Conversations Contributors - Nancy Brown

Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association

Nancy Brown has been Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association (AHA) since 2009.  The Association is widely known and highly respected as the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to preventing, treating and defeating cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

During her tenure as CEO, the AHA has become a global leader in the discovery and dissemination of heart disease and stroke science.  Notably, under Nancy’s leadership the Association announced its bold new 2020 health impact goal: To improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.  Nancy’s drive to set a brave long-term goal, at a time when many other organizations were focused on short-term needs, has provided a rallying point for the Association’s millions of volunteers, staff,  and donors.

Nancy has also led the organization to a number of significant advances in the time that she has served as its top staff executive, these include: a laser focus on prevention and improving cardiovascular health, instilling a culture of innovation spearheaded by the AHA’s Innovation Think Tank which has developed a number of critical new mission-aligned and revenue business enterprises for the Association, creating the AHA’s CEO Roundtable, comprised of CEO’s of some of the largest and most influential corporations in America focused on creating healthy leaders and healthy companies, developing the first-ever integrated global strategy for the Association, and launching new revenue strategies to expand individual giving/ major gifts and increase the Association’s revenue and mission impact in small communities.

In addition to her tireless efforts for the AHA, Nancy shares her passion for improving the health of individuals in the U.S. and globally by serving as chairman-elect of the National Health Council and co-chairman of the Steering Committee of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, which is reframing how to provide end of life care that respects patient’s wishes and ensures quality decision-making and outcomes for families and healthcare providers.  She also serves as a member of the Executive Committee of Research!America, and on the Boards of Directors of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and the Valentin Fuster-Mount Sinai Foundation for Science, Health and Empowerment. Additionally, Nancy serves as a member of the Qualcomm Life Advisory Board, the Corporate Advisory Board of the Healthcare Business Association, and the FasterCures Research Acceleration and Innovation Advisory Council.  She was also recently appointed as a member of the Healthcare Advisory Board to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s CEO Council on Health and Innovation.

Prior to being named CEO, Nancy served as AHA's Chief Operating Officer for the eight prior years. In this role she managed the Association's mission, science and operations functions and led the AHA's integrated strategy to achieve its 2010 Impact Goal to reduce coronary heart disease, stroke and risk by 25 percent.  Notable accomplishments include the creation of the AHA’s signature platform Go Red for Women, creation of a suite of quality improvement programs including Get with the Guidelines, and notable advances in science, research, and consumer health and engagement.  She has held multiple leadership positions at the AHA since her start in 1986 leading fundraising initiatives in the Michigan Affiliate, including serving as the Executive Director in Metro Detroit, as well as leading the AHA’s work as Executive Vice President of the former Massachusetts and former New England Affiliates.  Prior to joining the American Heart Association, Nancy also served her home state of Michigan as Director of Development/ Deputy Director of the Endowment Campaign for the Michigan Cancer Foundation, and as Special Events Director for Mount Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit.

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