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Managing Director, Health Programs

The Rockefeller Foundation is seeking a Managing Director, Health Programs.

The Managing Director, Health Programs partners with the Managing Director, Health and the Managing Director, Health Operations and the entire Health Team on all in-country programmatic, policy and advocacy work across the globe. They provide public health and data science expertise and capacity to the Health Initiatives Team. They will also provide global health expertise from their in-country global health work. They will apply their scientific, research-based and data-driven public health subject matter expertise and experience to identifying international markets where the Health Team’s work should take place. They will be instrumental in setting up in-country programs based on scientific innovation, data analytics and their keen understanding of in-country health policies and regulations. As a leader they will shape and influence policy and the regulatory affairs in countries that impact the Foundation’s health work around the globe. Based on a scientific, research-based and data-driven approach – and in collaboration with the entire Health Team – they will identify and prioritize interventions that can be augmented with new digital tools and processes that strengthen community health systems in at-risk countries. They will ideate and implement new data-driven community health solutions to improve outcomes and accelerate country achievement of key Sustainable Development Goal targets.

The MD, Health Programs ensures innovative in-country programmatic, policy and advocacy collaboration across the entire Health Team and all of their external strategic partners. They will be a key point-of-contact with the Regional Offices and all of the community health work being done in the field. The MD, Health Programs partners with key people across the Foundation to ensure key strategic and programmatic coordination and manages the Health Initiative team’s collaborations with the rest of the Initiatives and Innovation Teams. This includes providing counsel on shaping the Health Initiative’s programmatic strategy development and the associated implementation model for all in-country Health-related programs.

As the Research & Development (R&D) person on the Health Initiative team they will create a pipeline of innovative ideas and approaches to move the overall work of the Team forward. Using this research and data analytics approach they will evaluate and monitor all of the in-country Health programs and policy initiatives in each of the countries that these programs reside. They will measure the progress of each of these programs against the Health Team’s goals and objectives and keep the work of the Health Team’s programs moving forward effectively and collaboratively. They will work with the MD, Health on building the Health Initiative strategy and plans; develop presentations and reports for the Board, the Quarterly Reviews, the annual budget and forecast process and the 3-year plan for the Health Initiative. Finally they will be an important internal and external ambassador and liaison for the MD, Health, for the entire Health Team and for the Foundation.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Partners with the MD, Health, and MD, Health Operations and the rest of the Health Team, to develop and deliver key global in-country Health Initiative programmatic, policy and advocacy work in pursuance of the Foundation’s vision, mission and key objectives.
  • Manages the implementation of the MD, Health’s vision and strategic goals and objectives from a programmatic, policy and advocacy perspective within timeframes that align with other key organizational milestones and deadlines.
  • Serves as a key global public health subject matter expert and thought partner to the MD, Health and for the entire Health team.
  • Manages the flow of information about all in-country Health programs, policy and advocacy initiatives being developed by the Health team internally across the Foundation and with any key external strategic partners.
  • Applies a scientific and structured approach to identifying and developing critical in-country programs – translating data science insights into new data-driven products and processes that strengthen community health systems.
  • Leverages top-tier academic and professional expertise and experience to address public health challenges innovatively and implements viable, scalable in-country community health solutions that utilize advanced technologies and disparate data sources (health and non-health) to enable actionable insights.
  • Provides input into the Business Plan Review (BPR) work related to the Health Initiatives programs, policy and advocacy initiatives.
  • On behalf of the Health Team evaluates and monitors in-country programs and ensures progress on all of the established in-country Health work against specific programmatic, policy and advocacy goals and objectives.
  • In partnership with the MD, Health, leads meetings, prepares briefs and agendas for meetings and coordinates follow-up with relevant external and internal Health Team staff, key Health Team external strategic partners or any other area of the Foundation that they interface with on behalf of the Health Team.
  • Represents the MD, Health and the Health Team at key external events and meetings and is seen as an important ambassador and liaison for the MD, Health, the Health Team and the entire Foundation.

Education, Experience and Skills

  • A four-year undergraduate degree is required as is previous experience in a non-profit organization or foundation or equally dynamic goal oriented global enterprise. An advanced degree in medicine, public health or administration, or business administration is strongly preferred.
  • Has a minimum of 12 to 14 years of relevant professional experience supporting an Executive, a diverse team of professionals of multiple disciplines and a large, complex, strategic global initiative for a dynamic organization on all matters related to their internal and external strategic goals and objectives.
  • Ability to manage people and teams to conceive, research, 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 and Executive.
  • Has a track record of effectively managing budgets and forecasts, developing and monitoring strategic plans and in managing their own work and the work of others under significant time pressures and to high quality standards.
  • Ability to travel occasionally both domestically and internationally and has done so in previous roles successfully.
  • Computer proficiency in MS Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and Internet search skills and ability to learn new applications quickly.

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Communication: Has excellent interpersonal abilities including strong listening, writing and verbal skills; demonstrates assertiveness and effectiveness in presenting their ideas to a variety of internal and external audiences and for multiple and diverse purposes.
  • Digital Transformation Experience: Has the ability and previous experience with understanding the health care ecosystem in multiple international locations and where and how to use digital technologies in novel ways to improve public health programs and systems.
  • Data Analytics: Has experience with a data-driven, research-based approach to both establishing and implementing innovative global public health programs.
  • Decision-Making: Has the ability to evaluate risks and opportunities; uses analytical and problem-solving skills; takes initiative and drives for results; is able to prioritize their own work and the work of others and understands how their work fits into the Health Team’s, the Initiative’s and programmatic side of the Foundation as well as the overall mission, strategy and objectives of the Foundation.
  • Execution: Has outstanding project management skills; manages their own time well and provides the necessary guidance and direction to others that allows them to successfully meet deadlines; has a sense of urgency and takes responsibility for their work and how this impacts the rest of the Health Team and any of the key groups they interface with on behalf of the MD, Health and the entire Health Team; is able to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously; is able to multi-task and works well under pressure; employs attention to detail with their work and has high standards for accomplishing their work.
  • Integration: Accesses functional and substantive expertise organizationally, and accomplishes their work with inclusiveness and collaboration.
  • Leadership: Thinks innovatively and creatively about their work, the MD, Health and the work of the entire Health Team; has strong negotiation skills which enable them to work effectively and efficiently across a large amount of work, people and all internal and external constituencies and demonstrates accountability for their work.
  • Partnership and Relationship Building: Has strong professional presence and can be seen as a key representative of the Foundation and the Health Team; has intercultural knowledge and appreciation; and possesses strong strategic partnership building skills.
  • Strategic Ability: Anticipates future opportunities and consequences, demonstrates an innovative and flexible approach to work, and has the ability to organize chaos into a coherent plan and implement it well.
  • People Management: Has the skills to manage a team of administrative staff and approaches managing people as one that employs team-building, skill building and overall staff development and engagement.
  • Project Management: Has outstanding skills in both developing, leading and executing complex project plans which support the programs, policies and advocacy that they are responsible for.


Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  The Rockefeller Foundation is being assisted by J.J. Cutler and Alice Hurh of Heidrick & Struggles. Applications should be directed to jcutler@heidrick.com and ahurh@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