As one of the nation’s leading public health policy, research, and advocacy organizations, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) promotes optimal health for every person and every community and makes the prevention of illness and injury a national priority. Founded in 2001, TFAH has been at the forefront of developing and advancing policies to improve the public health system. TFAH’s strategic agenda focuses on ensuring and strengthening sufficient and sustained resources for an improved core public health system; building partnerships and collaboration across sectors to promote effective approaches to address the social determinants of health; advancing health equity so that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible; and improving the integration of the public health and health care systems to achieve better health outcomes.
The Director of Policy will join a dynamic and growing team at an important moment of inflection for the field of public health. They will play a unique role in the organization, leading a portfolio of existing initiatives along with the incubation of new policy priorities, convenings, and policy analysis, all in support of the larger policy goals of TFAH. The Director will work collaboratively with external partners and internally with TFAH’s Leadership Team and the Government Relations and Strategic Communications and Policy Research departments to provide analysis, insights, and field knowledge to an evolving and timely policy agenda that advances evidence-based public health policies and the health of all Americans.
Compelling candidates will bring a broad view of the field of public health and a deep familiarity with the federal, state, and local public health policy landscape. They will be a natural connector building networks that support TFAH’s policy development initiatives and possess a deep commitment to advancing health equity and equitable policies in public health. They will be a curious thinker who can effectively move work from concept to reality in partnership with internal and external stakeholders. Finally, the new Director will bring a strong analytical approach and deep commitment to evidence-based policy development in a highly collaborative, nonpartisan organization.
Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes optimal health for every person and community and makes the prevention of illness and injury a national priority. TFAH envisions a nation that values the health and well-being of all and where prevention and health equity are foundational to policymaking at all levels of society. TFAH’s goal is a modernized, public health system that meets the challenge of health equity for all and is prepared to respond to a wide-variety of health threats with policies and programs that are inclusive, community appropriate, and evidence-based.
TFAH has built an exceptional reputation by defining a vision for a new era of public health – bringing together incisive, science-driven analysis with innovative, yet pragmatic and evidence-based ideas for policy change. The organization regularly issues a hallmark set of high-visibility issue reports that have redefined and advanced public health issues, as well as reports and policy briefs on emerging areas of public health importance. It convenes top experts and partners with diverse views to rethink and advance priority areas; builds partnerships and coalitions to achieve mutually beneficial goals; and serves as a strong, credible, non-partisan “go to” thought leader on public health issues for policymakers, media, partners, and the public.
TFAH addresses a broad range of public health issues including public health emergency preparedness (including the COVID-19 pandemic response), public health funding, obesity and chronic disease prevention, infectious disease, substance misuse and suicide, healthy aging, health equity, climate change, the social determinants of health, and prevention. It promotes public health policies that affect the entire nation, with an emphasis on how such policies and programs can promote healthy individuals and communities regardless of geography.
TFAH convenes top leaders from a diversity of sectors and perspectives to build forward-thinking policy agendas and collaborations for a strong public health system. TFAH also takes a leading role in working with public and private partners to advocate on a number of high-level issues, including collaboratives and working groups on public health preparedness, substance use and suicide prevention, and healthy aging, and participating in a wide range of coalitions focused on chronic and infectious disease prevention, climate change and environmental health, and cross-sector activities to advance improved health outcomes and health equity.
The COVID-19 pandemic called on TFAH to leverage its full capacity as the nation’s leading public health advocate, speaking out on critical public health infrastructure needs, providing timely and important resources and policy analysis to the field, and convening public health leaders to support critical issues during the height of the pandemic. In 2023, TFAH will engage in strategic planning, and the new Director will join the organization at a critical time, leveraging its learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic with its proven track record of advocating for evidence based public health policies that ensure everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life.
Reporting to the President & CEO, the Director of Policy will work closely with the Executive Vice President, COO, Director of Government Relations, and Director of Strategic Communications & Policy Research to develop and advance TFAH’s policy agenda. Specifically, the Director will bring leadership to the following areas:
Policy Development and Landscape Analysis
- Serve as a key thought partner and thought leader on a broad range of core public health issues under TFAH’s portfolio of policy leadership.
- Keep abreast of the public health policy landscape at the federal, state, and local levels and provide timely and relevant analysis to internal and external partners regarding effective evidence-based policy developments and potential shifts in the opportunity landscape.
