Chief Executive Officer, American Lung Association in California

Opening Date: January 27, 2014
State California
Association: American Lung Association in California


Lung cancer is the nation’s deadliest cancer, causing more deaths annually than breast, colon, pancreas and prostate cancers combined, and has been increasing five times faster among women than men. For more than 100 years, American Lung Association in CA has been the premier organization in California fighting for lung health through advocacy, public awareness, education and research. American Lung Association in CA helps people and communities fight countless causes that can lead to lung disease and lung cancer–from tobacco smoking to environmental hazards.

American Lung Association in CA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with $12 million in revenue and more than $28 million in assets. With nine offices located strategically throughout the state, American Lung Association in CA provides programs and services to advance lung health in local communities statewide. American Lung Association in CA is one of ten regional chartered associations under the umbrella of the nationwide American Lung Association– the oldest voluntary health agency in the country.

In Spring 2014, a national strategic cause initiative will focus renewed attention on the critical issues of lung health–providing inspiration and vision to drive statewide and national fundraising efforts. California will be a leader in the cause.

Reporting Relationships

The Chief Executive Officer reports directly to the 20-member Board of Directors of American Lung Association in California, located throughout the state. See:

Position Summary

The Chief Executive Officer is the strategic leader of the statewide California organization. Externally, the CEO is the spokesperson to all audiences–the general public, thousands of volunteers statewide, and California policy-makers and legislators–and leads fundraising and image-building programs focused on asthma, lung disease, tobacco and air quality. Internally, the CEO works closely with the statewide Board of Directors, motivates and manages 66 full-time and 21 part-time staff members in four regional offices and nine local service centers; ensuring effective implementation of the mission, strategic plan and fundraising goals.


Board Relations/Volunteer Management

  • Serve the statewide volunteer Board of Directors, and utilize board members’ individual strengths for the benefit of the organization.
  • Lead communications with the Board, keeping members informed about fundraising and up-to-date on legislation and regulations that impact American Lung Association in California.
  • Serve as one of nine executives on the National Executive Leadership Team (ELT), led by national American Lung Association CEO Harold Wimmer.


  • Lead and implement the strategic development plan required by national American Lung Association.
  • Increase major gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations–evaluating current funding sources for improvement and efficiency, and generating new income sources.
  • Further develop events to generate unrestricted funds in key markets–Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
  • Coach staff and volunteers to imbue a culture of fund development as part of the daily responsibilities of board and staff.

Fiscal Management

  • Maintain sound budget and asset management.
  • Follow national American Lung Association Policies, Guidelines and Charter agreements, and comply with the American Lung Association Policy and Fiscal Responsibility.
  • Work closely with the Board’s Finance and Audit Committees, and oversee annual audit performed by a qualified, independent CPA firm.

Brand Building

  • Serve as primary spokesperson of American Lung Association in California brand in California, and the national strategic cause initiative.
  • Guide communications and marketing staff to achieve greater market awareness of American Lung Association in California and increase attendance at events.

Staff/Organizational Management

  • Inspire and manage staff located in four major offices (Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego) and nine local service area offices, developing a cohesive, coordinated, state-wide organization.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of an organizational diversity plan that promotes all facets of diversity as a standard operating function.

Public Policy/Advocacy/Community Relations

  • Become known to legislators and policy-makers in Sacramento and key cities and counties to advance the mission-driven public policy initiatives.
  • Maintain key professional relationships with the California Thoracic Society (CTS), American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), and other representatives from the state’s medical community.
  • Promote public policy and health care initiatives and become the “go-to” CEO for comments on public health, the environment, clean air and smoking cessation, maintaining American Lung Association in California as a leader in the public policy/advocacy arena.


Experience Requirements

  • Minimum of seven years of executive or senior management experience, preferably in the nonprofit sector.
  • Track record of leading innovative and results-producing fundraising accomplishments of more than $3 million annually, with an emphasis on unrestricted funds from individual and corporate donors, foundations and events.
  • Proven ability to manage a complex organization with a minimum $10 million annual operating budget, and a solid understanding of financial management, budgeting and forecasting.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, with exceptional ability to nurture relationships with internal and external constituents and to serve as an enthusiastic and credible ambassador for ALA in CA.
  • Previous track record of working and communicating well with Boards of Directors and large staff located in multi-offices across the state.
  • Track record of stakeholder management–strong, positive relationships with major donors, community leaders, members of the Board and other constituents.
  • Outstanding communications skills, with the experience to motivate, excite, and educate internal and external audiences.
  • Political savvy regarding the policies, issues and players involved in protecting California’s “green” and healthy environment. Experience working with key opinion-leaders and legislators at city, county and state levels.
  • Willingness to travel often throughout the state for frequent interface with board-members, officers, staff and volunteers in all service areas. Ability to travel to national meetings several times a year. Total travel time estimated at 40%.

Personal Attributes

  • Self-motivated, confident and influential style, coupled with integrity and flexibility. Strong leader with high emotional intelligence who advocates for change and achieves results collaboratively.
  • Business acumen and solid financial grounding. Ability to handle complex budgets and forecasting with a very involved and committed board of directors.
  • Enjoys fundraising and building relationships to secure the financial success of an organization while promoting its mission.
  • Warm personal and disciplined style with the ability to interface effectively with diverse audiences–ethnic, political, geographic and philosophical–and significant experience building an ethnically diverse organization.
  • Experience collaborating with a national organization, and accustomed to negotiating and navigating multiple audiences to achieve collaboration.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills, including public speaking.
  • Character and substance; high ethical and professional standards.
  • A keen appreciation and understanding of the ALA in CA mission and values.

Education and Certifications

  • A four-year degree from an accredited college or university is required. A Master’s or advanced degree is preferred.


  • Salary is competitive in the nonprofit sector.

Application Procedure:

Submit resumes or nominations, with assurance of confidentiality, to Berkhemer Clayton, Inc.:

Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire
Tel: (213) 621-2300, ext. 23

Ben Lambert
Vice President
Tel: (213) 621-2300, ext. 12

Commitment to Diversity
American Lung Association in California and Berkhemer Clayton, Inc. are committed to a process of diversity and inclusion. We welcome all qualified candidates for consideration.

American Lung Association in California is an EEO/AA/M/F/DV Employer