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Working at the Fund

Learn about our culture and explore career opportunities at the Commonwealth Fund’s New York City and Washington, D.C., offices.

The Commonwealth Fund was established in 1918 with the broad charge to enhance the common good. Its founder, Anna M. Harkness, is among the first women to start a private foundation.

Today, the mission of the Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high-performing, equitable health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including people of color, people with low income, and those who are uninsured.

We take great pride in our team and strive to create a collegial, inclusive environment. We look for talented people with curious minds who are inspired by the Fund’s mission.

As a community of individuals seeking to improve health care policy and practice through evidence-based research, we encourage all our staff to contribute to this work, regardless of title or tenure. We consider diversity of experience and perspective essential to our success. And while we take our work seriously, we also like to spend time getting to know one another on a personal and social level, too.

Where We Work

The Commonwealth Fund has offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. Our headquarters are located in the historic home of the Harkness family, Harkness House, a landmark building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Recent renovations make our home office more accessible, inviting, and inclusive.

Our Washington, D.C., office, near the White House, is home to our Federal and State Health Policy, Medicaid, and Medicare program teams, as well as other staff.

As of July 2022, the Commonwealth Fund has a hybrid work policy that allows staff the flexibility to work from home while providing ample opportunities for valuable in-person collaboration and convening.

How We Recruit

The Commonwealth Fund values diversity, believing it to be an essential quality of an effective organization. As part of our commitment to becoming an antiracist organization, we seek to recruit and retain people from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds.

We continue to evaluate our recruiting and hiring practices to ensure we honor our commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Our Benefits

Commonwealth Fund employees receive competitive salaries and a generous benefit package designed to support their overall well-being. We also strive to create a diverse and inclusive workplace in line with our values and goals. The Fund conducts annual benchmarking studies to ensure we continue to meet these goals.

Employee benefits include:

  • Best-in-class health care plan with comprehensive medical, hospital, and prescription drug coverage, along with a health reimbursement account, provided at no cost to employees and their dependents; vision coverage provided at nominal cost
  • 403(b) retirement plan featuring generous employer contributions that range from 11 percent to 20 percent of annual salary
  • Retiree health benefits
  • Tuition reimbursement and professional development support
  • Generous time off to support employee work–life balance
  • Flexible hybrid work policy, with staff eligible to work remotely up to three days per week
  • Half-day summer Fridays
  • Comprehensive parental leave policies, with up to 12 weeks’ salary continuance
  • Generous matching gifts program for charitable donations
  • Disability and life insurance coverage at no cost
  • Employee assistance and referral programs

Open Positions:

 


Grants Associate, Grants Management Office

THE ORGANIZATION

The Commonwealth Fund — among the first private foundations started by a woman philanthropist, Anna M. Harkness — was established in 1918 with the broad charge to enhance the common good. Today, the mission of The Commonwealth Fund is 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, and people of color. 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 DEPARTMENT

The grants management office provides administrative and financial management support for all of the Commonwealth Fund’s grantmaking activities. Grants management is centralized with many of the administrative responsibilities shared with the program staff who support each program area. The grants management department is engaged in all aspects of the Fund’s grant making process, including budget planning, program planning, project development, financial and compliance monitoring, completed grant reporting and evaluation, and historical archiving of completed grant materials. The grants management team includes the Vice President, Grants Management, a Grants and System Administrator, two Grants Assistants (one part time and one full time), and a consulting Matching Gifts Administrator.

GENERAL POSITION DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Vice President, Grants Management, the Grants Associate works on the administration and management of Commonwealth Fund grants. The Grants Associate is responsible for providing comprehensive grants management, critical thinking on the Commonwealth Fund’s grantmaking, and fostering good working relationships, both internally and externally. The position requires a high degree of organizational skills, attention to detail, the ability to provide proactive support, complete independent projects, as well as to work in a team environment.

Candidates for a grants position should be committed to the Commonwealth Fund’s Vision and Pledge to Promote Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and excited about using technology as a tool to streamline processes and improve organizational performance. The position has opportunities for growth within the department, across the organization, and within the foundation and nonprofit sector through engagement with the Fund’s sector partner organizations. 

