President & CEO

President & Chief Executive Officer
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Our Client
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to finding cures for leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood cancers while ensuring access to treatments for all blood cancer patients. LLS is headquartered in White Plains, NY, with six regional offices and 61 chapters located across the United States and Canada. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has invested almost $1 billion in research, specifically targeting blood cancers, through the help of its aggressive fundraising campaigns, such as Team In Training, Light The Night Walk, and School and Youth programs. In 2013, revenues for LLS were approximately $300 million with 1,200 full-time employees across North America. There are few, if any, means of preventing or early screening for blood cancers. Because of this, LLS focuses on life-saving research to find cures. LLS funds research across the continuum, from basic research through clinical trials, from bench to bedside. LLS research grants have funded many of today's most promising advances, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Sustained research investments are fueling an explosion of innovative science and clinical successes. New safe and effective treatments, once unimaginable, are saving lives today. Recognizing that therapies were not getting to patients fast enough, LLS created the Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP), supporting applied research and forging collaborations with biotechnology companies to help bridge the gap between academic discovery and successful drug development. Through TAP and other efforts, LLS has become a leader in targeting specific patient needs through "entrepreneurial philanthropy," which teams the charitable resources of LLS with private sector partners to address acute patient needs that are left unmet by other public and private efforts.

Survival rates for many blood cancer patients have doubled, tripled and even quadrupled since 1960 thanks to LLS' dedication to therapy research. From 2000 through 2013, almost 40 percent of new anti-cancer drugs were FDA-approved for blood cancer patients -- more first-ever approvals than for any other group of cancers -- and many of these were advanced with funding from LLS. Some of these blood cancer therapies are now helping patients with other cancers and nonmalignant diseases.

LLS is the leading source of free blood cancer information, education and support for patients, survivors, families and healthcare professionals. LLS' Information Resource Center provides the public, families, health professionals and people living with blood-related cancer accurate, up-to-date, disease-related information and referral services; teleconferences and educational webcasts; support groups; information on the latest clinical trials and treatments; workshops that address survivorship issues; and an award-winning website. Since its inception in 1997, the Information Resource Center has interacted with more than one million callers. Last year alone, LLS specialists fielded almost 60,000 inquiries and performed more than 6,000 clinical trial searches using the LLS's TrialCheck tool. Meanwhile, LLS' co-pay assistance program has provided more than $200 million to date to help eligible blood cancer patients afford health-insurance premiums and prescription drug co-pays. The program has assisted more than 36,000 patients since its inception in 2007.

Beyond research and patient services, LLS is also focused on public policy with the larger goal of increasing funding from non-LLS sources to accelerate the discovery and development of blood cancer therapies. This includes advocacy work to encourage an effective and science-driven regulatory system for efficient review of these innovative therapies. This effort is also focused on ensuring that patients have insurance coverage for their treatments and well-coordinated, high quality cancer care. These initiatives on the public policy stage have seen significant results. In FY 2012, LLS advocated for legislation in 10 states to provide more equitable insurance coverage of orally-administered cancer treatments while also advocating for legislation to accelerate drug approvals and mitigate drug shortages.

With regard to strategic communication initiatives, LLS has taken a traditional approach for the past several decades. However, due to the evolution of social media as a means for communication, LLS has launched the "Someday is Today" campaign, a branding and awareness platform to raise the organization's profile, reach important new audiences and help support revenue growth. Thanks to a substantial portfolio of print, outdoor and digital advertising, "Someday is Today" is working towards increasing the public's awareness of LLS and allowing the organization to continue to change the landscape of cancer.

"Someday is Today" is a component of LLS' long-range strategic plan. While the organization remains a critical cornerstone of the industry, LLS has mapped out a strategic plan that strongly focuses on rebranding itself as a ground-breaking, trusted resource to individuals effected by blood cancers. This strategic initiative is one of the many components that is allowing LLS to effect change within the community and continue to save lives of blood cancer patients not someday, but today.

The Role
LLS seeks a new President and CEO to lead the organization to its next level of impact and organizational success. This position is an opportunity to lead an organization that has experienced success and accelerated growth. The President and CEO will be an individual with the interest and capacity to understand and embrace the organization's mission and the leadership skills to build upon the organization's record of growth and excellence. As the public face of LLS, the President and CEO will represent the organization's mission and programs. S/he will be the driving force behind the enhancement of the LLS brand, programs and services, and in turn building increased financial support for LLS' work.
The President and CEO will have practical experience from the nonprofit, philanthropic and/or business sectors and the ability to build effective partnerships among Board leadership, staff, and external constituents. Strong skills in fundraising/revenue generation are also important, as is a clear understanding of cost control for improved operational efficiency. It will be key that the President & CEO have both a strong internal and external focus for purposes of advancing the mission of LLS and positioning the organization to improve its reputation as an innovative, driving force within the cancer community.

