Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Princeton, New Jersey

Date Posted

August 10, 2022

Job Category

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is seeking a managing director who will provide overall leadership to the development and implementation of program strategy for the Transforming Health and Health Care Systems theme. The theme works to transform the policies, practices, and norms in health and healthcare systems so that these systems truly support health, healing, and thriving for people most affected by racism, inequity, discrimination, and historic trauma.

About this opportunity

Reporting to the interim vice presidents—Program, the managing director will develop and implement program strategy within the Transforming Health and Health Care Systems theme. The theme works to transform the policies, practices, and norms in health and healthcare systems so that these systems truly support health, healing, and thriving for people most affected by racism, inequity, discrimination, and historic trauma. Transformation can occur by incorporating our vision that healthcare and public health systems are fair and just, treat all people with dignity and respect, and rectify past harms and prevent future ones. This theme relates most directly to the Foundation’s generational goal to achieve equity and accountability in public health and healthcare systems.

The core responsibilities of the managing director include:

  • overall management of an interdisciplinary group of team members;
  • strategy formulation including overseeing systematic learning and guiding the development of indicators of progress for the work;
  • strategy implementation including managing program staff as they develop and implement programming and grantmaking; planning; and budgeting; and
  • the oversight of all theme activities in order to meet the theme and Foundation objectives and performance indicators.

The managing director will work closely with senior leaders across the Foundation to coordinate, complement, or align strategic initiatives toward achieving our Foundation-wide strategy. The managing director is expected to be conversant with the overall strategic framework and the work of other Foundation themes and departments.

As with staff at all levels of RWJF, managing directors are expected to demonstrate a passionate commitment to equity, and to the Foundation’s mission and Guiding Principles.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy, Program Development, and Monitoring and Refinement:

  • Lead the development of the theme’s strategic plan including programming, convening, coordinating, and reporting on it with other internal and external partners.
  • Oversee the curation and dissemination of learning resources, including targeted reviews of existing literature, surveys and research in the field, evaluation of current and past grantmaking, and learning from other organizations and partners.
  • Oversee the design and implementation of new theme initiatives intended to meet the theme’s strategic objective.
  • Collaborate with the Research-Evaluation-Learning department to develop, test, and refine performance indicators to monitor the theme’s efforts to achieve the Foundation’s generational goals and vision.
  • Work with theme members, consultants, other funders, and external organizations to oversee the planning, development, review, and response to requests for funding.
  • Oversee communication of theme strategy, plans, activities, and performance to colleagues, senior management, and Board of Trustees.
  • Collaborate with senior leaders in other departments and other Foundation colleagues to maximize strategic impact of programming.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Theme Management and Operations:

  • Oversee a team of staff in a matrix environment from various Foundation units who support theme work.
  • Oversee the development of an annual theme workplan; allocate the theme’s financial and personnel resources toward efficient accomplishment of the workplan.
  • Create and manage annual budgets.
  • Lead and oversee theme processes to achieve strategic objectives, including designing theme meetings and retreats.

Staff Management and Development:

  • Foster and lead a diverse and inclusive work environment that welcomes points of view from people with diverse professional, cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Manage staffs’ development around diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracist practice and plans.
  • Assure the development of workplans for each Program staff member to support performance and professional development.

External Relations and Strategic Partnerships:

  • Use the tools of philanthropy, including connecting, coordinating, convening, and communicating, as well as funding programs to help catalyze change.
  • Cultivate relationships, develop and execute regional and national strategic partnerships with, e.g., nonprofits, public systems, employers, other foundations to support progress toward the Foundation’s mission and goals.
  • Represent the Foundation externally in the media and at events (e.g., conferences, meetings).

Grantmaking Processes:

  • Evaluate proposals for strength of the activity, potential impact, value for dollars requested, and the applicant organization’s health and stability.
  • Implement and promote practices to ensure all proposals are reviewed fairly, expeditiously, and consistently aligned with Foundation grantmaking processes and policies.
  • Ensure equity is centered in our grantmaking processes.
  • Work in collaboration with departments across the Foundation to monitor financial status and oversee theme budget and cash payment system.
  • Approve and recommend to senior management for approval, grants in accordance with Foundation program policies.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and vision and alignment with our values.
  • Demonstrated personal and professional commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Experience building equitable practices within an institution committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion as part of antiracist practice; and in fostering an inclusive environment working effectively with persons from diverse professional, cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Seven (7) or more years of relevant work experience with three (3) or more years of progressive experience in a complex management and leadership role with direct supervision and extensive project management experience.
  • Strong networks in the public and private health care systems and experience working within healthcare institutions or within the U.S. healthcare system.
  • Strategic and management skills needed to lead a program theme, develop strategy focusing on results, and grasp the salient dynamics of the field addressed by the theme’s strategy.
  • Ability to work in an ambiguous, dynamic environment, manage change, and lead people through change.
  • Able to handle and delegate effectively and able to manage staff in a matrix work environment.
  • Experience in creating and managing budgets.
  • People management skills including experience in employee development, performance management, supervising, mentoring, and team building. Able to lead and inspire a team and others around a strategic vision and bring a sense of humor and fun to the workplace.
  • Exhibit sound judgment. Able to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be responsive and clear.
  • Solid communication skills; able to synthesize and present complex information; and identify innovative opportunities in a specific area while maintaining a focus on systemic change.
  • Ability to travel including for site visits and representing the Foundation at outside meetings.
  • Education and experience equivalent to an advanced degree (e.g., MA, MPH, MJ, MBA). Terminal degree in health or healthcare-related field or equivalent experience preferred.

Physical Requirement/Working Conditions:

The managing director will perform job duties in a typical business office environment. Specific physical abilities required by this job include operating basic office equipment. Will be required to attend meetings, potentially both on-site and off-site, via phone or videoconference.

This position is based in the Princeton, N.J. headquarters and is not a remote position.

Application Process

Please submit your resume and cover letter.

Click here to apply

Date Posted


Closing Date


About the Organization

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF; the Foundation), located in Princeton, N.J., is the largest philanthropy in America dedicated solely to health. Since 1972, we have focused on developing and promoting innovations in health and healthcare to improve the lives of millions. In partnership with others, we are working toward a nation that is rooted in equity, compassion, and respect. A nation that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. This requires addressing many harmful obstacles to well-being, including poverty, powerlessness, and discrimination.

We take seriously our responsibilities, and we pledge to work in ways that reflect our Guiding Principles. These are rooted in equity and influence everything we do at RWJF. Equity, diversity, inclusion, and collaboration allow our staff’s wide range of experiences, passions, and perspectives to enrich our work and strengthen our ability to address our nation’s most pressing health issues. The Foundation offers a collaborative, collegial, and creative work environment. With a career at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, you will make a difference.