Breast Cancer Action is not your average breast cancer organization. BCAction is fiercely independent and refuses corporate funding from any company that profits from or contributes to breast cancer, which means they can always put women’s health first.
BCAction is focused on achieving health justice for all women living with and at risk of breast cancer. Radical and compassionate, BCAction never shies away from the hard truths. They tell it like it is: 40,000 women die of this devastating disease every year, and we don’t have nearly enough to show for the billions of dollars raised in the name of breast cancer.
BCAction was founded in 1990 by a handful of women who were living with and dying from breast cancer and who demanded answers about their disease. Today, BCAction is a national grassroots organization with 50,000+ members across the country. Together they are challenging the status quo and working to address the environmental causes of and disparities in the breast cancer epidemic.
Among the endless sea of lucrative breast cancer charities, corporate donors, and pharmaceutical-funded research agendas, the independent voice that defines BCAction has never been more urgently needed, and the organization’s relevance as an activist watchdog organization is greater than ever. BCAction focuses on systemic interventions that will address the root causes of the disease and produce broad public health benefits.
BCAction believes in:
Health justice as a human right
Honesty, fearlessness, and truth-telling about the breast cancer epidemic
Honoring women’s diverse voices and lived experiences
People’s health and well-being over corporate profits
Transparency andaccountability for themselves and others
Integrity and freedom from conflict of interest
Collective action that changes the world for the better
BCAction seeks a dynamic and visionary Executive Director with the passion and experience to lead the effort to address the environmental causes of and disparities in the breast cancer epidemic. This is an incredible opportunity for a social justice leader to envision BCAction’s next phase of national impact.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will provide the overall leadership, strategy, and vision for the organization. BCAction has a budget approaching $1M, a national Board of ten directors, and six remote staff. The organization values a culture of integrity, trust, and respect, where people feel confident working autonomously and as a team.
In 2020, the Board of Directors approved a plan to make BCAction a virtual organization. While previously based in the San Francisco Bay area, BCAction staff all work remotely from home with the organizational support needed (computers, desks, etc.) to accommodate this structure. Therefore, the Executive Director can be based anywhere in the US and will be expected to work from home.
Ideal candidates for the Executive Director will demonstrate alignment with the following core competencies:
Strategic Organizational Oversight and Leadership Skills
With the staff and Board, create and implement the long-term goals and strategies for BCAction, developing specific strategies to extend BCAction’s national membership and outreach
Mentor, empower, and develop BCAction’s staff, supporting a culture that is respectful, fast-paced, and mission-driven
In partnership with the Deputy Director, ensure that the day-to-day operations and programs of BCAction are smoothly and effectively administered; provide appropriate oversight of program staff activities, fundraising and finance, and overall systems and procedures
Partner closely with the Board of Directors, supporting in continued cohesion and collaboration of the members and facilitating the Board’s alignment with the organizational strategy and governance structure
In partnership with the Development staff, pursue new and sustainable fundraising opportunities, with the aim of increasing organizational revenue over time
Strategically engage and steward donors, including individual and institutional funders, in support of BCAction’s work
Partner with internal stakeholders to elevate BCAction’s national profile, growing the voice of BCAction in order to amplify and extend the reach of the organization
Act as the lead representative of BCAction at virtual and (when possible) in-person fundraising events throughout the year
Experience Reviewing/Analyzing Scientific Data and Policy
Research and stay informed about breast cancer issues central to BCAction’s mission and work, including and not limited to the links between environmental toxins (such as pesticides and fossil fuels) and breast cancer, fracking and dangerous drilling, healthcare access, the FDA approval process, breast cancer treatments, and regulatory protections
Support staff in thoughtfully analyzing and developing the organization’s positions on emerging scientific research regarding the environmental causes of breast cancer, advancing breast cancer treatments, and public health policy (state and federal)
Bring a systems-minded approach to the work, and continue to build upon the organization’s culture of empowering people with evidence-based information
Ensure that the full BCAction team continues to be the go-to expert in providing thorough, clear, and unbiased information about the causes of breast cancer and treatment options
Compelling Communicator and Spokesperson
Speak prominently, passionately, and boldly about the causes of breast cancer, the impact of over-screening and over-treatment from the patient’s perspective, and on the need for BCAction’s continued advocacy for better policies, prevention, treatments, and risk reduction; As the chief spokesperson for BCAction, the Executive Director should be a dynamic and persuasive communicator
Maintain positive relations with other advocates for public health, environmental justice, cancer research, funders, political and policy thought-leaders, and other constituencies that can influence and support BCAction positions
Be willing and able to represent BCAction in confronting corporate polluters, questioning researchers and medical providers, and advocating for improved public health policies
Support in the content creation and revision of BCAction’s formal communications, including on the website, on social media channels, and in membership resources
Demonstrated Knowledge of Relevant Fields of Work
Bring experience in values-aligned organizations within relevant fields, such as public health, health justice, environmental justice, breast cancer, women’s issues, and social justice issues
Understand and value grassroots, advocacy-oriented work, with the capacity to oversee organizing and building movements in communities on the ground
Demonstrate an ability to assess and discuss intersectional racial justice issues with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders
Alignment with the BCAction Mission and Approach
Foster a shared commitment to BCAction’s mission and values, ensuring that BCAction continues to build on its strong reputation as an activist watchdog organization and an independent voice and resource for people with and at risk of breast cancer
Hold deeply the social justice values of the organization, recognizing that the breast cancer epidemic is a social justice issue, and the vital role the organization plays in building solidarity with communities who currently and/or traditionally have had limited access to power, information, and resources
Be able to discern appropriate partners to collaborate with BCAction
Believe in and further develop the organization’s grassroots membership model, and continue to cultivate an internal culture that is collaborative, flexible, and operates with a high degree of integrity and trust
The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
A leader with experience reviewing and analyzing research and policy in relevant fields such as public health, health justice, environmental justice, breast cancer, women’s issues, or social justice issues
Compelling oral and written communication skills, including significant experience with the media
Proven managerial skills and financial oversight experience, preferably through work in a nonprofit that has advocacy as its mission; ability to manage remotely and to support a positive staff culture
A successful track record of attracting financial support from individuals and foundations; comfort with grassroots fundraising and personal interaction with and cultivation of donors
A demonstrated ability to develop and strengthen relationships with a broad range of people such as policy makers, the media, conservation organizations, politicians, government representatives, medical personnel, scientists, activists, and others; an ability to work across diverse cultures and communities and in different economic and operating environments
Deep personal commitment to addressing the environmental causes of and disparities in the breast cancer epidemic; ability to inspire others to share BCAction’s core values
Compensation & Benefits
The annual salary for this role will start at $120,000. Breast Cancer Action also offers a comprehensive benefits package, including healthcare, vacation, and sabbatical.
Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan and Meghan Franklin are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role, please visit this link here. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Breast Cancer Action is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants. Breast Cancer Action is committed internally and externally to raising awareness of social inequities and has worked at the staff and Board level on diversity training. Creating a culture that celebrates diversity and inclusiveness is an important reflection of Breast Cancer Action’s core values, and like-minded leaders are encouraged to apply.
About Koya Leadership Partners
Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.