Executive Director

Posted 6 months ago


The Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF) is the charitable arm of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). It is a pivotal force for growth and vitality in the cardiothoracic surgery specialty, especially in the areas of research and academic career development. TSF was established in 1988 as a 501(c) (3) charitable organization and became the exclusive charitable arm of STS in 2014; STS is the largest organization in the world representing cardiothoracic surgeons and other members of the cardiothoracic surgery team. TSF has a 1.5M annual budget and over 7.5M in total assets.


TSF’s mission is to foster the development of surgeon scientists in cardiothoracic surgery, increasing knowledge and innovation to benefit patient care. In addition to its research and educational initiatives, TSF also supports humanitarian cardiothoracic surgery volunteer outreach in developing countries.

While TSF is a small foundation, it is poised for significant growth, especially since it provides funding for research and education related to heart disease and lung cancer, the two leading causes of death in the United States. TSF’s goal is to build upon its recent success in growing both contributions and award offerings.

TSF is supported by contributions from cardiothoracic surgeons, STS, and several important corporations and foundations.


The TSF Executive Director (ED) provides oversight over a wide array of day-to-day operational activities and partners with the surgeon leadership to grow fundraising.

The ED reports to the STS Senior VP, Technology and External Relations and the TSF Board, and is responsible for governance, fundraising, award programs, marketing and resource development, and stakeholders relations (with stakeholders including cardiothoracic surgery organizations, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, TSF volunteer leaders, foundations, and donors).

Working closely with TSF surgeon leadership, the ED identifies opportunities to expand the Foundation’s impact by enhancing its fundraising from individuals, as well as from industry partners and foundations passionate about addressing heart and lung disease.

The ED oversees one staff member and works collaboratively with STS staff, including those marketing, finance, membership, education, and information technology.

The position is located at the STS Chicago headquarters and is a hybrid of in-person and virtual work; occasional travel is required.


  • Oversee TSF governance and Board meetings.
  • Oversee the annual leadership appointment process.
  • Serve as chief fundraiser and create and implement comprehensive resource development plans in collaboration with the TSF President and other senior Foundation leaders.
  • Develop a strategy for and lead implementation of the annual giving campaign.
  • Create the annual report and identify opportunities for donor visibility in conjunction with the STS Annual Meeting.
  • Write and submit grants to major potential corporate and foundation donors.
  • Oversee TSF’s donor database and utilize data analytics to drive decision making.
  • Collaborate with STS staff who help support TSF, including senior management of STS.
  • Develop the annual TSF budget and work closely with STS staff to create and operationalize marketing and communication strategies.
  • Collaborate with the STS finance department to ensure accurate TSF financial reporting and invoicing.
  • Work with over a dozen internal committees that develop and oversee fellowships and research awards.
  • Oversee the selection of annual awardees/grantees.
  • Assure timely disbursement of awards and supervise effective communication with recipients.
  • Work with affiliated organizations to promote award opportunities and announce awardees.
  • Supervise TSF receptions and other events.
  • Manage support staff and oversee all office functions, including compliance and financial reporting, and vendor relations.



Bachelor’s degree in related field required. Master’s degree preferred.


The successful candidate will have a minimum of five years’ experience at a 501(c)(3) organization, experience in the field of fundraising and foundations, and familiarity with associations. The successful candidate will also have strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as the ability to work effectively with surgeon leaders and senior management of STS. The successful candidate will have excellent organizational skills and the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously.


Energy, creativity, initiative, eagerness to learn, and professionalism required. The successful candidate will exemplify the STS Core Values of Leadership; Quality; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Professionalism; Innovation; and Collaboration.

Application Process

This search is being conducted by Tuft & Associates.

Those interested in applying should send a resume and cover letter indicating qualifications and scope of experience, using one of these options:

  • Complete the resume submission form below, and include your resume and cover letter.
  • Email your resume and cover letter to Gail Luxenberg, c/o at cbabjak@tuftassoc.com

Job Features

Job CategoryOpen
LocationChicago, IL