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Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Trust for America's Health
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Sep 24, 2021

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Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time
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As one of the nation’s leading nonprofit, nonpartisan public health policy, research, and advocacy organizations, Trust for America’s Health (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 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; convenes top experts and partners with diverse views to rethink and evolve priority areas; builds partnerships and coalitions to achieve mutually beneficial goals; and serves as a strong, credible, nonpartisan “go to” thought leader on public health issues for policymakers, media, partners, and the public.


Over the last four years, TFAH has sharpened its ability to do impactful work and transformed organizationally by growing its staff to 18, increasing its annual operating budget to more than $5 million, and doubling the number of its funding partners. Now, at a critical time for the field of public health – ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to an expansive focus on health equity and racial justice under the leadership of a new President and CEO, TFAH now seeks a new Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer who will serve as a strategic thought partner in shaping TFAH’s work advancing the field of public health through evidence-based policies and programs.


Organizational Overview

Founded in 2001, TFAH is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes optimal health for every person and community and makes the prevention of illness and injury a national priority. Originally founded to promote public health through an environmental lens, TFAH has evolved to become a leading independent voice for the field of public health. With equal measures of vision and pragmatism, TFAH develops reports, resources, initiatives, and recommends policies, to advance evidence-based public health systems that are ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century. TFAH educates policymakers, the media, partners, and the public about priority public health concerns and brings together experts and cross-sector partners to build support and advance ideas for policy change. Some key issue areas of focus have included state level of readiness to respond to public health emergencies; obesity; public health funding; infectious diseases; substance misuse and suicide; social determinants of health; health equity; healthy aging; and child and school health. TFAH promotes prevention-oriented policies, programs, and resources during its ongoing communications with both federal and state legislative and executive branch policymakers.


TFAH’s impact has been expansive, working across a broad range of sectors generating ideas for new evidence-based federal and state policies, and helping to build support to advance programs and policies that work. One critical way in which TFAH does this is through its 90+ evidence-based policy reports, annually garnering more than 1,000 news articles and significant policymaker, partner, and public attention. For example, in its series Ready or Not: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism, TFAH examines federal and state readiness to address challenges such as bioterrorism, weather-related emergencies and natural disasters, and infectious disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19. Through its reports, TFAH seeks to make complex public health issues and policy recommendations accessible to priority audiences and decisionmakers.


Through the report series Pain in the Nation and congressional briefing in May 2021, TFAH has outlined with urgency the nation’s deaths of despair crisis from drugs, alcohol, and suicide. Because TFAH tracks and reports on leading and emerging public health issues over time, it highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol and drug use as well as suicide rates. Its evidence-based research, reports, education, and advocacy has led TFAH to develop real-time solutions and recommendations for the nation to promote mental health and well-being and prevent substance misuse and suicide.


TFAH also takes a leading role in working with public and private partners across a broad range of sectors to advocate for high-level initiatives to improve health and well-being and advance health equity for people and communities. These initiatives convene experts and policymakers who partner with states and communities seeking innovation and evidence-based approaches, which help build support to advance programs and policies that work. This is exemplified in TFAH’s Age-Friendly Public Health Systems initiative which is implementing a framework to improve the health and well-being of older adults. Recently, TFAH developed a policy brief with recommendations and actions that government agencies, the healthcare sector, and community partners should take to ensure older adults and people with disabilities who are homebound get the COVID-19 vaccine.


Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Executive Vice president & chief operating officer

The new Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer will join a dynamic and growing team at an important inflection point for the field of public health. In the first 6 to 12 months and beyond, the new EVP & COO can expect to engage the following core opportunities and challenges:


Partner with the President and CEO to chart and shape TFAH's future strategic direction.

The new EVP & COO will work in partnership with the President and CEO to develop and implement strategic plans and organizational priorities, including coordinating the formulation of policy positions, goals, objectives, and strategies. S/He/They will provide strategic input into developing policies that protect and improve the public’s health and lead specific issue campaigns in support of those policies. As a senior policy advisor to the President and CEO and Board of Directors, the EVP & COO will provide counsel on policy issues, particularly TFAH’s role in strengthening and modernizing the public health system.


