Our Guiding Principles

At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, our guiding principles serve as our commitment to continue working passionately toward improved health and healthcare for everyone in America.

The inspired vision of our founder, General Robert Wood Johnson II, was to improve health and healthcare in America, especially for those most in need. Energized by our legacy of taking on challenging issues, we are dedicated to building a Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and wellbeing.

We take seriously our responsibilities, and we pledge to work in ways that reflect our values:

Our guiding principles:

  • We seek bold and lasting change rooted in the best available evidence, analysis, and science, openly debated.
  • We treat everyone with fairness and respect.
  • We act as good stewards of private resources, using them to advance the public’s interest with a focus on helping the most vulnerable.
  • We cultivate diversity, inclusion, and collaboration.
  • We speak out as leaders to promote health and wellbeing.

We are privileged to do this work. We are proud of our successes and accomplishments, and we believe our best achievements lie ahead.


In a Culture of Health, everyone has an opportunity to reside in an affordable, safe, stable home. In this year’s annual message, RWJF President and CEO Rich Besser highlights housing as a key factor of thriving communities.

Read the annual message
You may also like:
Learn how we assess the impact of our grantmaking.
Explore our funding interests and grantmaking process.
Read about RWJF's founder and key milestones from our history.