Program Manager

Hiring Organization: 
The Commonwealth Fund
City and State: 
New York, NY

Position Description





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 goal of the Advancing Health Equity program is to contribute to efforts to dismantle systemic racism in health care policy and practice and counter inequity in treatment, patient experience, and health outcomes for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. The program was launched in January 2021 after the Commonwealth Fund Board of Directors approved the creation of a new Health Equity Fund in July of the previous year.

The Advancing Health Equity program will have three focus areas: 1) Dismantling racism in care delivery, 2) Changing culture, beliefs, and attitudes, and 3) Using public policy to achieve equitable access.


The Program Manager will report to the Vice President of Health System Equity who leads the Advancing Health Equity Program and will support the VP in coordinating the overall work and efficiency of the team to ensure goals and priorities are met.  Overall scope of work includes oversight and management of the Advancing Health Equity program, including internal and external communications, calendaring, management of events, grants and project management, and coordination of the Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard and the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity at Yale.

Administrative & Project Management:

  • Primary administrative responsibility for the program’s meetings, including the Yale and Harvard Fellowships.
  • Manages meetings and events including logistics and vendor agreements/contracts. 
  • Coordinates and manages travel and other arrangements.  
  • Responsible for budgeting and expense tracking for program related activities and departmental expenses.
  • Facilitates intra-department communication and flow of information, and coordination with other Fund staff and teams.  
  • Provides overall coordination for the Advancing Health Equity program, including overseeing its master calendar of events and deliverables. Tracks deadlines to ensure projects and priorities are achieved in a timely manner.
  • Ensures that all program activities have detailed and up-to-date project management plans. 
  • Coordinates regular staff meetings; manages communications between and among the Advancing Health Equity team and other Commonwealth Fund staff.
  • Ensures operational alignment with strategic goals and vision of the HEF; regularly prepares reports and updates on program performance. 

Grants Management

  • Manages all aspects of the grant process: preparation of summaries and materials to support Board-level Grants, Intermediate, and 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 summaries for board meetings which are held three times a year. This involves communicating with current and prospective grantees, consultants and other experts reviewing proposed projects; assembles and provides materials on the Fund’s health equity portfolio, projects, and other activities as requested by grantees and other individuals. Conducts background research and summaries on the proposed topics, compiles and distributes proposal review materials to the Fund’s executive management team and assists in internal reviews of proposals.

Fellowship & Event Coordination

  • Acts as the primary liaison between the program officer and fellowship host institution.
  • Manages and coordinates all grants, events, and activities associated with the Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard, the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity at Yale, and the Margaret E. Mahoney Fellowships. This includes working closely with fellowship host institutions to facilitate application review processes, arrange fellowship functions in New York and Washington DC, written and verbal correspondence with fellowship host institution office staff, and general project management


  • Coordinates with Fund Communications staff, logistics for media activities related to Advancing Health Equity program’s events or publications.
  • Acts as a liaison with Communications to ensure the dissemination of 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.
  • Prepares materials, slides, and charts for internal meetings, including project briefing meetings, proposal review meetings, and program updates.
  • Prepares materials, slides, and charts for external meetings and presentations on behalf of the VP. Prepares social media summaries for communication of work and key activities. This involves research and assembling material and detailed information about projects in the program areas.
  • Coordinates communications with internal and external stakeholders.

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.


Minimum three-years prior experience in a role with similar responsibilities. Bachelor’s degree is required. Previous work experience in a Foundation and strong interest in health care policy is preferred. 

The candidate must have superior organizational and administrative skills as well as strong project management skills. The position requires strong computer skills including PowerPoint, Excel, and project management tools. 

Flexibility and skill in working as a team member are a must as the position requires working in a very detailed, highly demanding, multiple-task environment.  The ideal candidate must have the ability to work independently, ability to work exceptionally well  with team members and across the organization and have an overall positive and can-do attitude.  Because of the nature of the department and its activities, extended hours and weekend work at certain times of the year are a component of this position.

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.  


Position is based in our NYC location.  D.C. based candidates will be considered.


Please send cover letter (including salary expectations) and resume with the subject line Program Manager – [Your Name] to:


Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package.

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

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