Home » Jobs » President


Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut
Job Title: President
Job Type:
Executive Director
Job Search Ends:
October 14th, 2022
Organization's Website:

The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut (Universal) and its parent organization, the Connecticut Health Advancement and Research Trust (CHART), are seeking a new President.

About the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut

Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut is a 501(c)(3) advocacy and grantmaking organization founded in 2000 to advance health justice in Connecticut.  In large part, our health is determined by our ability to fulfill social and economic needs -- access to quality health care, housing, and education; jobs with fair pay; and safe environments.  Racism, sexism, other forms of discrimination, and poverty are obstacles to the fulfillment of these needs that we must collectively work to identify, disrupt, and dismantle.  Universal’s work to cultivate and nurture collective power to achieve better health for all, therefore, is centered in the larger fight for social justice.

Working in coalition with grassroots community partners, advocacy groups, and activists, Universal focuses its health care advocacy in four areas: affordability, access, accountability, and anti-racism/equity.  Through sustained efforts to organize and build community voice and grassroots power, Universal currently seeks to achieve several important policy goals that may include:

  • Enact health coverage for immigrants, regardless of age or status

  • Expand ways to hold hospitals accountable to meet community health needs in all regions of the state

  • Promote oversight to protect consumers from insurance, hospital system and prescription drug industry abuse 

  • Establish a state Prescription Drug Affordability Board 

  • Support behavioral health initiatives to meet diverse community health needs

Led by Frances Padilla, who has announced her retirement after 18 years at Universal, the Foundation is at an exciting inflection point as it approaches its 23rd anniversary, creating the opportunity for a creative, strategic, and passionate leader to partner with dedicated internal and external stakeholders to design and implement grantmaking, advocacy, and policy  strategies; take stock of Universal’s structure and accomplishments; and accelerate the movement for health justice - all essential to the realization of the Foundation’s mission.

Going forward, Universal will focus its organizational resources on building organizing capacity at the grassroots level, centering Black and Brown people, people with low and moderate incomes statewide, people with chronic illness, women, and other people with marginalized identities.  The focus will involve direct grantmaking and leveraging Universal’s relationships to move change.  The President will have the opportunity to shape and influence how this evolves in coming years.  

Reporting to the Board, the new President of Universal will collaborate with the organization’s staff, board, grantee partners and other partner organizations, and donors to realize its vision and mission.  Applying a trusted-based philanthropy lens, the President will be a strategic partner with the Board of Directors and lead the staff to develop and implement focused, bold, and impactful strategies.  The President will also be a visible representative, spokesperson, and fundraiser for Universal’s mission statewide and nationally and ensures Universal’s financial strength and integrity.

The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, based in Middletown, is led by a 12-member Board of Directors and has 7 staff members.  Its assets total approximately $25.5 million, and its current operating budget is $1.8 million.  In its most recent fiscal year, the Foundation made 19 grants totaling $300,000.

Essential Responsibilities

The President will be expected to:

Provide Strategic/Visionary Leadership

  • Work with Board and staff to lead Universal in setting overall vision, direction and priorities and developing and implementing programmatic and organizational strategies and goals; Regularly assess Universal’s initiatives and programs and use data to guide decision-making;

  • Lead the advancement of Universal’s already-established commitment to living its anti-racist values throught its internal policies and practices and the public policies that Universal and its partners advance;

  • In partnership with staff and advisors, oversee Universal’s programmatic work, operations, financial management, administration, human resources, fundraising, communications and external relations; 

  • Ensure sound financial, operational, administrative and investment policies are in place and in practice; develop and administer budgets; 

  • Enhance and sustain a highly collaborative workplace culture that reflects Universal’s values; Ensure open and clear channels of communication; Employ transparent decision making; nurture and support a team that is passionate, knowledgeable, and flexible;

  • Advocate through writing, speaking, and collaboration in the field of  philanthropy for practices that challenge the status quo, shift power dynamics, and work towards the reduction of unaccountable power in health care systems, as well as accountability in broader racial, social, and economic justice systems;

Maintain Board Relations

  • Work closely with board members to create opportunities for them to contribute their time, talents and other resources in ways that are satisfying to them and beneficial to Universal’s work;

  • Regularly meet with and provide the board with the information needed for making sound decisions in all governance areas;

  • Ensure the highest quality standards for board governance;

  • Nurture a culture of partnership between board and staff; 

Leverage Communications, External Relations and Strategic Partnerships 

  • Work to increase awareness of Universal’s mission and objectives; Regularly communicate Universal’s vision and goals;

  • Heighten Universal’s visibility among key state and national leaders in the nonprofit, public and private sectors; Strengthen its voice within racial, social, and economic justice sectors; 

  • Broaden Universal’s relationships through service on select boards, committees and task forces; 

  • Position Universal both to learn and to influence discussions on the direction of health care in Connecticut. 

