New York, NY

Director of Policy and Research, New York State Health Foundation

The Organization

With an exceptional 15-year history and mission of improving the health of all New Yorkers, the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is seeking applications and nominations for its next Director of Policy and Research. As New York’s first statewide health foundation, NYSHealth offers a unique platform for change and impact. The Director of Policy and Research will work in close partnership with the President & CEO and the Vice Presidents of Programs and Communications to undergird the Foundation’s work with analysis and to develop a proactive policy agenda that supports and magnifies outcomes in the Foundation’s key programmatic areas.

If you want to make a meaningful difference in the health and lives of New Yorkers, NYSHealth may be the right place for you. The Director of Policy and Research position is an ideal fit for a candidate who is mission-oriented, strategic, creative, and collaborative, and who cares deeply about having an impact on health care and public health. In this role, you will join our dedicated staff in a collegial atmosphere and work with internal and external partners to advance our work. Background: NYSHealth is a private and independent foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. NYSHealth began operations in 2006; today, it has approximately $350 million in assets, as well as a $16 million annual grants and operations budget.

The Foundation is committed to making grants, but also to making a difference beyond grant dollars: informing health care policy and practice; spreading effective programs to improve the health system; serving as a convener of health leaders across the State; and providing technical assistance to grantees and partners. Today, the Foundation concentrates its initiatives in three program areas: Empowering Health Care Consumers; Healthy Food, Healthy Lives; and Veterans’ Heath. NYSHealth also engages in responsive grantmaking through a Special Projects Fund.

Position Overview:

In this inherently cross-cutting role, the Director of Policy and Research uses their broad
experience and expertise to inform efforts throughout the Foundation. The Director of Policy
and Research plays a leadership role in building the capacity of the Foundation to shape, align,
and respond to public policy developments.

The Director will work closely with program and communications staff to build the Foundation’s internal analytic capabilities; generate policy and research ideas and publications for external distribution; and guide the Foundation’s research and evaluation efforts related to its own performance and that of its grantees.

The Director of Policy and Research will be a creative and entrepreneurial thinker; a prolific
writer and producer of analytic products; and a rigorous and sensitive reviewer of other
people’s work. The Director must be an instinctual collaborator who will work in close
partnership with the leadership and staff of the Foundation’s programmatic and
communications departments.

This position is based in the Foundation’s New York City office, although the Foundation is
open to consideration of flexible and hybrid work arrangements. The position may require
occasional travel to Albany, other regions of New York State, and/or Washington, D.C. (Note:
travel is currently suspended in most cases because of the ongoing pandemic. When travel
restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so, travel will resume.)

This position reports directly to the President & CEO of the Foundation.

The Director will be a member of the Foundation’s senior leadership team that addresses a
multitude of high-level organizational issues.

The Director will hire and manage a small staff to comprise the Policy and Research

The Director of Policy and Research will be responsible for:

A. Conceiving and Executing a Policy and Research Agenda for the Foundation to
Make Change

The Director of Policy and Research will track key New York State, municipal, and federal
policy initiatives that are relevant to the Foundation’s work. The Director will expand in-depth
knowledge of those developments, serve as an in-house resource to staff, and identify ways in
which the Foundation can align with or respond to those policy developments.
In particular, the Director will identify policy and research opportunities that closely align with
and support the Foundation’s programmatic priorities. Much of the work in the Foundation’s
program areas has a strong policy orientation. The Director of Policy and Research will
conceive of and implement quantitative or qualitative research projects to be conducted
internally by themselves and/or other Foundation staff.
Crucially, the Director must have an intrinsic understanding of how the Foundation’s research
can be actionable, relevant, and applicable in real-life settings to influence policy and practice.
The Director and their staff will analyze data and other materials and author issue briefs, data
briefs, white papers, or other publications relevant to the Foundation’s priorities. As part of the
Foundation’s activist philanthropy model, the Director will also collaborate on the preparation
of testimonies to elected officials, public comments on proposed rules and regulations, and
opinion pieces such as letters to the editor or op-eds.

B. Supporting the Foundation’s Grantmaking and Communications
The Director of Policy and Research will collaborate with other staff to support such key
functions as grantmaking and communications. The Director will contribute to designing
policy work and research/evaluation performed by grantees for the Foundation as well as assist
with identifying and selecting qualified grantees to carry out such work. The Director will be
an in-house resource to program staff and participate in evaluating projects undertaken by the
Foundation and its grantees. The Director will serve as a quality control officer for Foundation
reports and publications, ensuring that the information is accurate and timely and that the key
issues are communicated properly.
The Director of Policy and Research will also collaborate closely with the Foundation’s
communications staff to identify policy-relevant messages and findings and shape them for
public dissemination. The Director will work will communications staff to proactively design
dissemination strategies for internally produced research, including the identification of and
outreach to key stakeholders and audiences. The Director will sometimes serve as a media
spokesperson for the Foundation and represent the organization to key audiences through
public presentations, legislative testimony, and webinars.

C. Measuring Organizational Effectiveness
The Director of Policy and Research will participate in evaluating the performance of the
Foundation’s programs. They will conceptualize and manage the Foundation’s annual progress
report. This includes developing reasonable metrics, in collaboration with the Vice President of
Programs and other staff, to assess the Foundation’s programmatic work; identifying or
generating data sources for those metrics; and ensuring that progress toward metrics is
regularly updated.

Required Experience and Qualifications: The Director of Policy and Research must be a
dynamic, creative person with a talent and track record of influencing health policy; be a
seasoned researcher; and demonstrate a proven ability to collaborate with others.
Additional qualifications include:

  • An advanced degree in a relevant field is required; a doctoral degree is preferred;
  • At least 10 years of work experience, including years in a leadership position;
  • Extensive experience and knowledge of health policy, especially with regard to New York State;
  • A prolific writer and producer of analytic materials, with a track record of publication;
  • Understanding of policymaking processes (e.g., legislative, regulatory, rulemaking) and experience with preparing public comments and testimonies and conducting educational briefings for decision-makers;
  • Quantitative research skills and facility with various data sets;
  • Networks of professional contacts, including policymakers, researchers, and community-based organizations;
  • Exceptional communication skills—both written and oral—and the ability to translate research into policy-relevant and actionable messages;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to implement and manage multiple priorities effectively;
  • Proven ability to directly manage and mentor staff;
  • Judgment, integrity, ability to listen with sensitivity to others, and ability to work across diverse cultures; and
  • Personally motivated to support the Foundation’s mission and goals.

How To Apply

Application Process: Candidates are encouraged to describe their skill sets and experience in
light of the above qualifications.

Send résumé and statement of interest to and include “Director” in the
subject line.

NYSHealth offers a generous package of benefits, including employer-paid health insurance;
dental, vision, and life insurance; employer contribution to a 403b retirement account; and
wellness and commuting benefits, among others.

The salary range for this position is $175,000–$200,000, depending on experience and

Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required for employment.

The New York State Health Foundation welcomes applications from people of all cultures,
backgrounds, and experiences, and values having a diverse staff. Individuals from historically
marginalized populations are encouraged to apply. Employment opportunities are based upon
individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, gender, religion, sexual
orientation, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected
characteristic as established under law.

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