Program Associate (RWJF)

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), located in Princeton, N.J., is the largest philanthropy in America dedicated solely to health. Since 1972 we have been providing funding, assistance, and research for projects and programs to help people, their families, and their communities be as healthy as possible. RWJF is committed to working alongside others to build a Culture of Health where everyone has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being.

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. Diversity, inclusion, and collaboration allow our staff’s wide range of experiences, passions, and perspectives to enrich our work and strengthens our ability to address our nation’s most pressing health issues. With a career at RWJF you will make a difference.

RWJF is seeking a program associate to join the Healthy Communities theme. The program associate is a professional staff member who will work with members of the program theme to facilitate and support the work of the theme by: assisting in the effective facilitation of the theme, conducting project and related research, working with key experts, grantees and applicants to develop strategies and action plans to fulfill the theme’s objective, and assisting in designing and implementing new initiatives, evaluating proposals, and monitoring programs and grants. 

The Healthy Communities theme seeks to create the conditions in communities that allow all residents to reach their best possible health and well-being. The Foundation is committed to seeing these improvements benefit the lives of all residents, but most especially underrepresented populations.

As with staff at all levels of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, program associates are expected to demonstrate a passionate commitment to equity, to the Foundation’s mission and Guiding Principles.


Program Development and Monitoring:

  • Gathers, synthesizes, and analyzes background information relevant to theme strategy and the development of individual programs.
  • Works with Research-Evaluation-Learning officers to monitor indicators and data sources for tracking theme progress.
  • Participates in site visits and reviews proposals.
  • Assists in coordinating external reviews for proposals and concept papers.
  • Assists theme members in program and project development and monitoring, as assigned by the theme operations lead. 
  • Bring principles of equity and inclusion into program development and monitoring.

Learning and Dissemination:

  • Works with staff and consultants to assess, evaluate, and disseminate results of programs and projects.  Works with staff to develop measures of impact for major programs and activities. 
  • Monitors, tracks, learns from, and reports on theme initiatives and programs. Works with staff and consultants to harvest “learnings” from previous and current grantmaking, and to actively disseminate results and “learnings” to other staff, grantees and the field.
  • Assists theme members and other staff with development of web content as needed.

Theme Functioning:

  • Assists in overall theme coordination and activities.
  • Assists theme members with related activities, as assigned by the managing director.
  • Prepares various types of presentations.
  • Assists managing director with administrative and facilitation tasks, as needed.
  • Is responsible for actively participating in theme activities and improving theme functioning, including compliance with theme norms and providing support and back-up for theme members.

Grantmaking Processes:

  • Responsible for understanding, implementing, and following the grantmaking processes and policies of RWJF.
  • Represents the Foundation publicly regarding program and theme direction, program funding and grantmaking results. Responds to public inquiries about the theme and the application process.

Foundation and Field Contributions:

  • Develops general background information for theme on major literature, field direction and stakeholders.
  • Attends outside meetings and conferences for the theme, at the discretion of the managing director, and prepares trip reports.


  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and vision and alignment with our values.
  • Demonstrated personal and professional commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Two (2) years of related work experience in health or health care related field, preferably in the non-profit or government sector; experience with or knowledge of philanthropy desirable.
  • Experience or education specifically focused on community and economic development or policy and systems change to support healthy communities is preferred.
  • Master's degree or equivalent education and experience in a related field; or Bachelor’s degree and two (2) years related experience and/or training. 
  • Successful experience fostering an inclusive environment working as part of a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Strong project and people management skills, including demonstrated ability to think independently, to be flexible and to juggle multiple priorities for multiple managers, and to be tolerant of ambiguity and differences in grantmaking approaches.
  • Excellent written communication skills.
  • Excellent analytic skills and ability to synthesize and translate complicated material into clear and simple language. Ability to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals and periodicals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. 
  • Excellent oral presentation skills.
  • Personally motivated to support the Foundation’s mission and goals; creative, flexible; able to work independently and in teams to think imaginatively about opportunities; to create and respond to novel and innovative approaches to addressing an issue; to inspire others to work towards achieving team goals.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; collegial, energetic, able to develop productive relationships with colleagues, grantees, consultants, external funders, and others who contribute to program development and management.
  • Good judgment and maturity. Ability to make decisions, justifies recommendations, and is responsive and clear with proposal applicants.
  • Strong research and electronic communications skills, including use of Internet.
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative and team environment. 
  • Ability to travel as required.


The incumbent performs job duties in a traditional business office environment. Tasks are generally carried out with no specific or unusual physical or environmental demands. While performing the duties of this job the incumbent is regularly required to work at a desk with a computer for extended periods of time. Specific physical abilities required by this job include operating basic office equipment such as personal computers, duplicating machines, fax machines and standard office telephones. The incumbent may be required to attend meetings, both on-site and off-site, via phone or videoconference.


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