Candidate Profile
LLS is well-positioned to recruit a respected and visionary leader to build upon its foundation and history. The organization seeks an individual with an enthusiastic commitment to the mission of LLS.

The President and CEO will:

  • Partner with the Board of Directors and staff to lead the implementation and amplify upon the organization's strategic plan.
  • Communicate in a compelling way about LLS's mission to a wide audience of stakeholders to propel robust growth in attracting resources to allow LLS to reach ambitious growth in mission delivery.
  • Drive revenue growth from a diverse array of sources and programs, including providing ongoing support to the chapters' growing revenue.
  • Foster a culture of effective marketing and communication across the organization that works synergistically with mission delivery functions.
  • Demonstrate a high degree of operational excellence to ensure the people, processes, and systems are in place to support LLS' mission and financial goals.
  • Manage operational efficiency to optimize the impact of the organization and the case for support by LLS donors at all levels.
  • Utilize and build upon the technological framework LLS has developed to date, with the objective of harnessing digital tools to enhance resource mobilization, constituency engagement, and impact.
  • Leverage a strong existing Leadership Team at the HQ, Chapter and Regional level to maximize operations. Maintain a culture of shared responsibility and stewardship among the senior leadership team.
  • Provide intellectual leadership and foster an entrepreneurial environment of creativity and innovation.
  • Ensure that all activities and programs meet the highest standards of ethics and transparency and are aligned with LLS's core values.

Specific competencies include the following:

Vision and Strategy

  • The successful candidate will be a change agent who can build upon the current success of LLS. S/he will have the ability to quickly understand the history and existing culture of LLS and in turn anticipate new, meaningful opportunities for the organization.

Marketing and Fundraising

  • The successful candidate must possess outstanding oral and written communication skills and the ability to articulate the organization's vision in exciting ways across diverse audiences. S/he will have the ability to convincingly and credibly "tell the story" and speak to the real issues facing the people and families impacted by cancer. S/he will have experience externally representing an organization to a broad set of audiences through traditional and new forms of media and an appreciation for the ways in which technology can be leveraged to share LLS's message as broadly and effectively as possible.
  • Ideally, the candidate will have a keen awareness of the public health influencers, the research community, donors, and drug and systems developers. S/he will possess significant experience and aptitude to fundraise with major donors, including individual, corporate and foundation donors. Ideally, this experience will include a proven ability to cultivate new revenue streams.

Management and Leadership

  • The candidate will have demonstrated successful management of a large, complex and growing organization in achieving clear strategic results. In terms of style, the successful candidate will have demonstrated s/he is a leader who people are moved to follow. S/he will have a proven track record in recruiting and retaining exceptional talent and in strengthening and developing staff. The ideal candidate will bring a highly collaborative, consensus-building management style to an organization. His/her management style will also emphasize accountability, follow-up and transparency. The successful candidate will be a visible and accessible manager and leader able to communicate the vision of LLS effectively and widely while working to set expectations at all levels.

Knowledge and Experience

  • The successful candidate will be an accomplished and recognized leader with experience in the private, public, and/or nonprofit sectors. S/he will bring strong business and financial acumen and a track record of leading expansion and change within an organization. Ideally, s/he will possess a depth of experience or exposure around issues in the health sector and medical community, including the public health, private sector health and scientific and research environments, and bring wisdom about how to continue to strengthen and grow partnerships in these fields.

Interpersonal Skills and Passion

  • The ideal candidate will be a leader with the maturity and intellect needed to make decisions in the best interest of the organization, staff and Board. The successful candidate must show passion for and commitment to the mission of LLS and bring great energy and endurance to achieving the work of the organization.


  • Compensation for this opportunity has been designed to attract a leader of significant accomplishment.


Kate Harvey
Russell Reynolds Associates
200 Park Avenue
Suite 2300
New York, NY 10166-0002

Tel: +1-212-351-2000
Direct: +1-212-351-2278
Fax: +1-212-370-0896

Mary C. Tydings
Russell Reynolds Associates
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-5810

Tel: +1-202-654-7800
Direct: +1-202-654-7822
Fax: +1-202-331-9348


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) does not accept resumes from third party recruitment/search firms. Please do not forward resumes to LLS employees or any company locations or email addresses. LLS is not responsible for any fees related to resumes not solicited by LLS Recruiting.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

last updated on Friday, May 02, 2014