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Director, India, Health

The Rockefeller Foundation is seeking an experienced Director, India, Health.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission—unchanged since 1913—is to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot.

In 2019, the Foundation will launch a groundbreaking initiative focused on “Data-Driven Community Health” that will leverage new digital tools, advanced analytics and AI machine learning. Our aim is to lead the global effort for data-driven community health by convening the right global partners, driving innovation, engaging the private sector, and developing public goods and best practices.

India represents an important facet of The Foundation’s new health strategy. In 2019, the Health Team will establish its technology hub in India (city TBD, New Delhi or Bangalore) where our data platform and data science teams will be based.  Our approach is to integrate disparate data sources – health and non-health data – to generate actionable insights that strengthen community health systems.

What’s more, we have selected the state of Rajasthan as one of our two launch markets (the other being Uganda). Together with our implementation partners, here we will develop and deliver our innovation strategy – continuously refining our approach to data-driven community health for maximum impact on health outcomes.

The Director, India serves as the senior leader for the Health Team in Asia, helping to integrate knowledge and drive efforts to amplify the impact of our health program. This role will balance two key responsibilities – oversight of in-country resources and health program advocacy – and may be based in one of India’s major metro areas, e.g. New Delhi, Bangalore or Mumbai.

The Director has overall responsibility for the Health Team’s activities in-country. They will work in close collaboration with the New York office and other regional offices and will provide day-to-day oversight of the India-based team.

They are the ambassador for The Foundation’s health initiative in India, responsible for scaling up the Health Team’s influence across India by building effective partnerships with key national, regional and global actors, across sectors. This includes forging strong ties with leaders in government, NGOs, the health sector (public and private) and the technology industry (early-stage and established tech leaders).

This is a call for applications.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • The Director, India provides leadership to The Foundation’s health initiative in India and manages in-country operations
  • Instrumental in setting up India-based operations including the technology innovation hub, and data analytics platform
  • Collaborates with the Foundation’s Global Policy & Advocacy (GPA) team to ensure strategic messaging alignment and amplification on all India-related communications, policy, convenings, and partnerships for Health
  • Builds and manages implementation partnerships that delivery impact on maternal and child health outcomes
  • Maintains and expands strategic relationships with key government officials (local, state, national), multilateral agencies (e.g. UNICEF), co-financing partners (e.g. BMGF, India) and data/technology partners to advance The Foundation’s health strategy in the country
  • Closely monitors the progress of our innovation strategy in India and proactively addresses issues and challenges that arise (strategic, technical, regulatory, etc)
  • Ensures the Health Team’s work in India is on-track, on-budget and is achieving the expected impact on health outcomes
  • Plays an important role in representing The Foundation in the region, both internally and externally, and ensures strategic alignment with the New York office and other regional offices
  • Provides oversight and guidance to long term development and global management issues as part of the Management Team
  • Establishes practices and processes to identify and mitigate risks to the organization; ensure compliance to requirements of legal provisions, policies and regulations of both the organization and local governments

Supervision Exercised

Oversees the Health Team in India – staff at the technology hub and those deployed to Rajasthan.  This includes oversight of contractors and consultants on the Health Team not directly employed by The Foundation.

Education, Experience and Skills

  • Advanced degree in Health, Business or Technology, or related field with knowledge and experience of working in complex environments in India
  • Has a minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience and a deep understanding of political, economic and social trends in India, with an ability to work across sectors in that environment
  • Experience leading teams and mentoring staff development – ability to manage people and teams to analyze, develop and implement projects, new ideas and strategies to successful completion
  • Sets agendas and timelines for their own work and for that of others to meet the demands of a complex dynamic function
  • Demonstrated expertise in strengthening the capability around building and driving results-oriented partnerships
  • Powerful conceptual and analytical skills, with a track record in using data and analytics to inform dynamic strategy shaping, priority setting, and decision-making
  • Experience in communicating externally, either in large groups, or in smaller engagements for representational and influencing purposes
  • Commitment to The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission and core values – effectiveness, equity, integrity, innovation and leadership
  • Excellent judgement and professional standards, with a proven ability to handle sensitive or  confidential organizational issues, and to apply appropriate judgement in complex situations
  • The ability to travel (40-50%) both domestically and internationally and a willingness to be flexible in working hours working across different time zones
  • Open to Indian Nationals only
  • Native Fluency in Hindi, spoken and written

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Leadership: Ability to develop a vision, spot opportunities and turn a broad set of ideas and insights into action with limited resources, using an entrepreneurial, constructive, and adaptive approach.   Proven ability to manage towards and successfully realize outcomes-based projects.
  • Strategic Ability: Ability to identify patterns and trends in dynamic, complex systems across a wide range of content domains and to evaluate opportunities and risks using analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Decision Making and Risk Management: Sound judgement and decision-making in complex situations; alerts others to risks inside and outside the organisation; willing to make judgements about managing risks and ready to take responsibility for such judgements
  • Partnership and Relationship Building: Ability to engage with a diverse range of teams and partners. Comfort building strong working relationships, quickly establishing credibility in new areas of work, and mobilizing people at all levels towards collaborative goals.
  • Influencing: Track record & experience in negotiating and influencing private sector, government, donors, and civil society organizations at a senior level.
  • Communications: Excellent ability to synthesize from complex activities into simple and well-structured deliverables.  High level of comfort communicating to diverse audiences.  Able to understand stakeholder needs and tailor information for them
  • Creativity: Ability to think out of the box and take risks.
  • Change Management: Lead change process with confidence, empathy and transparency.
  • Execution: Strong project management skills, deadline management, sense of responsibility and accountability and the ability to effectively multi-task.
  • Building Effective Teams and Partnerships:  Collegiate – acting as a team player, even if this results in adjustment of own priorities; develops mutually trusting relationships with complex partnerships to deliver excellent business outcomes
  • People Management: High level of self-confidence with a direct, honest, respectful, and empathetic approach and ability to effectively provide feedback.  Able to manage team members towards their own accountabilities, to manage team collaborations where integration and group problem-solving is necessary, and to manage upwards to enable effective senior oversight and appropriate involvement. Supports learning and a sense of mutual purpose in diverse teams; sets a strong learning culture in their part of the organisation; effective coach, equally at home with high performers and those in difficulty; uses opportunities across The Foundation to develop others.
  • Integrity: Ability to use best judgement when handling confidential, sensitive and proprietary information as it related to The Foundation or its grantees, partners and staff.
  • Self-awareness and Resilience: Remains calm and positive under pressure and in difficult situations; plans own learning and development; aware of impact on others and adjusts own behavior accordingly; has a positive impact on those around them; leads major change while keeping staff and partners on board.



Heidrick and Struggles, India has been retained for this search. Heidrick and Struggles, India is a global Leadership Consulting & Executive Search firm.

To make recommendations or express interest in this role, please email Gauri Padmanabhan, a Partner with the firm, who is leading this engagement, at gpadmanabhan@heidrick.com.

The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and to compliance with all federal, state, and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.  To this end, the Foundation ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, lawful alien status, physical, mental, and medical disability, veteran status or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces.

The Rockefeller Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer