Senior Program Officer of Operations, Healthy & Equitable Communities

Brief Overview:

We are seeking a highly talented and experienced Senior Program Officer to support the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF’s) Culture of Health Prize program (the Prize).

Position Description:

This is an exciting opportunity to become part of a vibrant and growing public health organization and contribute to initiatives focused on addressing racial equity and narrative change for a national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation known as the Culture of Health Prize.

The Prize program is at a pivotal juncture after over a decade of annual awards to more than 50 communities across the country.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has selected HRiA to increase the program’s reach to a range of communities; visibility with important audiences including policymakers, media, health equity-focused networks; and impact on changing narratives on what constitutes a healthy equitable community. The Prize program honors and elevates communities working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all.  A culture of health, as defined by this program, recognizes that where one lives – including access to affordable homes, quality schools, good jobs, and reliable transportation – affects their length and quality of life. The Prize elevates the compelling stories of places where residents are working together to transform education, jobs, transportation, and housing so better health flourishes for all.  The program honors whole communities for work that they have already accomplished and affirms their direction, which enables them to deepen and expand their local collaborations, leverage their Prize win for additional support and resources, and connect with other communities.

The Senior Program Officer will report to the Co-Managing Director for Healthy and Equitable Communities and will work collaboratively with a cross-organizational team consisting of HRiA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, multiple subcontractors, and evaluators.  This position will specifically provide strategic project management expertise and operational oversight of a multi-pronged workplan with numerous subcontracts, all the while supporting the implementation of equitable grantmaking systems.  Overall, a broader team of Program Officers will work closely with the Co-Directors to provide collaborative strategic planning and visioning, recruitment of applicants, expanding Prize engagement, co-creating and implementing capacity building and training programs for Prize winners, and building and sustaining coalitions and alliances for Prize communities.

Duties and Responsibilities:

HRiA will be responsible for:

  • Redesigning and managing an annual national competitive process for the the program;
  • Spearheading program activities to accelerate narrative change, which is recognized as key in shaping our collective understanding about what healthy, equitable communities are.  The Prize program seeks to change the dominant narrative, which emphasizes that opportunities for health are defined by individual choices or chance, to the structural conditions and policies that create those opportunities; and
  • Developing selection and post-selection activities that recognize and celebrate existing and past Prize winners, foster peer fellowship across the cohort, and elevate accomplishments with key audiences including through, but not limited to, strategic communications tactics.

The Senior Program Officer will closely collaborate with the Co-Directors for the Prize team to provide strategic planning and development for the broader program, as well as high-level management of activities and tasks.  The Senior Program Officer may also have supervision responsibilities of other Program Officers.

The Senior Program Officer (SPO)  will be responsible for ensuring the effective management and operations of the initiative’s overall workplan including:

Programmatic & Operational Supports

  • Develop and manage project timelines and tracking systems to ensure transparency in project progress across all partners and that project components are completed in a timely fashion.
  • Work with the Co-Managing Director and other staff to monitor and manage the overall project budget, timeline, and programmatic progress.
  • Identify, prioritize, and resolve challenges that may affect the project goals and timeline, and ensure maximal impact of workplan.
  • Monitor Prize-related work of HRiA’s partners/subcontractors and guide their programmatic and fiscal progress.
  • Prepare all required progress and data reports and other documentation for RWJF to ensure contract compliance.

Annual Prize Selection Process

  • Establish annual cycle for the Prize program which includes key milestones for HRiA, Spitfire, RWJF and evaluation partners.
  • Develop systems for supporting, tracking, and reporting on the recruitment of applicants, disposition of applications through the review process, and key demographic and other factors related to the cohort of Prize winners.

Support for Alumni Communities & Ongoing Capacity Building for Prize Winners

  • Provide operational systems and supports for capacity building and training activities for Prize winners, alumni, technical assistance partners, and other subject-matter experts.
  • Actively support convenings and other activities that recognize and celebrate existing and past Prize winners, foster peer fellowship across the cohort, and elevate accomplishments with key audiences by hosting regional convenings with Prize winners and alumni.
  • Work collaboratively with the Prize staff and partners to implement enhancements to ensure the project is innovative and responds to the systemic and structural issues that lead to health and racial inequities.

Thought Leadership

  • Maintain or build skills and knowledge in management, health and racial equity, equitable grantmaking processes, and/or other related content areas.
  • Identify and implement improvements in project and/or organizational processes and systems through participation in teams and committees.

This is a full-time, exempt position. The salary range for this position starts at $70,000 and is commensurate with experience. Health Resources in Action offers an attractive benefits package including employer-funded medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance, and employer contributions to a tax-deferred annuity.  Additionally, employees enjoy flexible work schedules and other policies that promote work/life balance, vacation starting at 4 weeks, 13 paid holidays, plus office closure time for the last week of December.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • A commitment to dismantling structural racism and other systemic drivers of health equity​
  • Diversity of thought, backgrounds, and perspectives​
  • At least five years of experience in foundation or philanthropic work, community organizing or racial equity non-profit work
  • Extensive experience with strong program management, strategic development, and planning for multi-pronged projects with multiple partners
  • Familiarity with grantmaking processes, including engagement in and/or management of application or selection processes​
  • Experience working in diverse and multi-cultural settings and leading with cultural humility​;
  • Organized, detail-oriented and able to meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and coordinate multiple tasks and events simultaneously
  • High level of professionalism and self-motivation, with a demonstrated ability to commit to and follow through on projects
  • Strong written, verbal and interpersonal skills, including communicating by videoconference, phone, and/or in person (when needed) with community members and organizational partners
  • Able to work independently and as a part of a team
  • Excellent problem solving, organizational, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills
  • Flexibility and a sense of humor


This description is intended to indicate the kinds of work duties that will be required in this position. It is not intended to limit, or in any way modify, the ability of any supervisor to assign, direct, and contract work of staff under their supervision. The use of a particular illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties, not mentioned, that are of a similar level or difficulty.

How to Apply:

HRiA is actively seeking to build a diverse and experienced staff. The organization encourages multiple perspectives and experiences, supports a multicultural environment, and strives to hire and retain a diverse work force that reflects the populations we work with and the communities where we work. Diversity is a core value of HRiA resulting in culturally competent services, materials, resources, and programs. Our hiring and business practices appreciate the strengths offered through different backgrounds.

HRiA is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.

To apply, submit your cover letter and resume online by Tuesday, September 15, 2023.  Resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis and as they are submitted until the position is filled.

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