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Executive Director | FULLY REMOTE | Cancer Education & Advocacy

Patient Empowerment Network
Washington, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Mar 20, 2023

View more

Position Type
Advocacy, Education, Health
Employment Type
Full Time

About Patient Empowerment Network (PEN)  

Since 2009, the Patient Empowerment Network (PEN) has been improving treatment outcomes and health equity for cancer patients and care partners at every step of their journey. Our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization provides free online resources covering diagnosis and testing, treatment, clinical trials, financing, recovery, and survivorship. We connect those in need to programs, experts, peers, and tailored resources that catalyze improved cancer outcomes.  


What differentiates PEN from other cancer advocacy groups is that we take patient education a step further; we educate, then ACTIVATE cancer patients and their care partners to become co-decision makers with their healthcare teams. By insisting on the most current and personalized care available, empowered patients achieve better treatment outcomes. To view our programs, please visit our website.   


Our 2022 programs served more than 362,500 patients and care partners and our 2023 programs are on track to reach even more people impacted by cancer. 



Executive Director Job Summary  

Patient Empowerment Network (PEN) is seeking an experienced Executive Director (ED) for a full-time, remote-based role. Reporting to the PEN Board of Directors, the ED will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for PEN’s staff, programs, and the execution of its mission. The ED will: 

  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of PEN and ensure the organization’s overall successful long-term operations.  
  • Make consistent and timely progress in achieving PEN’s mission and target programmatic impact. 
  • Provide leadership and oversight in developing programs, organizational, and financial plans and execute the policies authorized by the board of directors while ensuring the organization’s financial sustainability. 
  • Lead the PEN staff with a leadership style that is inclusive, collaborative, and empowering. 
  • Contribute as a thought-leader and influencer within the cancer advocacy space through participation in advisory committees, conferences, forums, podcasts, and other outlets which will raise the visibility of PEN’s mission.



Leadership and Management 

  • Lead, manage, and guide the organization to attain continued growth, success, and optimal mission impact for PEN’s programs and services. 
  • Ensure ongoing program excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; determine timelines and resources needed to achieve PEN’s strategic goals.  
  • Actively engage in complex fiscal management through hands on budgetary development and oversight. 
  • Establish goals, objectives, and operational plans in collaboration with the board of directors, staff, and other stakeholders. 
  • Ensure effective systems to track progress, and regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board of directors, funders, and other stakeholders.  
  • Recruit and lead new staff as the organization grows.  
  • Develop and implement plans for staff development, retention, and compensation.   
  • Foster a collaborative working environment, encourage professional development, and champion accountability amongst staff. Recognize and reward contributions. 


Collaboration with PEN Board of Directors 

  • Provide leadership and assistance to the board of directors in developing and reviewing the organization’s mission and strategic plan. 
  • Communicate effectively with the board of directors by providing them with all information necessary to continually function properly and make informed decisions in a timely and accurate manner. 
  • Implement board policy and directives.   
  • Ensure the organization’s financial resources are properly managed and report the organization’s financial position to the board of directors quarterly.   
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong board of directors; serve or appoint staff as a member of each committee; seek and build board of directors’ involvement with strategic organizational direction.  
  • Plan and attend all board meetings (held quarterly) and provide reports and updates on staff as well as all current work, project timelines, and project and organizational progress. 


Fundraising & Communications 

  • Expand fundraising activities to support existing program operations and organizational growth.  
  • Drive development and fundraising in collaboration with the Development Director and the board of directors. 
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger, well-recognized brand.  
  • Grow, foster, and utilize external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities.  
  • Effectively communicate the goals, purpose, and programs of the organization to external stakeholders. 
  • Effectively represent the organization’s mission, values, and promote a positive organizational brand. 


Planning and Business Development 

  • In collaboration with the staff and board of directors, build and execute PEN’s 2023-2026 strategic plan and future strategic plans. 
  • Build partnerships, establish strong relationships with funders, and political and community leaders at each expansion site.  
  • Publish and communicate program results with an emphasis on the outcomes of PEN’s programs. 


Desired Experience  

  • A demonstrated passion for PEN’s mission and vision. 
  • At least 5 years prior executive leadership experience, preferably at a non-profit in the cancer patient advocacy/education or other healthcare space. 
  • A proven track record of growing organizational capacity and programmatic impact. 
  • Possess keen business acumen with strategic ability and understanding of the evolving cancer advocacy landscape.  
  • Proven abilities and experience in fiscal management and preparing and securing board approval for a complex organizational budget. 
  • Capacity to excel at influencing and leading an organization toward positive growth. 
  • Capable of designing and directing strategies that enhance and support organizational operations. 
  • Experience with fostering an environment of accountability, healthy work relationships and partnerships, inclusivity among staff and in recruitment in order to maintain a positive and collaborative work environment. 
  • Detail-oriented with excellent communication, organizational, interpersonal skills  
  • Enthusiasm for leading individuals from diverse backgrounds  
  • Experience in creating and establishing clear, measurable business goals 
  • Ability to lead and manage in a virtual work environment 


The ideal candidate for this role will have led a non-profit organization; thrive in a fast-paced, constantly evolving non-profit environment; be comfortable leading a remote team; and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills.   


Compensation & Work Environment  

PEN is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the hiring of our staff and the creation, implementation, and distribution of our programs. To read more about our commitment to DEI, please read PEN’s Inclusion Policy.   


The base salary for the Executive Director position is $108,000. Candidates with more than 5 years of executive leadership experience will be eligible for additional compensation, up to $120,000, according to a calculation which will be shared during the interview process.  

We also offer a benefits package: 

  • 15 annual paid vacation or personal days; 
  • Flexible remote work schedule; 
  • Summer Fridays (half day Fridays, June—August); 
  • Annual $1,500 professional development stipend; 
  • $5,000 Health Reimbursement Account for medical expenses; 
  • All benefits are pro-rated according to start-date. 

As part of Patient Empowerment Network’s (PEN’s) commitment to compensation equity and transparency, we have a no-negotiation policy. Salary negotiations can introduce bias and perpetuate wage inequality. Successful staff at PEN have annual opportunities for increases in compensation based on factors including performance, cost of living increases, and/or expansion of responsibilities. 



If you are interested in applying, please visit and complete the embedded form, including the following three questions, and provide your resume using the upload link provided at the end of the form. A cover letter or other materials you may wish to share are optional. Applications will be accepted until the Executive Director role is filled. 
1) How do Patient Empowerment Network’s mission and values resonate with you, personally?   


2) What do you feel will be your highest point of contribution to Patient Empowerment Network’s mission and team?   


3) How will you utilize your skills, connections and expertise to contribute to the expansion of Patient Empowerment Network’s programming? 

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