Harris Rand Lusk Recruits CEO for Stupid Cancer

September 16, 2019 – New York City-based executive search firm Harris Rand Lusk has placed Alison Silberman as the new CEO of Stupid Cancer, a non-profit that serves young adults with cancer. Matthew Zachary, the cancer group’s founder and CEO for 12 years, recently transitioned out of the role. Managing partner and CEO Jack Lusk led the assignment, along with Elly Kirschner, director of healthcare and advocacy.

“We are thrilled to have Alison join the staff at Stupid Cancer and the community more broadly,” said Kellie Herbert and Noah Zachary, co-chairs of Stupid Cancer’s board of directors. “We are excited for what the future holds and all that we can accomplish as an organization.”

Stupid Cancer wanted someone with demonstrated ability in public relations, including branding and marketing to enhance organizational visibility and positioning. Ms. Silberman fit that bill. She previously served as senior program director at Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit founded to support people impacted by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Before joining Tuesday’s Children, Ms. Silberman was director of field engagement at the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, where she was responsible for increasing the organization’s national presence in the community, as well as leading advocacy efforts in individual states and on Capitol Hill. Prior to that, she worked for the City of New York in former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office, where she collaborated with state and local leaders to address the city’s criminal justice policy priorities.

“I am honored to be chosen to lead this incredible organization and continue the fight to improve outcomes for all young adults impacted by cancer,” said Ms. Silberman. “I have firsthand experience with the issues this community faces in cancer treatment and survivorship, and I am excited to continue the momentum Stupid Cancer has built over the past 12 years. I look forward to working with this motivated board and incredible team.”

Ms. Silberman’s responsibilities as CEO will include working with the staff and board of directors to develop and execute a strategic plan focusing on the issues important to individuals affected by young adult cancer; growing and diversifying funding, programming, and communications; and advocating successfully and passionately on behalf of Stupid Cancer and the communities it serves.


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Organizations nationwide are under pressure to find leaders who can act as de facto chief fundraisers – and recruiters are in lock step to find talent to satisfy the demand. These leaders need to be strategic thinkers who can motivate the stakeholders whose philanthropy pulls everything together.

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Stupid Cancer is the preeminent organization focused on advocacy, education and support for those affected by young adult cancer. Its mission is to empower, support and improve health outcomes for the young adult cancer community.

Non-Profit Consultants

Harris Rand Lusk is dedicated to non-profit and public service organizations. The firm is comprised of consultants with decades of experience in non-profit administration and government. It has completed hundreds of searches. Its search methodology is client-centered and solution-driven, emphasizing diversity and inclusion.

Mr. Lusk’s broad-based management experience, combined with an extensive public affairs background, gives him insight into what makes an organization successful. With nearly 20 years of executive search experience, he speaks widely on the subject and is often called on to provide advice on leadership. Mr. Lusk has focused on building a nationwide practice placing top leaders in the non-profit and government sectors. Prior to executive search, he was a senior vice president of the New York City Transportation Authority.

Ms. Kirschner has been with Harris Rand Lusk since 2010. She specializes in healthcare, education and advocacy searches. She previously worked with a variety of non-profit organizations in the areas of program management, communications and marketing. Ms. Kirschner served as program director at the Young Survival Coalition, and as the director of breast cancer information at the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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