Alexandria, VA

President & Chief Executive Officer, Northern Virginia Health Foundation

About Northern Virginia Health Foundation 

The Northern Virginia Health Foundation is dedicated to improving the health, and health care of residents of Northern Virginia, with a particular emphasis on the health needs of low-income, uninsured, or underinsured people living in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park.

The Foundation was endowed in 2005 following the closure of Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. Its strategic grants support safety net clinics and other nonprofits that provide a wide range of health services to adults and children in the area who could not otherwise afford to obtain critically needed healthcare. Grantees include those that increase access to primary care, mental health, and oral health, as well as specialty care and other emerging needs. Approximately $1.8 million will be awarded to roughly 14 grantees in 2023. The Foundation’s endowed assets are just over $30 million.

The Foundation centers the issue of health equity in all its work, recognizing the intersection between lagging health outcomes and long-standing racial and economic disparities that result from preventable policy and environmental factors. Its “beyond dollars” grantmaking approach refers to crucial investments in data, resources, and tools that help the community be and stay healthy. The Foundation is an essential partner to Northern Virginia’s various municipalities and institutions, championing the importance of distributing programs and resources to equitably improve health outcomes across the region. It has a significant amount of influence advising different jurisdictions and catalyzing opportunities for partnerships among the region’s agencies.

Among the Foundation’s most successful investments are its commissioned research reports highlighting Northern Virginia’s health and social indicators. For example, Dying Too Soon: In Northern Virginia, the Risk of Dying Before Age 75 Depends on Race, Ethnicity, and Address was released this summer through a long-standing partnership with the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. These research reports have equipped local governments and nonprofits with data on the stark health inequities in the region which they use to strengthen the case for a multitude of research-based interventions, programs, and support. Learn more by visiting

Leadership Opportunity

The Foundation has been led since its inception by President & CEO Patricia N. Mathews. With her impending retirement in the winter of 2023, the Foundation’s Board of Directors seeks a visionary and skilled executive to carry its work forward.

The incoming President has an opportunity to extend the Foundation’s record of leadership, bold vision, and innovation in improving the health and wellness of Northern Virginians. The President is the chief spokesperson and strategist for the Foundation, setting a framework for achieving better health outcomes through grantmaking for social safety net nonprofits, directed research, and participating in key partnerships, committees, and boards. They also serve as the Foundation’s administrative leader with responsibility for a small and dedicated team of two. The President reports to a nine-person Board of Directors composed of leaders from healthcare, education, philanthropic, and financial sectors.

Amidst the pandemic, the Foundation paused its formal strategic planning process in order to provide stable and responsive general operating and programmatic support to critical issues. Under the direction of the Board, the incoming executive will have an opportunity to review the Foundation’s recent impact, assess the region’s health landscapes, and undertake a formal strategic planning process. Key areas of strategic review may include:

  • Enhancing the capacity of services. Northern Virginia’s health care safety net nonprofits are continually expanding their capacity to meet the increased need in service for eligible participants.
  • Applying equity lessons. The Foundation’s focus and commissioned research on inequity has elevated the issue throughout the region, including with local governments. This potentially presents an opportunity for even greater strategic direction and attention.
  • Addressing the mental health crisis. Determine how the Foundation can respond to community nonprofits’ workforce limitations and address the growing need for mental health services available to low-income residents.
  • Identifying emerging issues. Using commissioned research and other data sources, the Foundation has the opportunity to highlight critical and emerging issues that directly affect health and health care in Northern Virginia.

The President will be an experienced senior executive who will lead the Foundation with passion, authenticity, and integrity. The successful candidate will exhibit strong interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, while valuing clear and transparent communication to advance the Foundation’s reputation as a trusted partner within the Northern Virginia community.

Position Overview

Reporting to the Board, the President promotes the Foundation’s mission, vision and values, while also setting a strategic framework to implement grantmaking, partnerships, commissioned research, and other activities that advance health outcomes for Northern Virginians. They administer the Foundation’s operations, financial management, and staffing plans.

Key Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership

  • Steward and deliver an inspiring strategic direction that reflects the Foundation’s mission.
  • Serve as the primary spokesperson and guide external communications strategies that elevate the Foundation’s mission through press features, op-eds, panels, and keynotes.
  • Provide credible and authentic thought leadership to community partnerships, initiatives, advocacy, and gatherings that advance the Foundation’s impact on community health.
  • Represent the Foundation to diverse stakeholders including local and state government officials, healthcare providers, grantees, beneficiaries, media, and the community at large.
  • Intentionally align the Foundation’s strategic plan, annual operations, and budget. With the Board, guide where and how the Foundation allocates its resources.

