Executive Director

September 2019 | Damascus, MD Download PDF

The Sarcoma Foundation of America seeks an Executive Director to oversee the Foundation, provide leadership and strategic direction, and be the national face of the organization.

About the Sarcoma Foundation of America

Sarcoma-Foundation-marchThe Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) was founded in 2000, when then 3-year-old Jeffrey Thornton was diagnosed with sarcoma, a cancer that arises from the connective tissues. Jeffrey’s parents, Dr. Mark and Patricia Thornton, along with physician Dr. John Brooks, were motivated to act not only to help treat his cancer but others’ as well. They found there was no national patient advocacy and research organization dedicated to increasing treatment options for sarcoma patients and their families. The SFA was formed in an effort to fill that void.

A national organization, SFA is dedicated to advocating for sarcoma patients by funding research and by increasing awareness about the disease. The organization raises money to privately fund grants for sarcoma researchers and conducts education and advocacy efforts on behalf of sarcoma patients.

The goal of SFA is to eliminate pain and suffering due to sarcoma by:

  • Advocating for increased government funding against sarcoma
  • Creating alliances with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries to rapidly develop new and better sarcoma treatments
  • Increasing public awareness regarding early detection of sarcoma
  • Educating sarcoma patients

The SFA Board of Directors are advised by sarcoma experts who serve on its Medical Advisory Board. The Medical Advisory Board reviews and approves all recipients of SFA research grants.

The SFA has grown exponentially since 2000 and has attracted over 5,000 members from all 50 states. It is the only national prominent charitable organization focused on the mission of advocating for sarcoma patients and their families and finding new and better therapies to treat sarcoma. The vision of the SFA is one of finding the cure, in our time.

About Philanthropy at the Sarcoma Foundation of America

Sarcoma-Foundation-researcherBecause the primary purpose of the SFA is to increase the focus and attention on sarcoma research, there is an emphasis on fundraising for research grants and advocacy activities.

SFA raises approximately $3M per year. They have supported 115 sarcoma research grants since 2003, along with two large American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Foundation Clinical Research grants worth $450,000 and six ASCO Young Investigator Awards.

About the Position

The Executive Director (ED) of the Sarcoma Foundation of America is responsible for overall management and operations of the Foundation under the guidance and direction of the Board of Directors. They will provide leadership and direction to the Foundation, while partnering with and reporting to the Board to ensure that the goals, vision, and financial objectives of the Foundation are met.

The ED will be expected to ensure ongoing programmatic excellence and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals; and be the national face of SFA and the fight against sarcoma. In the first three months, the ED will be responsible for conducting a comprehensive assessment of the organization and presenting recommendations for new goal setting and achievement.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Provide strategic direction and general oversight for SFA’s programs, ensuring that SFA has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission, toward which it makes consistent and timely progress
  • Procure resources to sustain the organization’s stability and growth
  • Provide leadership in developing program, organizational, and financial plans with the Board of Directors and staff, and carry out plans and policies authorized by the board
  • Promote active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas of the organization’s work
  • Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field

External Relations

  • Oversee fundraising and development efforts, including major donor cultivation and Endowment development and growth
  • Maintain and grow current relationships with appropriate pharmaceutical/biotech companies, while cultivating new relationships with pharmaceutical/biotech companies that enter the sarcoma ecosystem
  • Develop and execute a plan to grow relationships with public and other private foundations to increase financial support
  • Develop and execute a plan to secure grants from the federal, state, and local governments
  • Identify new funding streams to support existing and future programs


  • Raise the SFA’s visibility as a leader in the community and serve as the Foundation’s representative to all stakeholders
  • Represent the programs and point of view of the organization to agencies, organizations, and the general public
  • Establish and maintain sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with other cancer groups and organizations
  • Maintain relationships and communications with the Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board
  • Ensure that the board is kept fully informed on the condition of the organization and all-important factors influencing it

Staff Leadership

  • Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers
  • See that an effective management team, with appropriate provision for succession, are in place
  • Encourage staff /volunteer development and education, and assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the organization
  • Maintain a climate which attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff of top-quality people

Board Management

  • Develop, maintain, and support the Board of Directors
  • Identify and cultivate new board members and ensure smooth succession
  • Provide timely information and reports as requested by the Board and the Board President


  • Develop and maintain sound financial practices
  • Work with the staff, Finance Committee, and the board in preparing a budget and other requisite financial reports; see that the organization operates within budget guidelines

Key Qualifications

  • Minimum of 10 years of increasing responsibility in nonprofit organizations, preferably in the health/science sector  
  • Proven ability to create and sustain new program initiatives
  • Experience working with and recruiting volunteer and/or board leadership
  • Successful experience fundraising from individuals and institutions
  • Experience with staff supervision and professional development
  • Evidence of communications and marketing skills
  • Evidence of finance and budgeting skills
  • An action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills
  • Familiarity with managing and/or creating relationships with patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and healthcare-related organizations preferred
  • Passion for the mission of SFA

The SFA provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or military status in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.  In addition, SFA complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which SFA has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:


Bill Weber
Development Guild DDI

Lorraine Sahagian
Senior Consultant
Development Guild DDI 

For more information about the Sarcoma Foundation of America, please visit www.curesarcoma.org


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