GRASP (Guiding Researchers and Advocates to Scientific Partnerships)

Executive Director

To Apply

GRASP  has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:
Elly Kirschner, Senior Director
Harris Rand Lusk Executive Search
New York, NY 10016


When emailing your resume and cover letter describing your interest in the role, please write “GRASP” in the subject line.

GRASP (Guiding Researchers and Advocates to Scientific Partnerships) is a patient-led organization that connects advocates, cancer researchers and clinicians, empowering them to exchange ideas and learn from each other. The goal is to create a shift toward a more inclusive research paradigm – by bringing these often-siloed groups together, GRASP hopes to drive more meaningful and fundable research which will, in turn, lead to faster progress to end breast and other cancers. Founded in 2019, GRASP has in just three years created a database of 1200 scientists and patients who are working together to identify unmet patient needs.  This cooperation can be especially meaningful for researchers who may not see how their work affects those with cancer – patients provide the human face to the science and a real-life picture of disease and its treatments. GRASP is also committed to fostering inclusive partnerships and addressing disparities that impact cancer research and access to treatments.

GRASP is at a critical juncture – they are ready to move from a founder-led organization to one that is poised for meaningful growth. To facilitate this evolution, GRASP is looking for their first Executive Director (ED) to foster its progress and provide instrumental leadership with a focus on fundraising and programs.  The ED will report to the Board and be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, capacity planning, programs, staff, and execution of the organization’s mission.

The Executive Director will build on the GRASP’s early success, bringing it to the next level while ensuring a continued focus on credibility and cooperation with top cancer researchers. They will be a dynamic leader with a vision of the opportunity and a powerful voice that will effectively convey the gaps in breast cancer research and the impact on those affected by cancer. The ideal candidate will have proven fundraising success and a skilled relationship builder able to cultivate and maintain partnerships. They will be aninnovative self-starter and problem solver who, working closely with the Board of Advisors, will increase GRASP’s visibility and influence, actively working to engage the cancer community.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Provide leadership, strategic direction and vision for the organization, in partnership with the Board
  • Work together with the Board to create, plan, and implement programs and activities to meet GRASP’s mission and goals
  • Be an authentic, trustworthy, and knowledgeable public spokesperson and ambassador, to the organization’s constituents and partners
  • Actively engage and energize GRASP scientists, advocates, mentors, funders, partnering organizations, and board members
  • Build relationships and collaborate with peer organizations, when appropriate, to carry out the mission of GRASP
  • Actively cultivate new donors, while providing support and stewardship of existing funders
  • Together with the Board, develop and implement short- and long-range goals and objectives for GRASP’s continued financial sustainability
  • Guide the organization’s daily operations and efficiency of systems, processes and practices
  • Oversee implementation and quality of programs and services
  • Oversee development of content and design of organization’s communications that provide a clear and concise message about GRASP, including through its website, marketing materials and social media
  • Build awareness about the organization across all constituencies


  • Bachelor’s degree; at least five years of non-profit leadership experience
  • Strategic decision-maker with the ability to provide creative, big-picture leadership for GRASP
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative builder who has had success growing an organization, program, or initiative
  • Demonstrated ability maintaining a financially stable and sustainable organization
  • Accomplished fundraiser at ease in the role of seeking and asking for individual and major gifts as well as developing institutional and corporate partnerships
  • Solid experience working with and supporting a board of directors
  • Ability to interact professionally with internal and external stakeholders who have diverse backgrounds, professional skills, and perspectives
  • Superior writing and verbal communication skills that are clear, concise, structured, articulate and persuasive that will enhance organizational visibility and positioning
  • Organized, pro-active with strong follow-through and attention to detail; ability to multi-task, prioritize and set and meet deadlines
  • Technologically savvy and the proven ability to develop and implement new processes and systems that increased efficiency in a fast-moving environment.
  • Comfort with and basic proficiency in most major social media platforms
  • Sound judgment, credibility, and integrity as well as a deep commitment to the mission and vision of GRASP

Bold creative ideas are welcome and encouraged. A science background is not required, though experience working with scientists or within an academic setting is valued. An interest in cancer research is also highly recommended.

Additional: Full time remote job but must accommodate for Eastern Time and be willing to travel, mostly within the US, but also internationally (about 10% of time)

Salary range of $80,000-$90,000 based on experience. Benefits package includes employer contributions to health, dental, and vision benefits along with paid holiday, sick and vacation leave benefits.

For more information on GRASP, visit https://graspcancer.org

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