Serve as ambassador and spokesperson for TFAH to the media and external stakeholders.

The EVP & COO will serve as an external face of TFAH, representing the organization to Congress, the Administration, the media, and partner organizations. S/He/They will also elevate the activities of the organization, its programs, and goals by continuing to increase TFAH’s “brand recognition” as a trusted organization and partner that 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. The EVP & COO will engage key national, state, and local organizations, policymakers, community groups, and individuals as advocates for improving public health in their communities and throughout the nation.



Strategically lead operations to ensure TFAH's growth and stability.

The EVP & COO will oversee and manage TFAH’s core business functions and internal operations, including finance and budget planning, personnel, office management, and contract management, ensuring quality control organization-wide. S/He/They will staff the Board of Directors’ Finance, Audit, and Compensation Committee, and be responsible for sound financial management in accordance with organizational budget policies, ensure maximum resource utilization, alignment of budgets with organizational goals, and continued positive financial position. Additionally, s/he/they will also oversee the process of soliciting, garnering, implementing, and coordinating grants and contracts. Internally, s/he/they will establish and support principles, practices, and policies that reflect diversity, equity, and inclusion, and that are integrated across the organization at all levels.


Support and nurture the growth and development of a talented staff.

In partnership with the President and CEO, the EVP & COO will oversee a talented senior management team and will supervise, mentor, and lead by example to build teamwork and inspire top performance within the organization. S/He/They will enhance and develop professional development and management systems that deepen the capacity of TFAH’s staff. The EVP & COO will also refine TFAH’s employment proposition and continue cultivating a work environment and climate that attracts, retains, supports, and motivates a diverse staff.



The new Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer will be a seasoned and innovative leader with deep knowledge of the public health policy landscape, a strong operational skillset, and significant management experience. 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:

  • Minimum 10 years in senior leadership roles in policy, advocacy, and/or public health organizations; extensive knowledge of federal legislative, regulatory, and budget processes, decisionmakers, and key stakeholders. A Master’s Degree in Public Policy, Public Health, Juris Doctor, or the equivalent is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated organizational management experience with the intersection of operations, finance, development for effective stewardship of resources within a growing nonprofit setting.
  • Exceptional organizational leadership skills with the proven ability to motivate, manage, and support the development of a small but deeply committed group of professionals in pursuit of important goals and lasting change.
  • An unwavering commitment to a bipartisan approach and the gravitas and savvy to engage with diverse audiences and perspectives; a proven ability to build strong professional relationships and connect diverse audiences to TFAH’s work.
  • A demonstrated track-record driving advocacy, policy, and program development to advance public health and health equity; 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, and transportation).
  • Deep personal commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the courage to elevate sensitive conversations that recognize and address organizational and field power dynamics; experience creating internal practices that support and advance equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Sophisticated expertise in representing an organization externally and leveraging media attention to spotlight new and emerging issues; ambassadorial approach that passionately articulates the evidence and analysis supporting policy change.
  • Experience working with funders and co-developing a scope of work; familiarity with major institutional funders supporting TFAH’s core focus areas. Experience overseeing financial planning and management of a comparably sized budget and funding streams.
  • Dedicated team player with a creative, flexible, and detail-oriented style who can assess and anticipate opportunities on the horizon and guide a talented team in pursuit of the larger vision; a healthy sense of humor and appreciation for the personal creativity and inspiration that can come from work in an entrepreneurial environment.
  • 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.


The salary is commensurate with experience, and TFAH provides a competitive benefits package. All TFAH staff are currently working remotely. This position will be based in Washington, DC and eventually require in office presence.



More information about Trust for America’s Health may be found at:


This search is being led by Carolyn Ho, Cara Pearsall, and Andres Marcuse-Gonzalez of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.


As an Equal Opportunity employer, Trust for America’s Health is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and actively seeks individuals who can offer broader perspectives to our organizational thinking and culture.

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