Grantmaking and Partnership Stewardship

  • Lead the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy, including oversight of grantees’ applications, reports, and ongoing relationship management working closely with the Program Officer.
  • Evaluate prospective grantees and sustain authentic grantee-grantor relationships.
  • Support grantees’ success through targeted technical assistance, coaching, and capacity building supports.
  • Create responsive plans, in partnership with others, to emerging needs that impact health outcomes of local residents.
  • Identify research opportunities that examine Northern Virginia’s health and social disparities.
  • Advocate on behalf of equitable policies and investments to multiple jurisdictions and governments within the Foundation’s geographic footprint.
  • Cultivate relationships with key partners; develop and participate in coalitions and collaboratives in pursuit of the Foundation’s goals.
  • Represent the Foundation’s interests on various committees, panels, and boards.

Operations and Board Management

  • Provide effective leadership, supervision, and mentorship to staff, including a Program Officer and an Executive Administrative Assistant.
  • Ensure the effective administration of operations, IT, office space, human resources, and financial management. Serve as a signatory on all notes and contracts.
  • Provide oversight of the Foundation’s compliance with Board-approved bylaws, state and federal guidance, grantee agreements, and other legal agreements.
  • Prepare annual budgets, monitor income and expenses, support banking, accounting, and audit functions, and provide the Board with comprehensive and regular reports. Work in close partnership with the Board’s Finance and Audit Committees.
  • Oversee the Foundation’s investment policies, and endowment management, with support from the Board’s Investment Committee.
  • Facilitate the Board’s governance work by assisting the Board with the development of annual workplans; supplying consistent reporting on programmatic, operational, and financial effectiveness; and supporting recruitment efforts.
  • Manage the annual audit, review draft audit findings, and draft 990-PF, supporting the Audit Committee in their work.

Experience, Skills, and Qualities
This position will be a challenging and rewarding opportunity that requires a diverse set of skills and experiences. While we understand that no single candidate can possess every qualification listed below, the following are priority areas.

  • Passion for the Foundation’s mission of improving the health and health care of residents of Northern Virginia, with a particular emphasis on the health and healthcare needs of the uninsured and underinsured.
  • No less than a decade of management experience in a mission-driven organization, preferably with some professional experience in grantmaking or philanthropy.
  • Local ties, including a current or past record of personal and/or professional connections in related fields in the Northern Virginia region, are strongly desired.
  • Past work within settings that support community members experiencing poverty. A background in public health and/or social determinants of health is considered a plus.
  • Experience advancing racial, gender, and economic equity through conversations, learning agendas, and advocacy.
  • Strong knowledge of nonprofit financial management, such as budgeting, reporting, accounting, and auditing. Familiarity with asset management is desirable.
  • A strategic mindset, ability to forecast trends, and capacity to connect ideas and action.
  • Experience with strategic planning; record of implementing strategy through setting goals, frameworks, budgets, and outcome measurements.
  • A successful record of supervising and managing the performance of a small team; experience cultivating a positive team culture.
  • Prior experience working with or serving on a board of directors; adept at fostering dialogue between board and leadership.
  • Strong self-motivation with excellent project management and organizational skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Comfort serving in representational capacities, such as speaking on panels, committees, and in the media.
  • Personal attributes such as emotional intelligence, integrity, maturity, critical thinking, patience, and a sense of humor.
  • The ability to represent the Foundation during occasional in-person meetings and community events during evenings and weekends.


The Board is targeting a salary range of $190,000 to $220,000, commensurate with experience. The Foundation offers a generous benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance, a retirement plan with employer matching, and paid time off.

Working Location

The Foundation’s offices are located in Alexandria, Virginia and employees follow a hybrid work schedule. The President travels frequently around Northern Virginia and the broader region for meetings, with occasional overnight travel for industry conferences and events.

How To Apply

Northern Virginia Health Foundation has retained the services of Good Insight, a national executive search firm that exclusively serves the nonprofit sector. Interested applicants should submit a resume and a cover letter that describes their interest in and qualifications for this role. Direct confidential inquiries to Carlyn Madden at Upload application materials at

For best consideration, apply by late October. Qualified applicants will be contacted on a rolling basis. Early applications are encouraged due to the pace of the search.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Northern Virginia Health Foundation provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability, and any other protections allowed for by state and federal law.

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