and families through meaningful career opportunities and access to affordable care with a focus on increasing female participation in the workforce. At she helped to establish and launch an independent nonprofit, The Care Institute, to address entrenched systemic barriers to racial and gender equity—working to improve the fragmented system of care in the United States by partnering with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to develop the infrastructure, systems, and policies needed to support workers in providing quality care for children and seniors.

Previously, she was the director, Program Influence for The Rockefeller Foundation in New York City, where she oversaw a portfolio of work aimed at building greater resilience and more inclusive economies globally. She joined the foundation in 2012 and led the development and execution of strategies that leveraged influence as a tool to achieve impact across a range of focus areas including global health, jobs and economic opportunity, and innovative finance.

Prior to joining The Rockefeller Foundation, Erissa worked as a communications associate with the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), where she implemented multiplatform strategies to elevate the work of the Foundation’s various health policy and research teams across issues including global health, HIV, and health reform.

A native of Pittsburgh, she earned a Master of Arts degree in journalism and public affairs from American University in Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Pittsburgh. She now lives in Brooklyn with her husband, young daughter, and their dog. She enjoys travel, reading, book club discussions, and getting together with her family.

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