Jobs Board

Chief of Staff (CoS) (The California Wellness Foundation)

Company Name

The California Wellness Foundation

Company City

Los Angeles

Company State


Job Location

Los Angeles or Oakland, CA

Company Information

The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness) is a private, independent foundation established in 1992 with a mission to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California. As one of the largest health-focused foundations in California, with over $1 billion in assets, Cal Wellness is a nationally recognized leader for its strategic core operating support for grantees; public policy grantmaking; and a focus on violence as a public health issue. It is Cal Wellness’ desire to promote equity and level the playing field so that everyone has access to good-paying jobs; healthy and safe neighborhoods; and quality health care services.

The foundation’s current Advancing Wellness grantmaking strategy includes four interrelated portfolios. Since its founding, Cal Wellness has awarded nearly 9,000 grants totaling more than $1 billion. As the foundation looks to the future, it is pursuing new and innovative strategies. beyond its core grantmaking to advance its mission, including implementation of new technology systems, development of its public affairs capacity, and establishing mission- and program-related investment portfolios.

Cal Wellness has a diverse staff of approximately 45 located in its Los Angeles and Oakland offices and a diverse 13-member Board located throughout the state of California. The foundation’s work underscores a belief that wellness requires social justice, a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and sustained efforts to eliminate systemic barriers that prevent access to health care, education, employment, and safety.

Please visit for more information.

Job Description

The California Wellness Foundation seeks a highly strategic, collaborative, adaptable, and action-oriented leader as Chief of Staff (CoS) to support the leadership of Lori Cox, the Vice President of Programs (VPP), in the Grants Program Department. This is an exciting time to join the team, as the VPP implements her vision entering her second year leading the department, and a new Cal Wellness long-term strategy is on the horizon. The CoS will serve as deputy to the VPP in managing the department, and support and oversee a wide range of programs related activities including strategy, grantmaking, staffing, learning, special projects, and program operations. The CoS will also support grant making from the VPP’s office and ensure the prioritization of critical issues for the VPP to help facilitate timely decision-making. The CoS may also provide leadership within one or more of the Advancing Wellness (AW) portfolios – including grantmaking, strategy, and learning – with a focus on areas outside of the main portfolios. This position will be the ultimate high-level utility player.

The CoS will serve as a senior leader and creative thought partner to the VPP bringing and building upon innovative ideas to enhance processes, systems, relationships, and outcomes. As the eyes and ears of the VPP, the CoS will leverage exceptional interpersonal and communication skills to develop and maintain strong relationships within the department and across the Foundation, breaking down silos and building bridges to conceive of and/or implement complex initiatives; build internal capacity; and step in, when needed, as a representative of the VPP, Grants Program Department, and Foundation. The ideal candidate will possess deep understanding of and direct experience in grant making programs; be passionate about the Foundation’s mission, vision and values; and enjoy hands-on leadership, coaching, and execution as part of a sizeable, passionate team. The CoS will supervisor one or more staff, and will have leadership presence, management experience, and a passion for developing teams and individuals.


The CoS will join Call Wellness’ diverse and highly collaborative 14-person Grants Program team headed by and reporting directly to the Vice President of Programs. The Grants Program Department leads grantmaking, internal evaluations, and organizational learning for the Foundation. The CoS will provide high-level strategic support and counsel within the Department on grantmaking priorities and special projects; overall strategy; budget and operations; and external engagement working effectively with Program Directors, Officers, Coordinators, and executive support staff. The CoS will bring expertise and bold thinking to help integrate strategies across the Advancing Wellness (AW) portfolios, enhance the grant review process, and pilot potential solutions that further Grants Program goals. The CoS will also work with the VPP and in close collaboration with other departments to ensure cohesive and compelling overarching strategy and team. The CoS will also engage and interact regularly with the CEO, the executive management team, and the Board of Directors.


The target starting annual salary for the newly hired Chief of Staff is $220,000 per year. Highlights from our benefit package include: a variety of medical insurance plans (most plans fully covered for staff, covered at 90-95% for dependents), medical and dental insurance (covered at 90-95%), a generous 401(k) retirement savings plan (with a 16% employer contribution), flexible paid time off, tuition reimbursement (up to $5,250 per year), professional development opportunities, matching gifts (for every $1 you give to an eligible organization, we’ll match $3), and the opportunity to work at a mission and values driven organization.

Job Qualifications

The ideal candidates will be aligned with our mission and values; demonstrate exceptional leadership, management, and communications skills with proven aptitude to respectfully develop genuine connections with internal team members and external constituencies; bring operational skills relating to grantmaking and program development; and embody, through lived experience, applying a commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion to our work. Key experiences, expertise, and interests that will contribute to success in this role include:

• Deep understanding of grantmaking including direct grantmaking, philanthropic operations, and/or community-based nonprofit experience.
• Passion for the Foundation’s mission and generalist experience that would support working flexibly across the AW portfolios.
• Excellent communication, interpersonal, and diplomacy skills, including exceptional writing, presentation, and facilitation skills, with the ability to interact with and mobilize diverse internal and external audiences.
• Strong staff, operational, and financial management experience and a track record of sound planning, oversight, and accountability capable of helping to develop and inspire a diverse team.
• Demonstrated ability to coach and develop others in content and context in preparation for projects, presentations, meetings, and convenings and to step in and help guide and execute grantmaking and programmatic work when needed.
• Excellent strategic and critical thinking skills and the ability to take a broad perspective in the analysis and evaluation of information.
• High level of flexibility and adaptability, with demonstrated ability to lead in a dynamic environment and work effectively across teams and at all levels of an organization.
• Exceptional relational and influencing skills to collaborate with and achieve actionable results through strong and sustainable relationships and partnership with others.
• Commitment to DEI with proven advocacy for advancing equity initiatives.
• Demonstrated ability to work both collaboratively and independently; prioritize duties and balance multiple competing demands; and follow through with diligence on strategies, tactics, and connections.
• Skills and experience in managing consultant and vendor relationships.


The ideal candidate will embody Cal Wellness’ core competencies:

• Live our Core Values: Respect, Integrity, Accountability, Equity, Stewardship, Excellence, Learning, and Trust.
• Drive Towards Innovation: Be bold. Experiment and learn from both successes and failures.
• Make a Difference: Yes, we can. Own our responsibilities and our ability to make positive change.
• Contribute to One Team: We’re in this together. Our success is a collective effort.
• Show Courage: Be thoughtful but act on your convictions. Be open to feedback.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply online and send a cover letter, resume, 3 references.

Resume review begins immediately. Those selected for advancement will be asked to participate in several rounds of interviews (virtual and/or in-person) and complete a writing assignment. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in our application process, please let us know.

The California Wellness Foundation is partnering with Walker and Associates Consulting – a Black- and woman-owned strategic management consulting and search firm located in Oakland – for this search. Questions or Nominations? Email us at .

The California Wellness Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse candidate pool. Additionally, we are a fair chance employer and welcome candidates with living experience with the criminal justice system.

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