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Executive Director, Private Family Foundation
Sontag Foundation in Palm Valley, Florida
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Date Posted 09/23/2019
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled


The Sontag Foundation, established in 2002, is a private family foundation with $75 million in assets strategically focused on brain cancer. Founders Rick and Susan Sontag were motivated to form the Foundation due to Susan’s experience with this poorly understood disease. Healthcare grants center on brain cancer research as well as allied fields which relate to brain cancer. The Foundation’s first initiative, the Distinguished Scientist Award (DSA), is a career development grant which is awarded to the best and the brightest early career scientists in the USA and Canada who are conducting research related to this intractable disease. To date 47 scientists in 33 academic medical and research centers have been awarded these multi-year grants. DSA grantees have had great career success as evidenced by academic promotions and/or appointments to leadership positions within their institutions or professional societies since receiving their DSA grant.

The Sontag Foundation is also a founding member of the Brain Tumor Funders Collaborative (BTFC).  BTFC is a consortium of brain tumor research funders who pool their financial resources to award research grants for collaborative projects involving multiple international academic research centers. The Foundation is also a major supporter of the Society for Neuro Oncology (SNO), the largest organization in the world for clinicians and scientists working in the field of neuro-oncology. Through its DSA grants, BTFC participation, SNO support and other like causes The Sontag Foundation has given more than $35 million toward brain cancer research.

In 2007 the Foundation expanded its efforts to include supporting brain tumor patients and their caregivers by forming the Brain Tumor Patient Support Group of Northeast Florida. Since 2007 this group has helped almost 200 families cope with this devastating disease. Then in 2014 the Foundation expanded its patient support efforts further by creating the Brain Tumor Network (BTN), an independent nonprofit organization.  BTN provides adults in the USA with high touch personalized navigation to treatment options including locating neuro-oncology expertise close to home, obtaining second opinions and finding relevant clinical trials.

The Foundation’s mission also encompasses certain social causes addressed by small, locally focused nonprofits. To date over $10 million in grants have been awarded to these causes in Northeast Florida. A current program involves a new approach for providing dental care for the indigent. This unique initiative uses the dental resources of The Sulzbacher Center of Jacksonville (a federally qualified health center for the homeless) working in conjunction with Community Health Outreach, a small local provider of social services. Since its inception three years ago several thousand needy patients have received dental care through this initiative.


The Sontag Foundation is seeking an energetic thought leader to serve as its next Executive Director (ED).  Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED will have overall strategic, financial and operational responsibility for execution of the Foundation’s mission. This is a unique full time opportunity for a highly motivated, collaborative individual with a proven track record of success and clearly identifiable accomplishments which are translatable to the mission of the Foundation and its grant making. The Foundation is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, a coastal community southeast of Jacksonville Florida.  The successful ED candidate will be willing to live in and become firmly established in the local community and will also develop personal and professional credibility within the national neuro-oncology arena.


  • Manage all Foundation staff and expenses as directed by the Board

  • Coordinate investment management of the Foundation endowment with the guidance of the Board utilizing outside advisors as directed by the Board

  • Oversee the grant making process for programs related to brain cancer research and charitable activities in Northeast Florida (currently the Distinguished Scientist Award program and the NE FL Oral Health Initiative)

  • Build and maintain close professional relationships with thought leaders and organizations related to brain cancer research and treatment including

    • Society for Neuro-Oncology

    • Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative

    • American Society for Clinical Oncology

    • All major academic medical institutions and cancer research centers

    • Departments within the US government including National Institutes of Health

    • Other organizations funding brain cancer research and providing brain cancer education

  • Oversee all activities related to maintaining relationships with current and past grantees, including the DSA Annual Retreat

  • Build and maintain a strong relationship with the Scientific Advisory Board, screening and recruiting new members as necessary

  • Coordinate the sponsorship of special events/meetings when appropriate to further the knowledge in the brain cancer field and advance the reputation of the Foundation

  • Establish new grant making initiatives consistent with the mission of the Foundation with guidance from the Board

  • Provide routine reporting to the Board and coordinate all Board activities and meetings

  • Maintain a close relationship with BTN for sharing information and relationships


  • Degree in a related field

  • 5-10 years’ experience in management roles

  • Medical/biological knowledge or experience desirable

  • 10 + years’ experience in related field desirable

  • Nonprofit experience a plus


Compensation is competitive and is commensurate with experience. In addition to paid time off, excellent medical, dental and vision insurance, Health Savings Account and 401(k) plan with employer match are available.


Interested candidates should submit a resume (or CV) and cover letter detailing their interest in our mission and qualifications for the position to

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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