  • Engage deeply with Universal’s target populations, communities, and key audiences and stakeholders; Understand their needs, perspectives, histories, and interests.

Lead Operations and Finance

  • Lead financial planning, implementation, and management, including budgeting and forecasting; In partnership with the Board and investment managers, ensure Universal’s long-term financial sustainability;

  • Ensure an effective system of internal controls is in place to provide reasonable assurance that budgetary, program, and administrative operations are efficient and effective; assets are safeguarded; financial information is reliable; and that Universal is following applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures;


  • In partnership with the Board and staff, prepare an annual development strategy; Identify opportunities and secure revenue from a range of funding sources; 

  • Cultivate, develop and steward relationships with potential donors; 

  • Leverage Universal’s grantmaking for additional funding and co-investment, and ensure that CHART meets the public support test;

Ideal Experience, Skills, and Attributes

Ideally, the President will have the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of 10 years in a senior leadership role in a philanthropic or nonprofit organization with responsibility for operations and finance, staff supervision and development, program development, board engagement, and external relations; 

  • Strong organizational, problem-solving, and collaboration skills to facilitate thoughtful decision making and enable others to contribute fully to the overall success of the organization;

  • A successful track record managing a healthy organizational culture as a unifying team builder who inspires collaboration and accomplishment among staff;

  • Strong cultural competency and demonstrated successful experience working with diverse teams and advancing work that centers racial, gender, social, and economic equity; 

  • Demonstrated ability to build genuine, productive, trusting relationships with a diverse array of stakeholders and partners; Lived experience as a person who carries a marginalized identity or identities is highly desirable;

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively in a range of settings;

  • Ability to work closely with financial staff and advisors in developing and managing budgets; experience working with investment professionals and/or an investment committee is desirable;

  • Credibility and experience to connect the Foundation to a range of resources and opportunities; A successful record of enthusiastically raising money from a variety of sources is highly desirable; 

  • Demonstrated understanding of the power of organizing and advocacy for social change coupled with political savvy; An understanding of trust-based philanthropy and its role in advancing transformative change is helpful;

  • A well-informed understanding of the diversity and complexity of movements for social change and an analysis of the tools and levers of change that will solve complex social problems; Experience as a community organizer is a plus;  

  • Legislative advocacy experience is a plus; An understanding of the political culture and landscape of Connecticut is desirable;

  • High level of emotional intelligence, empathy, humility, integrity, and the capacity for deep listening and self-reflection;

  • Passion for storytelling, learning, and sharing lessons learned in order to foster change;

  • A sense of humor to help manage stress and foster belonging.

Salary and Compensation

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.  The midpoint of the anticipated salary range is $167,414.  Universal offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package that includes full health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement contributions, health reimbursement plan, and paid time off.  This is a full-time exempt salaried position.  


Universal is based in Middletown, CT, with staff currently working remotely and in office.  The incoming President should be capable of effectively managing a hybrid team and will be expected to spend a substantial part of their time in Universal’s office. 

Commitment to Equity

Universal is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, disability, whistleblower status, or any other category protected by state or federal law.  Universal strongly encourages people with traditionally marginalized identities to apply. Universal believes that leadership comes in many forms and encourages anyone who possesses many of our ideal qualifications to apply, including leaders who have not previously held executive positions and/or roles in philanthropy. 

Application Process

Please submit a substantive cover letter highlighting interest, relevant experience and values alignment, as well as a current resume no later than Friday, October 14, 2022 to:  Lauren I. Gumbs, Senior Partner, Gumbs + Partners

Via email, applications@gumbspartners.com

To learn more about the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, please visit:  https://universalhealthct.org/

133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606
© 2019 Philanthropy Massachusetts