The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing research and improving care for individuals living with sarcoidosis, announces Mary McGowan as the organization’s first-ever Chief Executive Officer.

With more than 35 years of nonprofit leadership, management, fundraising, and public policy experience, including almost a decade of operations and executive leadership at WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease – serving as the primary representative of the leading cause of death of women, McGowan comes to FSR from her most recent position as Executive Director of The Myositis Association (TMA).

“Mary is the right leader for FSR,” said Louise Perkins, FSR’s Board President. FSR co-founders Reading and Andrea Wilson added, “As this year marks FSR’s 20th anniversary, there is no better time for a new leader to provide fresh insight and innovative ideas for FSR’s vision. McGowan’s extensive nonprofit background and leadership skills will help FSR continue to positively impact the sarcoidosis community worldwide.”

“I am very excited to be joining the FSR team as CEO,” said McGowan. “I believe the Foundation has a brilliant research agenda and strategic vision that uniquely positions FSR to make the most impact for the sarcoidosis community. In addition, we have an extraordinary team of committed staff, Board of Directors, Scientific Advisory Board, medical and research community, volunteers nationwide, strategic partners, and individuals supporting the efforts of this exceptional organization in the fight against sarcoidosis. I am honored to be in a position to build upon the success of past accomplishments and continue efforts to ensure that all sarcoidosis patients are empowered to take charge of their health with access to support, research and appropriate care,” she continued.

As Executive Director of TMA and a first-time leader in the rare disease community, McGowan was featured and highlighted as a preeminent rare disease leader by numerous entities including American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Global Genes and the National Organization for Rare Diseases for her innovative national campaigns including Women of Color and Myositis and her leading telemedicine initiatives for autoimmune patients during COVID-19.

As CEO of WomenHeart, representing the 48 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease, McGowan’s achievements included successfully raising more than $9M from a single retail partnership, growing the organization’s staff from 7 employees to 27 employees in less than a decade and creating and implementing WomenHeart’s National Hospital Alliance, comprised of hospitals committed to advancing women’s heart health – a partnership with hospitals nationwide that seeks to ensure that women heart disease patients in every community have access to information, education and patient support services.

Prior to joining WomenHeart, Mary served as Executive Director of the Allergy & Asthma Network, the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating suffering and death due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. She held various positions with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) during her service of 18 years. Following the events of September 11, she was director of multiple pediatric terrorism disaster preparedness grants focusing on the needs of children.

McGowan received a BA in Psychology from Trinity University in Washington, DC and a MA in Human Resources Development from the George Washington University.

About the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research
The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for this disease and to improving care for sarcoidosis patients. Since its establishment in 2000, FSR has fostered over $5 million in sarcoidosis-specific research efforts.

View the original press release published here.