The American Brain Tumor Association Names Leslie M. Stokes Interim Chief Executive Officer and Begins Search for Permanent CEO

Printer Friendly

October 18, 2017

Chicago – The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA), a national organization dedicated to providing information, support and resources to those diagnosed with a brain tumor and their caregivers, today announced the appointment of Leslie M. Stokes, as its interim chief executive officer. ABTA also announced the kick-off of its search for a new CEO.

Founded in 1973, ABTA was the first national advocacy organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing information and education for all tumor types and all age groups. For almost 45 years, the ABTA has been providing comprehensive resources that support the complex needs of brain tumor patients and caregivers, as well as the critical funding of research in the pursuit of breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care.

In her new role as interim CEO, Stokes will be responsible for all program, financial and operational aspects of the organization’s continued focus on effective research, advocacy and awareness programs until the search for a permanent CEO is completed.

Stokes brings proven ability to lead profitable growth in global healthcare markets. She has the unique positioning of having worked in both the profit and non-profit sectors and this experience will serve her well in this leadership role. Most recently, she served as Senior Vice President, Physician Engagement for the American Medical Association, a non-profit association serving the needs of physicians and health teams to partner with patients and achieve better health. Prior to that, she was director of global marketing for the Nutrition and Renal portfolio at Baxter Healthcare. In addition, she has worked at Merck and Co. Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. Her 25+ years of healthcare experience will equip her to fulfil the leadership and focus required in the interim.

“We are pleased to have someone with such a wealth of experiences in this position, and feel her leadership and empathy towards patients will be well received with the team and external constituents,” said Brian Olson, Chair of the ABTA Board of Directors. “Her expertise in problem solving, organizational change management and strategic planning will be assets during this time of transition.”

“I am extremely excited to lead an organization that has such a powerful mission. I chose healthcare as a career because I believe in doing work that matters; work that has a meaningful impact on people’s lives,” said Stokes. “The work that ABTA does, not only advances the understanding of brain tumors, but ultimately can have a profound effect of improving and saving lives. My goal as interim CEO is to keep driving the organization to significantly impact these goals.”

The interim CEO search was conducted by association and non-profit search experts, Vetted Solutions. They also will conduct the search for ABTA’s new CEO.

About the American Brain Tumor Association

The mission of the American Brain Tumor Association is to advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors with the goals of improving, extending, and ultimately, saving the lives of those impacted by a brain tumor diagnosis. For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Jennifer Keljik