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES

Grants Management Office
  • Responds to general inquiries from the public and from prospective grantees which come in via online portal, email, mail, and telephone.
  • Schedules, coordinates, and leads board cycle and other grant review meetings and distributes all related materials in advance of the meetings.
  • Conducts due diligence on potential grantee organizations, including compliance and legal review, with support from the vice president.
  • Records discussion notes at grant review meetings. Also ensures that grant records are coded correctly.
  • Prepares and distributes materials for the Board, in coordination with communications staff, for executive management team review prior to each Board meeting.
  • Ensures that each electronic grant record is complete, with all required documentation throughout the grant period and when ready to archive as a completed grant.
  • Following all grant approvals, prepares award letters and agreements, coordinating with program staff on payment and reporting schedules.
  • Manages the Fund’s Completed Grant Reporting process for annual executive management team review and rating. This includes assisting with the Completed Grants Memo that is circulated to the Board.  
  • Closes out grant records according to established procedures when the funded project is completed, and all narrative and financial reporting requirements have been met.
  • Serves as a resource to Fund staff, providing technical assistance proactively and as needed.
  • Assists in the development and management of Requests for Proposals. Reviews and edits calls for proposals, responds to questions for applicants, and manages the review process of Letters of Inquiry.
  • Coordinates Grants Management Office work on the Fund’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion implementation plan, and also co-leads the ongoing DEI and Grantmaking Audit, collaborating with the VP Grants Management, the EVP of Programs and program staff.
Controller’s Office
  • Support bi-weekly grant payment request and processing, including preparation of related correspondence.
  • Processes grant payments on a bi-weekly basis.
  • Reconciles grants management grant balances in Salesforce with Controller’s office balances from the general ledger. Prepares annual overview of grant transactions in preparation for the Fund’s annual audit.
  • Prepares Annual Report grants list for publication on the Commonwealth Fund website, as well as the expenditure responsibility statements for the Commonwealth Fund tax return.
Electronic Records Management and System Administration
  • Assists the Vice President with long-range planning, task analysis, procedures development, maintenance, and implementation of Salesforce grants management system (with Grants and System Administrator).
  • Works with the grants management team and Rockefeller Archive Center staff to help develop new procedures for archiving digital grant records as digital archiving practices evolve.
  • Works with and trains teams from different departments to expand the use and functionality of the database. There will be numerous opportunities for the Grants Associate to be involved in development and project management of new Salesforce functionality.
  • Maintains integrity of electronic grant records, including having primary responsibility for quality control and data integrity. This work will include utilizing software tools as well as developing guidelines for maintaining information electronically whenever appropriate.
Other Responsibilities
  • Takes on and completes special projects as assigned by the Vice President, Grants Management.
  • Cross-trains with members of the grants management team and may be asked to provide program assistance to program officers as needed due to staffing transitions.
  • Leads grants management training and onboarding for new staff members.

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

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree in public health or public administration preferred.
  • Three to five years minimum of relevant work experience.
  • Strong technical skills, including proficient use of databases and Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, and PowerPoint).
  • Meeting management experience.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize, and follow through to effectively manage work and meet multiple tight deadlines. Exceptional attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Good judgment and the ability to act independently within standard guidelines,
  • Flexibility and skill in working as a team member.

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.

LOCATION

This position will be based out of our New York City office. The Commonwealth Fund offers flexible working arrangements. As of September 2022, Commonwealth Fund staff are free to work from home up to three days per workweek.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply immediately, we are hoping to fill the role in an expedient manner. Please apply using this link.

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.

 


Senior Vice President for Research/Chief Science Officer

THE ORGANIZATION

The Commonwealth Fund — among the first private foundations started by a woman philanthropist, Anna M. Harkness — was established in 1918 with the broad charge to enhance the common good. Today, the mission of The Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, greater equity, and increased efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, and people of color. 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 Commonwealth Fund has made a commitment to become an antiracist organization. That commitment extends not only to our research agenda, our grantmaking, and our communications, but also to all aspects of our internal operations. 

