The Commonwealth Fund


Washington, District of Columbia

Date Posted

July 14, 2021

Job Category

The Program Officer will report to the Vice President of Federal and State Policy who leads the The Commonwealth Fund’s Federal and State Health Policy (FSHP) program and will support the VP in coordinating the overall work and efficiency of the team to ensure goals and priorities are met. The position will work in close partnership with the Program Officer, Medicaid and the Program Associate for the FSHP team.


The FSHP initiative provides independent analysis of health care issues tailored for those serving in state and federal government. The FSHP team informs and educates congressional members and staff, officials in the executive branch, state policymakers, and the broader policy community—across the political spectrum—on issues central to achieving a high-performance health system. As such, The FSHP team serves as a bridge between the research and analysis carried out by Fund staff and grantees across all program areas and policymakers at the state and federal level. At the same time, insights and expertise from the FSHP team help to inform the Fund’s strategic thinking on publications, funding decisions, partnerships, and messaging.

Through the roundtables, briefings and retreats it sponsors for policymakers and policy influencers,  the Fund’s team also serves as a neutral convener, facilitating both state-to-state learning and communications between federal and state policymakers to inform policy deliberations and generate new solutions.

The Federal and State Health Policy Program has three focus areas:

  1. Understanding and responding to the policy priorities and needs of leaders at the federal and state level;
  2. Developing and sustaining policy relationships to ensure Fund priorities and resources have salience with policy makers and are reflected in decisions;
  3. Evaluation of policies for health equity impact and socialization of the consideration of such impact in the crafting, enactment, and implementation of all state and federal policies


Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund provides an excellent benefits package.


Specific Responsibilities

The Program Officer will work closely with the VP and other team members and specifically be responsible for:

  • Development/writing of program plans for the Federal State Policy portfolio. This responsibility includes evaluating opportunities in the field, synthesizing findings from the past year from all projects across the 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 associate who oversees the day-to-day grants management 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 Officer, Medicaid and VP of FSHP to identify opportunities to connect Fund work to state and federal policy makers in person, virtually and through the elevation of Fund and grantee products.
  • Tracking federal and state activities across key issue areas to help identify areas for Fund engagement with federal and state policymakers.
  • 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.
  • Representing the Fund at meetings and conferences, as requested.
  • Working with Fund’s communications department in the presentation and dissemination of project findings to the media, social media, and other interested parties.


Masters level education and minimum of five years of related work experience is required. Applicants must have knowledge and experience translating and connecting health policy research issues to policy audiences. Familiarity with the political process, policy windows, research translation and messaging for policymakers and influencers at the state and federal level is strongly preferred.

Preference will be given to candidates who have grant making experience (e.g., prospecting and developing proposals, managing funded projects) with a particular focus on ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion of grantees and topic areas are emphasized. 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 both qualitative and 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 amount 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.

Must have an interest in and strong commitment to the Fund’s mission, current grants programs and diversity, equity and inclusion goals and actions.

The Fund has a relatively small staff and judgment, integrity, and the ability to listen with sensitivity to others are traits that are particularly important in an organization of the Fund’s size, where teamwork is essential to effectiveness. The ability to work collegially with a variety of Fund staff and interest in and strong commitment to the Fund’s mission and grants programs are key qualifications.

How to Apply

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

Employment at The Commonwealth Fund is based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, medical condition, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

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 <>