Aditi Vaidya joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2017 as a senior program officer working toward the goal of building community power to support a Culture of Health. With her far-reaching expertise in organizing, environmental health, economic justice, corporate accountability, and worker rights issues, she seeks to employ these skills to help communities promote health equity. She says: “We need to understand power and support communities in seeking it. To remove health barriers and enable people to lead healthier lives, we must support strong, organizing efforts by communities and transform local environments.”
Previously, Vaidya was senior program officer for three sister foundations: Solidago Foundation, See Forward Fund, and Frances Fund. Solidago is a public charity promoting justice, equity, sustainability, and enfranchisement. See Forward Fund supports grassroots lobbying for social justice and movement building, and the Frances Fund encourages progressive social change in a variety of sectors. Among her many initiatives with Solidago, Vaidya created Project Phoenix: Connecting Democracy, Economy, and Sustainability, a year-long cohort collective learning program for 40 participating foundations across health, democracy, economy, and environmental stability.
Her prior work included serving as campaign director for the East Bay Alliance for Sustainable Economy (EBASE), in Oakland, Calif. A community-based organization, EBASE unifies community, faith, and labor groups to stand with low-income workers and families. She also served as the program director for the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, where she organized the first health and safety trainings for electronics workers. In this role, Vaidya coordinated campaigns to push California’s high-tech industry to provide environmental and occupational health protections for communities and workers impacted by the global supply chain. She has held other positions with the Jennifer Altman Foundation, which focuses on environmental health and justice; the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice; the Center for Environmental Citizenship; and the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.
She was the board chair for the Asian Pacific Environmental Network; a former public health commissioner in Alameda County, California; a former member of the advisory boards of CorpWatch and the Labor Occupational Health Program of the University of California; a former steering committee member of the Labor Innovations for the 21st Century Fund; and past co-chair of the Saguaro Fund of the Funding Exchange.
Vaidya holds an MPH in environmental and occupational health from Emory University. She earned her BS in environmental science and policy management from Bates College. A native of Boston, she and her husband, an engineer, now reside in Philadelphia.
An accomplished violinist and DJ, she considers music a core part of her life.