THE POSITION

The Senior Vice President for Research and Chief Science Officer (SVP/CSO) reports to the President, supervises a Senior Research Associate, and serves as a member of the Fund’s Executive Management Team (EMT). In this inherently cross-cutting role, the SVP/CSO adds value to the organization’s work in all its core areas. This includes working with other Fund staff to develop the research design of grant proposals and future publications, as well as reviewing those proposals or publications.  The SVP/CSO participates in deliberations about the Fund’s strategic direction, leads initiatives that are critical to the mission of the Fund, and contributes to Fund publications and journal articles as co-author or lead author with analyses based on findings from Fund surveys or external databases. As a spokesperson for The Fund, the SVP/CSO promotes Fund work on social media, through media inquiries, and with public presentations. As the senior research leader at the Fund the CSO participates in external advisory roles in areas consistent with the Fund’s goals and priorities.  

  • The SVP/CSO advises the President and works closely with the EVP for Programs on all foundation-wide analytic and research activities. The SVP/CSO creates his/her/their own research agenda that aligns with the Fund’s mission and cuts across multiple programs. A few recent examples are here and here.
  • The SVP/CSO is responsible for directing key cross-cutting Commonwealth Fund research initiatives. Most recently this has included leading the Fund’s COVID research agenda; contributing to the Fund’s new Race Equity Scorecard; advising on the development of the Advancing Health Equity program; and reimagining the Fund’s international Mirror, Mirror triennial publication (and the surveys that support it).
  • The SVP/CSO is a core member of the Proposal Review Committee and therefore participates in all grant review meetings. As projects are under development, the CSO serves as a sounding board for all program officers on methodological issues and vetting research designs for projects in advance of review and approval. The SVP/CSO will bring to bear a wide range of experience on health equity, health insurance, payment and delivery system reform, and health care policy.
  • The SVP/CSO participates in the Fund’s Publications Review Committee. In this capacity, the SVP/CSO serves as a crucial quality control officer for Fund reports and publications, ensuring that the information is accurate and timely and that the key issues are communicated effectively.
  • The SVP/CSO serves in an advisory capacity on all Fund-initiated surveys and works with senior Fund staff to develop Fund surveys. The position has traditionally provided thought leadership in identifying key trends and messages in Fund surveys. 
  • The SVP/CSO is a highly visible ambassador for the Fund, contributing to Fund publications and journal articles as co-author or lead author. The SVP/CSO actively promotes Fund work through social media, presentations, and by responding to requests from journalists. The CSO serves on various external advisory committees on topics of interest to the Fund.
  • As a member of the Fund’s Executive Management Team, the SVP/CSO participates in annual review and discussion of each program’s strategic plans and the assessment of completed projects and grants. 
  • Equity is a central and cross-cutting priority for the Fund. The SVP/CSO advises on all research related to health equity across the foundation, both intramural and through our grantmaking, to help dismantle systemic racism in health care policy and practice.

The Fund’s philosophy regarding successful performance in the job includes the willingness on the part of all senior 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 or specific projects if the need arises.

QUALIFICATIONS

Successful candidates must have extensive experience as a researcher or policy analyst and must have demonstrated an ability to manage complex qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation projects and to produce high quality analytic work.

Specific job qualifications include extensive experience managing a research or evaluation team, a PhD or equivalent research training, and at least ten years of experience in health policy research. Formal economics and statistics training at the graduate school level or the equivalent in job experience is necessary. This training should include demonstrated skill and experience in managing and analyzing databases.

This person will have demonstrated communication skills, including writing for policy audiences, strong social media presence, and peer-reviewed publishing record as a policy analyst and researcher. The ability to work independently and creatively across a range of social and health policy issues is required, along with the expertise and familiarity with health services research and economics literature related to health and social policy issues, and racial equity.  This person must have experience leading or participating in DEI efforts. This person must have the ability to lead and manage team efforts, strong interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to work constructively and collaboratively with both senior and junior research staff.

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 is a key qualification. So too are an interest in, and strong commitment to, the Fund’s mission and grants programs. 

LOCATION

This position will be based out of our New York City office.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send a letter of interest and resume with the subject line: “SVP for Research/CSO” to: [email protected]

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.

 


Administrative Assistant

THE ORGANIZATION

The Commonwealth Fund — among the first private foundations started by a woman philanthropist, Anna M. Harkness — was established in 1918 with the broad charge to enhance the common good. Today, the mission of The Commonwealth Fund is 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, and people of color. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy.

