Job Opportunities





PROGRAM OFFICER

BREAKTHROUGH OPPORTUNITIES

The Commonwealth Fund

THE ORGANIZATION

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries. The Fund has an endowment of $750 million, and an annual budget of $35 million.

THE BREAKTHROUGH OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM

The U.S. health care system faces formidable challenges in meeting the challenge of providing to high quality and affordable care for everyone. The breakthrough opportunities program aims to tackle these and other challenges by identifying ideas and approaches with the potential to produce dramatic improvements in quality of care and health outcomes while reducing the costs of care. The program will offer a vision of a future in which the applicable change is implemented, describe the potential impacts on health and spending, and explore pathways to broad implementation. The special focus of this program is to identify and to incubate high-risk, high-reward ideas that may not be ready to implement in the short term, but could have very substantial impact on quality and cost if more favorable policies, organizational models, and financing structures are in place. In its initial phase, the program surfaced two promising ideas:

  • The potential for digital technologies to change the ways people engage in health care; and
  • The potential for significantly changing provider incentives based on concepts from behavioral economics, cognitive psychology and organizational innovation

THE ROLE: PROGRAM OFFICER, BREAKTHROUGH OPPORTUNITIES

A successful Breakthrough Opportunities Program Officer will be responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the breakthrough opportunities program and budget. He or she will help to identify new breakthrough opportunities and develop a strategy to build on the two current initiatives already underway. The Program Officer will also work effectively with the Fund’s senior leadership team and collaboratively with the Fund’s other programs to identify and share breakthrough ideas that may impact other Fund program areas. He or she will have access to the Fund’s network of health care leaders and will need to communicate effectively, be comfortable developing new relationships with senior professionals and provide analytical and open feedback on proposed ideas. A successful candidate will network with innovative people from many backgrounds, have the ability to think across the boundaries of current industry sectors and institutions and encourage collaboration among principals from many disciplines both within and outside of health care. Imagination, creativity, curiosity, a passion for transforming health care delivery, a strong interest in innovation and a commitment to improving the health care consumers are requirements of the position. Familiarity with innovation frameworks and methods, strong writing and analytical skills, critical thinking, and knowledge and experience of the U.S. health care system and its achievements and challenges will characterize a successful candidate.

CORE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Identify potential breakthrough ideas and opportunities through expert sourcing, networking, environmental scanning, and observations from industries and settings both in and outside of healthcare.
  • Manage and develop the current portfolio of grants and assess next steps for the program’s current focus areas.
  • Set goals for the program and each grant and measure progress and achievements against those goals.
  • Lead communication and dissemination strategy discussions for the program’s products and develop and review grantee products.
  • Identify opportunities to convene expert advisors and stakeholders, oversee these meetings, and produce relevant synthesis or summary.
  • Represent the Fund at external conferences and meetings on the topic of breakthroughs and innovation and present the Fund’s work, when appropriate.
  • Develop a strategic plan for next steps, as well as opportunities for funding in the breakthrough program. These could include potential new initiatives, collaborations to pilot projects, and opportunities for implementation and scaling.
  • Develop and present a program development plan and budget for the program, including additional resources required, potential co-funding partners and intermediate goals.

QUALIFICATIONS

Candidates will hold an advanced degree, preferably in business, health services research, health administration, engineering or economics, together with experience working within a large health system, health insurer, healthcare consulting firm or venture capital firm. A clinical degree (MD, RN, etc.) is beneficial, but not required. Demonstrated research and analytical skills, strong communication and writing abilities, and a history of coordinating and leading team based work is required. Ability to think creatively and to question accepted wisdom and a credible commitment to creating change are strong personal characteristics. Knowledge of the fields of innovation and improvement is a strong plus. A passion for the mission of the Commonwealth Fund, a strong sense of personal integrity and professionalism are key qualifications.

COMPENSATION

Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package (medical/dental insurance, life/disability insurance, pension plan, tuition reimbursement, ample vacation and lunch in staff dining room).

CONTACT

Qualified candidates should send a cv or resume, cover letter and salary history via e-mail to: dd@cmwf.org

Diana Davenport

Vice President, Administration

The Commonwealth Fund

One East 75th Street

New York, NY 10021-2692

Employment at The Commonwealth Fund is based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, medical condition, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

 


PROGRAM ASSISTANT

FEDERAL AND STATE HEALTH POLICY

THE COMMONWEALTH FUND

THE ORGANIZATION

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries. The Fund has an endowment of $750 million, and an annual budget of $35 million.

SUMMARY POSITION DESCRIPTION

The Commonwealth Fund staff members located in Washington, D.C. function in many respects as a team. The Program Assistant reports to the Vice President, Federal and State Health Policy and supports the Fund’s Federal and State Health Policy initiative.

The Program Assistant is an important member of this three-person team, working closely with both the Senior Program Associate and the Vice President in the Washington, D.C. office and providing daily administrative support for the team. Responsibilities primarily include administrative tasks and grant support with occasional research and writing, as needed. In addition, the Program Assistant will support New York-based Fund staff and other visitors to the D.C. office.

THE FEDERAL AND STATE HEALTH POLICY INITIATIVE

If we as a nation are to achieve fundamental improvements in our health care system, federal and state policymakers need access to objective, evidence-based, actionable information. As the nation moves forward on health system transformation, both federal and state policy makers continue to play critical roles in expanding access to affordable insurance coverage, in designing, testing, and refining new ways to deliver and pay for health care, and in ensuring that health services are delivered efficiently and equitably. Continuing budgetary pressures, moreover, have forced federal and state officials alike to prioritize the search for ways to produce better health outcomes at lower cost.

