Seeking State Leadership Consultant

Scope of Work for State Leadership Consultant


The Milbank Memorial Fund (“Fund”) is an endowed operating foundation that works to improve population health by connecting leaders and decision-makers with the best available evidence and experience. Over the past 20 years, the Fund has been committed to identifying, informing, and inspiring current and future state health policy leaders to enhance their effectiveness. As a result of COVID-19 and a new strategic plan, the Fund has made significant changes to its state leadership programmatic activities for 2021 including the creation of the Milbank Fellows Program, a new leadership program for senior state officials who are dedicated to improving population health in their communities. The Fund seeks an experienced consultant to develop the program’s curriculum, format, and operations plan, support efforts to recruit an inaugural cohort of participants, support Fund staff in implementing the new program, and inform key program evaluation activities.


State health policy leadership is a key strategic priority of the Fund because committed, competent government leaders influence state health policy in many important ways. The Fund’s definition of competence is captured in large part by its organizational values: objectivity and non-partisanship, collaboration and collegiality, stewardship and accountability, and leadership and excellence. The Fund’s programming has consistently sought to nurture and reinforce these values in the service of a vision of communities made healthier using the best evidence and experience.

Since 1992, the Fund’s primary programmatic activity in this area has been facilitating the Reforming States Group (RSG), a bipartisan group of leaders from both the executive and legislative branches that regularly gathers to share information, develop professional networks, and work on solutions to pressing problems in health care—all while using the best available evidence and experience to improve population health. In 2015, the Fund launched the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), a leadership development program that offers promising young leaders in executive and legislative branches valuable learning and networking experiences. Historically, the Fund’s work on state health policy leadership, including implementation of both the RSG and ELP, has been accomplished through well-curated, once-a-year in-person meetings where state leaders come together to share ideas, build professional networks, and learn from experts.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and an internal strategic planning process, the Fund is now developing new program models that can be accomplished through a mix of some in-person meetings and more frequent virtual meetings and interactions. This includes the creation of the Milbank Fellows Program, a new leadership program for state health officials who are committed to improving population health in their communities.

Description of the new Milbank Fellows Program (MFP)

The Fund is currently designing a leadership program for senior state officials (as well as HHS officials with significant responsibilities in large county governments) from the executive and legislative branches who have recently assumed significant leadership responsibilities and are committed to improving population health in their communities. The program is expected to be structured as a year-long cohort of approximately 10-15 state officials from different areas of government, including public health, Medicaid, housing, aging and disability, and more. With an emphasis on experience sharing and peer network creation, participants in the program will learn how to advance population health reforms by:

  • Learning from senior state leaders;
  • Receiving briefings on selected health policy issues from national experts;
  • Building relationships with peers from across the county; and
  • Deepening their understanding of public systems through participation in projects.

Scope of Work for Consultant:

The State Leadership Consultant (“Consultant”) will play a key role in designing and launching the MFP through 1) Developing the program’s curriculum, format, and operations plan, 2) Supporting efforts to recruit an inaugural cohort of participants, 3) Supporting implementation of the first cohort of MFP in partnership with Fund staff, and 4) Informing key program evaluation activities.

  1. Develop the program’s curriculum, format, and operations plan
    • The Consultant will be responsible for planning and facilitating a series of focus group discussions with the target audience for the MFP. The purpose of the focus groups is to inform the program’s curriculum, format, and operations plan using feedback and ideas from current state leaders.
    • Based on the high-level program description, information gathered from focus groups, and other relevant information (e.g. conversations with Fund staff and key external stakeholders), the Consultant will be responsible for recommending the design of the program’s curriculum and helping to document the curriculum before the program begins.
    • The Consultant will also recommend the program’s format by determining the frequency and duration of program sessions, meeting venues (in-person or virtual), time commitment, etc.
    • The Consultant will be responsible for developing a proposed operations plan for the MFP that defines instruction methods and delineates the primary responsibilities of the Consultant, Fund staff, and others (e.g. guest speakers, partner organizations) when implementing the program.
  1. Support efforts to recruit an inaugural cohort of participants
    • The Consultant will support the development of marketing materials, conduct individual outreach to potential participants, and participate in informational sessions or other activities to inform state leaders about the program.
    • The Consultant will help inform and participate in the participant selection process.
  1. Support implementation of MFP
        • In partnership with Fund staff, the Consultant will play a key role in implementing the first cohort of the MFP based on the proposed operations plan outlined in #1. This could include, but is not limited to:
          • Identifying guest speakers;
          • Informing session agendas and background materials;
          • Facilitating virtual and in-person meetings; and
          • Organizing and facilitating multi-state projects on specific topic.

4. Inform key program evaluation activities

  • In partnership with Fund staff, the Consultant will inform key program evaluation activities to ensure the Fund has the data and insights needed to continuously improve the program over time and monitor outcomes to assess impact. This could include, but is not limited to:
    • Helping develop a formal logic model for the program;
    • Developing and administering participant surveys; and
    • Supporting the creation of a formal evaluation strategy for the program.


As outlined in the Scope of Work above, the Consultant will perform a mix of duties that includes engaging with Fund staff, interacting with program participants, leading program sessions, and developing programmatic materials. Written deliverables will include, but are not limited to:

  1. Detailed curriculum for MFP
  2. Operating Plan for MFP
  3. Logic Model for MFP
  4. Evaluation Plan for MFP
  5. Marketing Materials for MFP
  6. Evaluation tools for MFP (surveys, participant assessments, etc.)

Contract Structure and Timeline

The contract will be structured as a fixed fee contract. Although the workload will vary somewhat throughout the year, the Fund would prefer to hire a consultant that can dedicate on average 20 hours per week to this project and have proposals submitted with that in mind.

This is a 1-year consulting contract for the 2021 calendar year. The Fund anticipates that the contract may be renewed in 2022, depending on the success of the first year of the MFP. The Fund will give priority to applicants who are interested in a multi-year commitment.


The ideal candidate will have the following experience, and professional qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • Significant experience as a state official with formal leadership responsibilities (legislative or executive – ideal candidate will have experience as both)
  • Expertise in health policy, public health, and health systems
  • Commitment to leadership and supporting a cadre of senior state officials
  • Familiarity with research and best practices for leadership development
  • Commitment to the Fund’s mission
  • Strong group organizing and facilitation skills, especially in virtual settings
  • Ability to build strong, personal working relationships with a variety of individuals and external constituencies
  • Excellent oral and written communication abilities
  • Prior experience developing new programs and/or designing curriculum (preferred)
  • Experience with program evaluation (preferred)

To Apply

Please send a resume, estimated number of hours (or FTE percentage) you would be able to allocate to this work in 2021, and your rate to Chris Koller at If you have questions about this scope of work, please contact Erica Brown at

The Milbank Memorial Fund is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a diverse group of colleagues and strongly encourage applications from candidates of color.

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