In the early 1980s, a group of volunteers in Seattle banded together in response to the cruelty, bigotry, and lack of access to services faced by people with HIV/AIDS during the height of the AIDS epidemic. They mobilized a community to provide compassionate support to people suffering from the disease who were often abandoned by friends and family, shunned by the medical community, and left to die alone. The group went on to form the Northwest AIDS Foundation, Chicken Soup Brigade, and Evergreen Wellness, which are now known as Lifelong (the agency).
Because of the hard work in the fight against AIDS led by Lifelong in the Seattle area, King County is among the first major metropolitan regions in nation to reach a major milestone set by the World Health Organization to confront the HIV/AIDS epidemic known as 90/90/90:
- 90% of people with HIV are aware of their infection
- 90% of people diagnosed with HIV are linked to antiretroviral treatment (ART)
- 90% of those on ART adhere and have undetectable levels of HIV in their blood
For over 35 years, Lifelong has provided customized, high quality care to people facing discrimination and marginalization—people who were deemed “untouchable.” The agency has leveraged the subject matter expertise it gained from fighting HIV/AIDS to additionally serve people in the community who have other serious illnesses, the elderly, and people who are disabled, through programs that provide:
- Financial assistance with health insurance premiums and help navigating the healthcare system
- Housing assistance
- Case management and support for the elderly and disabled
- Grocery and meal delivery
- HIV prevention, education and case management
- Health education and youth outreach
- Dental services for those living with HIV
Lifelong has grown to a $27 M organization with an $8 M operating budget. With 160+ employees and nearly 2,000 volunteers, Lifelong serves over 7,000 clients annually in eight counties across western Washington.
Learn more about Lifelong’s rich history here.
The same outrage that ignited Lifelong’s creation in the 80s is fueling its plans for the future. Lifelong’s new strategic plan will focus on extending its reach and eliminating barriers to equitable healthcare for both the HIV/AIDS community and other stigmatized, vulnerable, and marginalized populations in Washington State. Just as it became a leader among AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs), the agency seeks to become a leader in the fight for health equity. Lifelong is seeking a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as it embarks upon the next chapter in its story.
The CEO will help refine and articulate Lifelong’s vision and commitment to a state without stigma and with equitable healthcare for all.
Key responsibilities include:
Strategic People and Organizational Leadership
- Partner closely with Lifelong’s board of directors, leadership, and staff to refine and ensure clarity around Lifelong’s new strategic plan, goals, funding, and how each program fits together in the quilt of Lifelong’s wrap-around services
- Provide sound fiscal and business management, holding teams accountable to clearly communicated budgets at the program and organizational level
- Conduct a thorough organizational assessment, identify opportunities, and implement changes to ensure that Lifelong has the infrastructure of systems, processes, and people in place to accommodate growth
- Promote an equitable culture; build an environment of transparency, two-way communication, and trust; nurture collaboration; and empower leaders to develop and motivate staff
Partnerships and Community Engagement
- Seek new opportunities to raise the visibility and impact of Lifelong’s work, mission, and values externally
- Engender trust and respect by engaging externally with authenticity, transparency, and empathy
- Identify and build relationships within the most vulnerable, stigmatized communities in the region who are facing the greatest obstacles to receiving healthcare
- Engage and convene community partners and, together, develop programs and thoughtfully pursue opportunities to fund them
- Develop a strong understanding of current funding sources, including existing contracts and grants; collaborate with the Development Director to create a robust, multi-year strategy that diversifies funding opportunities and sets realistic targets
- Steward and retain current donors by keeping them engaged and informed, based on their specific priorities
- Serve as Lifelong’s primary spokesperson, embodying a commitment to health equity with a passionate, genuine, and empathetic voice with colleagues, partners, funders, and community stakeholders
- Partner with the board to develop a long-term strategic vision that includes a shared understanding of health equity and supports agreed upon long-term goals
- Ensure the board has buy-in on key decisions and provide transparency about the agency’s finances and operations
- Provide training and opportunities for the Board to increase their participation in fundraising efforts
- Support board governance, development, recruitment, and new member onboarding
Lifelong’s CEO is at their core an innovator and visionary who is passionate about equity and access to quality healthcare and can inspire others to embrace their vision. The CEO will have held P&L responsibility in a complex environment with multiple business branches. The ideal candidate has the business acumen and change management skills to move an organization to a higher level of impact by building on what’s working, identifying and filling gaps, scanning the horizon for what lies ahead, and managing risk.
The successful candidate is a keen strategist who possesses the operational chops to run a complex organization and remove obstacles to allow a high-performing team to do their best work. They must be able make and communicate decisions; set clear, realistic expectations for staff; hold teams accountable; and manage with compassion and conviction. The ideal candidate will be able to leverage past experience to bring together seemingly disparate groups and those with specialized knowledge to increase impact through connection and collaboration, helping Lifelong to achieve health equity in Washington State.
The CEO is a persuasive and articulate leader whose enthusiasm for Lifelong’s mission and vision energizes the team, the board, current and potential funders, individual donors, public health partners, community partners, elected officials, and the community. The selected candidate will be a fearless fundraiser who has successfully worked with local, state, and federal funding sources as well as private donors.
The new CEO should have a minimum of eight years of nonprofit executive experience in a human services or public health organization, as well as experience working closely with or reporting to a Board of Directors. The selected candidate will have a history of operational success combined with demonstrated business development or fundraising results in a complex organization. An understanding of and passion around health equity is essential for success in this role, as is a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study. A Master’s degree in public health, public administration, business administration, or a related field is a plus.