Stupid Cancer

Chief Executive Officer

To Apply

To Apply:
Stupid Cancer has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Jack Lusk, Managing Partner
Elly Kirschner, Director of Healthcare and Advocacy
Harris Rand Lusk
122 E. 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168


Please put Stupid Cancer in the subject line of your emailed application

Stupid Cancer is the preeminent organization focused on advocacy, education and support for those affected by young adult cancer. With 72,000 young adults (ages 15-39) diagnosed with cancer in the US, there is a growing need for more available and accessible resources for this population as well as for those affected by their diagnosis, e.g. parents and grandparents, children, friends and employers. Both the cancer and the needs of young adults in this age group are different than in pediatric and adult cancers – young adults must think about how treatment will affect fertility, intimacy, education and career planning, and parenting.  These are unique hardships and social barriers that can make young adults feel very much alone – which is where Stupid Cancer steps in.

With its empowering programming, information about and links to resources, as well as networking services, Stupid Cancer is leading the way to end the isolation of those affected by young adult cancer. Every year, hundreds of people attend CancerCon, Stupid Cancer’s gathering where attendees’ lives are transformed by engaging with their peers going through similar experiences.  But, it’s not just big gatherings that bring people together – members of the Stupid Cancer community hold Meetups in cities and towns across the country.  Digital programs include regional FaceTime support groups, as well as the Stupid Cancer blog, podcast and YouTube shows.

The founder and CEO for 12 years has recently transitioned out of this role and Stupid Cancer is seeking to identify their next CEO who can build on the past successes of the organization, bring it to the next level and ensure its longevity.

Based in New York City and reporting to the Board of Directors, Stupid Cancer’s CEO will oversee, grow and diversify funding, programming, and communications. Working closely with the Board and the COO, the CEO will help to develop and execute a strategic plan to ensure continued focus on the issues surrounding individuals affected by young adult cancer. The CEO must be able to articulate a vision, present it to the Board and build consensus around organizational goals and objectives.

Stupid Cancer has momentum, a strong and supportive community, and the potential for meaningful growth.  Stupid Cancer is looking for a dynamic and credible leader who has the experience to move the organization forward.  This critical and visible position requires a leader with an outwardly facing personality who can advocate successfully and passionately on behalf of Stupid Cancer and the communities it serves. The CEO will develop and implement creative funding strategies, with an emphasis on working with corporate partnerships, as well as marketing programs and services developed by Stupid Cancer.  A significant part of the role will be building, cultivating and maintaining partnerships and relationships in order to expand the profile and reach of Stupid Cancer.

The CEO must be a self-starter who shares the Board’s commitment to Stupid Cancer’s core mission with the proven ability to foster the growth of an organization. S/he will lead the drive to increase the organization’s visibility and be able to actively engage the young adult cancer community, both those who are currently dealing with cancer as well as young adult cancer survivors. The CEO, if not already knowledgeable, should have a willingness to learn about the challenges facing individuals affected by young adult cancer.

Position Responsibilities:

Leadership/Board Management

  • Provide leadership, strategic direction and vision for the organization, in partnership with the Board of Directors
  • Together with the COO and Board, ensure development and implementation of short- and long-range goals and objectives for Stupid Cancer’s overall programmatic, financial and operational systems, processes and practices
  • Together with the COO, oversee the operations of the organization, including recruitment, hiring, and development of staff
  • Manage and ensure the efficiency of the day-to-day workings of Stupid Cancer
  • Provide leadership to and supervise staff, set quality standards, evaluate performance and promote a culture that reflects the organization’s values and rewards productivity
  • Cultivate a strong working relationship with the board with timely and regular communication regarding the status of Stupid Cancer
  • Engage Board in meaningful participation that will facilitate communication of a clear and sustainable vision, mission and strategy for the organization, including goals and internal policy
  • Plan agenda and prepare Board Chair for Board meetings
  • Actively engage in identifying and recruiting potential board members


  • Lead the design, implementation, and quality of Stupid Cancer programs and services, including CancerCon
  • Stay current on trends related to the organization’s services and anticipate future trends likely to have an impact on its work
  • Evaluate the success of the organization’s program efforts; refine current and develop new programs to best meet the needs of Stupid Cancer’s constituency
  • Build relationships and collaborate with peer organizations, when appropriate, to carry out the mission and programs of Stupid Cancer
  • Manage an effective advocacy program to promote Stupid Cancer’s visibility within the communities it serves; serve as a spokesperson who can effectively convey the need to address gaps in services for young adult cancer


  • Work with the Director of Development to create and pursue a strong fundraising plan that ensures the growth of non-event revenue including individual gifts, corporate, foundation and government grants
  • Serve as chief relationship builder and lead major gifts fundraiser while supporting cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship with all current and new donors
  • Lead all corporate, B2B, and cause marketing relationships

Marketing and Communications

  • Oversee the establishment and implementation of strategic communications that provide a clear and concise message about Stupid Cancer, protects the brand and builds awareness about the organization across all constituencies
  • Oversee all marketing and public relations activities, including the development of content and design of Stupid Cancer’s website, and social media.



  • Bachelor’s degree; at least five years of executive-level or relevant management experience
  • Ability to provide dynamic, visionary and credible leadership and advocacy for Stupid Cancer to ensure its continued excellence and provision of programs/services
  • Capable of working collaboratively with senior management to maximize contributions of staff and volunteers
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative builder who has had success growing an organization or program or initiative, including strategic planning and problem-solving
  • Accomplished fundraiser at ease in the role of seeking and asking for individual and major gifts
  • Demonstrated ability and success maintaining a financially stable and sustainable organization
  • Solid experience working with and supporting a board of directors
  • Comfortable with and capable of driving meaningful change
  • Superior writing and verbal communication skills
  • Flexible and able to multitask in an often ambiguous, fast-moving environment
  • Ability to travel frequently, and to work on some nights and weekends


  • Adept at developing institutional and corporate partnerships to advance the mission
  • Demonstrated ability in public relations, including branding and marketing to enhance organizational visibility and positioning
  • Strong organizational skills with proven ability to focus, prioritize and implement
  • Comfort with and basic proficiency in most major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, SEO and others

Salary will be commensurate with experience. For more information on Stupid Cancer, please visit https://www.stupidcancer.org

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168