GENERAL POSITION DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Fund’s Vice President, Administration, the Administrative Assistant provides high-quality, confidential operational and administrative support and reports directly to the VP Administration. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Provides quality administrative assistant support to the VP, Administration which includes:
  • Scheduling appointments, telephone, and travel; managing a year-round schedule of internal and external meetings, arranging travel plans, fielding telephone calls, maintaining accurate calendars and appointment schedules, and anticipating and coordinating all briefing materials for VP.
  • Documents and correspondence management - responsible for understanding and managing a large flow of documents within the HR and Administrative department.
  • Budgeting and expense reconciliation; reconciles VP’s Amex expenses; provides administrative support to the VP with the annual budgeting process.
  • Assists HR Specialist with full cycle HR responsibilities including recruitment efforts, onboarding, and terminations.
  • Supports the HR team with administrative responsibilities including maintaining HR files for active and inactive employees; supporting the annual performance appraisal process; assisting with preparation for meetings, and providing support for annual audits, planning, and assisting with other special projects.
  • Tracks and manages professional development, staff training and opportunities.
  • Support HR and VP, Administration with Open Enrollment, Handling scheduling, enrollment collection and employee reminders.
  • Provides coverage and support for the HR Specialist, Manager, Office and Building Services, and office of the COO, as requested.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Minimum of two (2) years related experience. A combination of education and/or experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.
  • Commitment to the Fund’s mission and vision.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Self-motivated and highly organized professional with excellent project management skills.
  • Effective communicator who can build trusted relationships and work effectively with individuals at all levels from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Works independently as well as collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Functions well with minimal supervision and delivers quality outcomes under pressure and deadlines.
  • Intellectually curious, finding solutions through internet research, and applies learnings to work.
  • Self-aware professional who conveys a reliably calm demeanor, handling confidential information with discretion and sound judgement.
  • Strong technology skills; able to quickly learn and operate various software, apps, and programs. Must have strong Microsoft Office skills. An elevated level of competence with PowerPoint and Excel is essential.
  • A talent for providing outstanding customer service and a good sense of humor.
  • Strong communicator with excellent written and verbal skills.

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 is an essential qualification.

LOCATION

This position will be based out of our New York City office. This position will be expected to work on location Monday–Thursday and remotely on Fridays.

HOW TO APPLY

Please apply using this link.

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.

 


Part-Time Maintenance and Building Assistant

THE ORGANIZATION

The Commonwealth Fund — among the first private foundations started by a woman philanthropist, Anna M. Harkness — was established in 1918 with the broad charge to enhance the common good. Today, the mission of The Commonwealth Fund is 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, and people of color. 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.

GENERAL POSITION DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Manager, Office and Building Services, the Maintenance and Building Assistant is responsible for maintaining a safe and clean environment at Harkness House.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Maintenance of Harkness House both inside and out, including:

  • Daily clean sidewalk, front step, side yard, and moat.
  • Ensure snow and ice removal, as needed.
  • Responsible for responding to minor maintenance issues, as requested.
  • Water plants throughout Harkness House.
  • Replace light bulbs, as needed.
  • Provide maintenance support to staff, as requested.
  • Coordinate and communicate effectively with janitorial staff and property management company (Rialto), as needed.
  • All other duties and responsibilities assigned, as needed.

Building and meeting assistance:

  • Restock kitchenettes and dining room with coffee, tea, milk, etc.
  • Ensure PPE stations are stocked with masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, etc.
  • Weekly inventory on kitchenettes and PPE stations.
  • Replace empty water bottles on each floor and in the Dining Room.
  • Stock supply closet with office supplies, as needed.
  • Fill copiers with paper.
  • Set up and break down meeting rooms, as requested.
  • Beverage set-up as needed for in-person meetings.
  • All other duties and responsibilities assigned, as needed.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • High School diploma or equivalent.
  • Minimum two years of experience in a role with similar responsibilities.
  • Ability to stand, climb stairs and walk for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to bend, kneel, stoop, and lift and move heavy equipment.
  • Must be able to read and interpret safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions and other manuals and documents.
  • Ability to work in a team environment and maintain professionalism and confidentiality at all times.
  • Knowledge of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and mechanical systems (including relevant equipment and tools) is a plus.
  • Must work effectively with staff across the Fund.

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.

LOCATION

This position will be based out of our New York City office.

HOW TO APPLY

Please apply using this link.

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.