Harold P. Wimmer
National President and CEO
Harold P. Wimmer has dedicated his life to improving the lung health of all Americans. His work with the American Lung Association began in 1978, and he has brought a distinct mission-first approach with a focus on high performance and cost-effective operations to the nationwide American Lung Association.
Wimmer became National President and CEO in February 2013, and under his leadership, the organization serves as the nation's premier resource for lung health and a global leader in the discovery and dissemination of lung disease science. Building upon more than a century of funding promising research, Wimmer drives the organization's research program and has set a goal to double annual research funding by 2020.
As National President and CEO of the organization, Wimmer is responsible for carrying out the strategic framework and policies established by the National Board of Directors, and directs the executive operations of the Association including: organizational growth and development, advocacy, public policy, marketing, research and program services.
Notably, the Association announced its bold new strategic imperative to defeat lung cancer—the nation's leading cause of cancer deaths—and Wimmer has served as the driving force in the launch of the Association's LUNG FORCE initiative, aimed at building awareness, patient support and research funding for lung cancer. Since the launch of LUNG FORCE, the organization has doubled its investment in lung cancer research. In 2017, in partnership with the Ad Council, the American Lung Association launched "Saved By The Scan," a first-of-its kind public awareness campaign about the lifesaving potential of lung cancer screening for those at high risk, which was honored with the Fierce Award in 2018 by the Biden Cancer Initiative.
Under Wimmer's leadership, the organization is taking a prominent role in addressing threats to air quality and lung health, including strong advocacy in support of proven tobacco control policies, the Clean Air Act, Clean Power Plan and quality and affordable healthcare. In addition, under Wimmer's guidance, the organization has expanded its lung health resources to include in-person, phone and online resources for patients, caregivers and families.
The American Lung Association serves as the nation's longest standing voluntary health association, and Wimmer has enabled the organization to evolve and reinvigorate its base with a bold plan to expand its mission impact and save more lives. Under his leadership and direction, Wimmer helped transform the organization into one better able to deliver on its lifesaving mission through his pivotal role in the organization's historic restructuring into one nationwide organization, finalized on July 1, 2017. Today, the American Lung Association represents more than 300,000 volunteers and staff nationwide and serves the more than 33.6 million Americans living with lung disease.
Prior to leading the nationwide organization, Wimmer began his career with the Lung Association in 1978 and served in key executive positions in the American Lung Association in Illinois and the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. Wimmer earned a B.S. in Community Health and an M.S. in Health Administration & Policy from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He has been an active alumni member at U of I, serving on the Applied Health Sciences Alumni Board. Wimmer received the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois, College of Applied Health Sciences.