Incubation of Policy Priorities
- Working in partnership with leadership, incubate, shape, and evaluate emerging policy priorities by providing insightful landscape analysis, briefs, and concept papers. Assess the potential integration of new policy priorities in TFAH’s larger policy agenda.
- Maintain a high level of fluency on key and emerging policy and public health issues through the ongoing review of relevant sources and by cultivating and nurturing a broad and diverse network of external thought leaders.
- Apply an insightful and critical lens to framing and shaping equitable public health policy discussions that lead to developing new and refining existing policy.
Convenings & Partnerships
- Represent TFAH in a variety of external settings, both governmental and non-governmental, in a manner that informs policy development work, engenders trust in the network, and advances evidence-based policy initiatives.
- Deliver presentations and speeches at national, regional, state, and local conferences and meetings and skillfully articulate TFAH’s policies and practices.
- Lead and work collaboratively with external partners on strategic programmatic initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels, including coalitions, working groups, and committees that advance the understanding, promotion, and implementation of specific policy goals.
- Plan and execute convenings and oversee learning and action networks/collaboratives that support the incubation and development of policy initiatives and establish strong and positive relationships with key organizations to advance and inform TFAH’s policy agenda.
- Partner closely with TFAH’s senior staff team to ensure that the policy team operates in synergy and alignment to advance TFAH’s mission, vision, and core values, and to support the development of the next strategic plan.
- Nurture a culture of collaboration, teamwork, and shared accomplishment by working in intentional partnership with Director colleagues in Government Relations and Strategic Communications and Policy Research to move new initiatives from incubation to research to legislation and policy.
- Support organization-wide efforts in drafting and reviewing reports and issue briefs and the development of evidence-based policy recommendations for advocacy.
- Manage and supervise policy development staff including the recruitment of additional policy staff and external consultants to ensure full capacity in the department.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
- Significant experience and leadership managing policy development efforts that advance a community’s well-being; familiarity with the public health policy landscape including federal, state, and local settings; a master’s degree in Public Health, Public Policy, or the equivalent is required.
- A demonstrated track-record of advancing evidence-based policy through research and analysis to improve public health; expert knowledge of public health systems, health care delivery, health financing systems, and/or understanding of the impact of the social determinants of health from the perspective of other sectors (e.g., education, housing, or transportation).
- Considerable management and supervisory experience with the proven ability to mentor staff, set clear expectations, and manage multiple projects that deliver high quality, on time results; ability to nurture a positive and collaborative team culture that lends itself to rigorous inquiry, creative problem solving, and shared goals.
- Sophisticated and integrated understanding of health equity and ability to apply an equity lens to public health policy development; a thought-leader in creating and promoting policy solutions to end inequities in health and that address the social determinants of health.
- Deep and varied experiences in coalition building, strategic partnerships, and working effectively with organizations and individuals from diverse cultural, social, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. Natural ability to convene a broad representation of public health leaders to support emerging and equitable policy development.
- Strong policy, research, and analytic skills; ability to anticipate emerging trends and policy opportunities in the field; skill in identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing relevant and timely sources and information.
- Superb verbal and written communications skills and the ability to distill complex issues into compelling and effective policy; proven ability to frame complicated issues in ways that draw the attention of policymakers, stakeholder organizations, the media, and the general public to drive innovative, effective, and equitable policy and systems change.
- Exceptional project management skills, with the ability to manage multiple projects with staff and consultants while meeting deadlines and maintaining high quality; excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to anticipate and mitigate unexpected challenges.
- An unwavering commitment to a non-partisan approach and sophistication to engage with diverse audiences and perspectives; a proven ability to build strong professional relationships and connect diverse audiences to TFAH’s work.
- Commitment to living out the values of public health and healthy living in the workplace; a collaborative, collegial style that fosters respect, teamwork, and innovative approaches from a highly talented staff.
This position is based in Washington, DC and currently requires in-office presence at least two days per week. TFAH requires its employees to be up to date with the recommended COVID-19 vaccinations, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In accordance with applicable law, TFAH will consider potential reasonable accommodations to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for a bona fide medical reason or because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.
More information about Trust for America’s Health may be found at www.tfah.org.
This search is being led by Carolyn Ho and Robert Diggs of NPAG. Candidates may submit a cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with a resume via NPAG’s website.
Trust for America’s Health is an equal opportunity employer. TFAH does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth and pregnancy-related conditions), gender identity or expression (including transgender status), sexual orientation, marital status, military service and veteran status, physical or mental disability, genetic information, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws and ordinances.