Carolyn Bancroft, The Rockefeller Foundation

TITLE: Senior Program Associate

FUNDING AREAS: Health systems, universal health coverage, monitoring and evaluation, healthcare reform

CONTACT: 212-869-8500

IP TAKE: Bancroft has worked overseas to improve global health care and is an expert in research. Most grant opportunities lie in capacity building in health financing, universal health coverage, and access to adequate health care.

PROFILE: Carolyn Bancroft has only been with The Rockefeller Foundation since 2011, but she's been working on the worldwide health scene since college. Bancroft currently serves as a Rockefeller senior program associate, maintaining relationships with current and prospective grantees through grantmaking, collaborations with partners, and conducting ongoing research for new funding areas. Bancroft is a member of the foundation's Transforming Health Systems initiative, but she's also involved with new work on health vulnerabilities of informal workers. 

Bancroft graduated from New York's Columbia University in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in urban studies and anthropology. She went back to Columbia a couple of years later to get a master's in public health and is currently pursuing her PhD there as well.

Through a number of short-term work experiences, Bancroft has had the opportunity to travel the world and apply herself in diverse public health settings. After college, Bancroft worked in a rural health district on health media and education for the Kendeya Community Health Partnership in Senegal. The following year, she worked as a researcher for the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies in Cairo, Egypt. During this time, she also served as a psychosocial worker for Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance.

Bancroft also specialized in research. She worked as project assistant for the Social Science Research Council, a graduate research assistant for the Program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia University, and as a research associate at the University of Indonesia before headed back and began working as a grant manager for the Program on Forced Migration and Health in 2010.

At Rockefeller, Bancroft has been focusing her attention on eHealth and the the Joint Learning Network, and monitoring and evaluation of universal health coverage, which is one of Rockefeller's grant priority areas, as it is believed to be a pathway to increased access to adequate care and financial resilience for vulnerable populations. Although this issue hits close to home for Americans, Bancroft must maintain balance between local and global needs. Universal health coverage in all the world's countries was once considered impossible, but Rockefeller believes it is now possible thanks to political commitment and financing reforms.

There are four main issue areas of Rockefeller's grantmaking, and advancing health is one of them. Within Advancing Health, the key focus for the current initiative is working at the global, regional and country level to advance that progress toward Universal Health Coverage. The $115 million in total health grantmaking focuses specifically on supporting global partners such as the World Health Organization, funding the Joint Learning Network and investments in Vietnam, Rwanda, Ghana and Bangladesh.

Bancroft has been a featured speaker and presenter at various conferences and seminars. She has spoken at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and at the Joint Learning Network regarding universal health coverage. Bancroft served on the steering committee of the First Global Conference on Social Franchising in Kenya and the Metrics Working Group. 

For more information on Rockefeller's health grantmaking, check out the foundation's Current Work page and Universal Health Coverage page.