The Commonwealth Fund’s Federal and State Health Policy initiative provides independent analysis of health care issues tailored for those serving in state and federal government. The Fund’s team helps to inform and educate congressional members and staff, officials in the executive branch, state policymakers, and the broader policy community—across the political spectrum—on issues central to achieving a high-performance health system.

Through the briefings, conferences, and retreats it sponsors, the Fund’s team also serves as a neutral convener, facilitating both state-to-state learning and communications between federal and state policymakers to inform policy deliberations and generate new solutions. Finally, the team also supports The Commonwealth Fund’s programmatic efforts to provide policymakers with timely, balanced, evidenced-based policy research and analysis.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES

Grants Management (40%)

  • Manages all aspects of the grant process: preparation of proposed Board-level Grants, proposed Small Grants, payment and reporting schedules, and letters of agreement; tracking of program and grantee products, including papers and conferences, and scheduling grant payments accordingly; helps plan meetings, forums or conferences related to grantee work, and helps to maintain overall Fund-grantee relationships. Responsible for streamlining grant tracking methods and communication between the program and grantees to ensure timeliness of reports and products.
  • Assists in the development of grant proposals and budgets and in the preparation of project write-ups for board meetings three times a year. This involves communicating with potential grantees, conducting background research on the proposal topics, assisting in internal reviews of proposals, and preparing summaries of grant proposals for the Board. This position works closely with staff in the grants management office in New York.
  • Acts as a liaison with Communications to ensure the dissemination of all grant products, including: coordinating the review of draft grantee publications by Fund staff and the promotion of grantee-published articles; drafting language for the Fund website that publicizes grantee work; developing web-based grant products for placement or promotion on the Fund website; reviewing and providing program updates to the Fund website as needed; coordinating with grantees and Communications staff to produce webinars, podcasts, and other multimedia to promote grantee work.

General Administrative Support (35%)

  • Provides administrative support for the Vice President including managing: calendar, telephone, travel arrangements, meetings, expense reports, correspondence, and distribution of program work.
  • Arranges appointments and scheduling of in-house meetings, which includes reserving meeting rooms and arranging for food, beverage, and audiovisual needs. • Prepares materials, slides, and charts for internal meetings, including the annual program plan meetings, communication updates to the executive management team and board, project briefing meetings, and proposal review meetings.
  • Prepares materials, slides, and charts for external meetings and presentations. This involves internet and library research and assembling materials and detailed information about projects in the program areas.
  • Ensures that NY-based Fund staff and visitors to the Fund’s D.C. office are supported when necessary.

Research, Analysis, and Policy Activities (25%)

  • Supports the planning and execution of various meetings, forums, and conferences related to grantee work. This includes maintaining a list of completed, planned, and possible events; scheduling planning meetings and communicating with speakers and participants; maintaining updated agendas and lists of participants; compiling background materials and other meeting materials; tracking attendance and evaluation results of completed events; and facilitating the logistics of each event.
  • Tracks Fund staff interactions with policymakers at both the federal and state levels, including meetings, technical assistance, testimony, educational outreach, and policymaker use of Fund work.
  • Conducts background research in this Fund program area, including literature reviews, Internet searches and tracking journals, working papers, legislative developments and public coverage of health policy issues.
  • Corresponds with current and prospective grantees, consultants, and experts reviewing proposed projects; assembles and provides materials on Fund programs, projects, and other activities as requested by grantees and other individuals.
  • Provides research and writing support for Fund publications. This work includes: preparing tables and charts as well as drafting summaries of grantee or Fund reports.
  • Conducts data analysis and compiles information from the peer-reviewed literature, grantee reports, and other studies, in support of writing and speaking commitments by the Vice President. May be called upon to attend meetings and manage the presentation process.

The Fund’s philosophy on successful performance in the job includes the willingness on the part of all staff members to handle any assignment necessary to further the goals of the institution. This may include taking on responsibility for other program areas or departments if the need arises.

QUALIFICATIONS

College degree and one or more years related work experience. Interest in health policy is essential. Preference will be given to applicants with prior administrative and policy experience. Preference also will be given to those with undergraduate course work or major in a social science or public policy, and experience writing for public audiences.

Candidates must have strong organizational and administrative skills as well as excellent writing and public speaking skills. The ability to manage and work on multiple tasks, work with budgets, and prepare graphics and tabular data presentations is expected. Flexibility and skill in working as a team member are a must as the position requires working in a high demand, multiple task environment with changing priorities. The successful candidate will be intellectually curious and able to gather, assess, and synthesize information from various sources.

Requirements include: excellent written communication skills, strong computer skills, including knowledge of the Windows Office Suite of products and a Salesforce database system, Outlook Exchange, and the Internet. Familiarity with STATA or similar statistical software is a plus. Candidates must be willing to learn new computer skills as necessary to work with the Fund’s website and surveys and the candidate must have an interest in and strong commitment to the Fund's mission and current grants programs.

The Fund has a relatively small staff, and judgment, integrity, and the ability to listen with sensitivity to others are traits that are particularly important in an organization of the Fund’s size, where teamwork is essential to effectiveness. The ability to work collegially with a variety of Fund staff and interest in and strong commitment to the Fund’s mission and grants programs are key qualifications.

COMPENSATION

Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package (medical/dental insurance, life/disability insurance, a defined contribution retirement plan, tuition reimbursement, and ample paid time off).

CONTACT

Send resume and cover letter via e-mail to: dd@cmwf.org

Diana Davenport

Vice President, Administration

The Commonwealth Fund

One East 75th Street

New York, NY 10021-2692

Employment at The Commonwealth Fund is based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, medical condition, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.