The Commonwealth Fund


New York, New York

Date Posted

May 1, 2021

Job Category

The Program Officer will report to the Vice President of Health System Equity who leads the Advancing Health Equity Program and will support the VP in coordinating the overall work and efficiency of the team to ensure goals and priorities are met.

Advancing Health Equity

The goal of the Advancing Health Equity program is to contribute to efforts to dismantle systemic racism in health care policy and practice and counter inequity in treatment, patient experience, and health outcomes for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. The program was launched in January 2021 to fulfill the goals of a new Health Equity Fund approved in July of the previous year.

The Advancing Health Equity program has three focus areas: 1) dismantling racism in care delivery, 2) using public policy to achieve equitable access, and 3) changing culture, beliefs, and attitudes.


Program Officer Duties

In close collaboration with the VP, the Program Officer will work in collaboration with the Advancing Health Equity team and specifically be responsible for:

  • Development/writing of program plans for the Health Equity portfolio. This responsibility includes evaluating opportunities in the field, synthesizing findings from the past year from all projects across a program area, assessing other foundations’ contributions to the program area, and assisting in the development of strategic options for the program for the year ahead.
  • Development of new projects in consultation with the VP, including identifying prospective grantees, working with prospective grantees to improve project design, collecting background information/research and conducting literature reviews, drafting summaries of proposed projects for review and approval by the Board of Directors, participation in internal proposal review meetings, and preparation of follow-up memoranda.
  • Management of grants in partnership with the program manager who oversees day-to-day operations of the program. This includes tracking the current status of projects through ongoing contact with grantee principal investigators; reviewing grantee interim and final deliverables (e.g., interview protocols, survey instruments, preliminary data analysis, and papers/articles for publication); maintaining knowledge of work related to grants; and ensuring that grantees follow payment and reporting schedules.
  • Working closely with the program manager to support grants, events, and activities associated with the Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard and the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity at Yale.
  • Leading the day-to-day activities of the Health Equity program area and providing day-to-day guidance to the program manager to ensure successful management and impact of the Health Equity portfolio.
  • Preparing Completed Grant Memoranda on all assigned completed projects, which includes summarizing achievements, issues in implementation, and lessons learned for Fund grantmaking.
  • In consultation with the VP, developing briefing materials, policy briefs, and journal articles for publication by the Fund or outside publications.
  • With support from the VP and the VP for Organizational Effectiveness, Survey Research and Evaluation, the Program Officer will oversee the development of survey instruments, analysis of survey data, and the dissemination of survey results.
  • Preparing talks and presentations to disseminate the Fund’s work, particularly related to Advancing Health Equity.
  • Representing the Fund at meetings and conferences, as requested.
  • Working with other program staff on cross-cutting issues and other program areas as needed. This work may include participating in the internal review of equity-related publications for possible Fund publication from other Fund programs.
  • Working with Fund’s communications department in the presentation and dissemination of project findings to the media, social media, and other interested parties.

Core Competencies & Qualifications

Masters level education and five years of related work experience required. Applicants must have knowledge and experience working on issues to advance racial equity and ensuring positive health outcomes for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. Candidates will also have demonstrated health care services research and health care delivery experience particularly as it relates to people of color.  Preference will also be given to candidates who have grantmaking experience (e.g., prospecting and developing proposals, managing funded projects). The successful candidate will have excellent written and oral communication skills, as well as health care analytical skills including the ability to summarize and present information from different sources, including quantitative sources. This position requires strong coordination and project management abilities.

The Program Officer is expected to be well organized with concern for details, accuracy, and deadlines and will have the ability to set priorities and work with a minimum of supervision. Excellent interpersonal skills, working well on a team, and a willingness to participate in the general workflow of the office are all necessary attributes.

The Fund’s philosophy on successful performance in the job includes the willingness on the part of all staff members to handle any assignment necessary to further the goals of the institution.

Application Process


Please send cover letter (including salary expectations) and resume with the subject line Program Officer – [Your Name] to:

Date Posted


About the Organization

The Commonwealth Fund — among the first private foundations started by a woman philanthropist, Anna M. Harkness — was established in 1918 with the broad charge to enhance the common good. Today, the mission of The Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, and people of color. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries.



Denise Huza <>