AHA names first female CEO

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NEW ORLEANS—Nancy Brown has been named the next CEO of the American Heart Association by its board of directors, effective Jan. 1, 2009.   

Brown is the first female CEO in the history of the association. She succeeds Cass Wheeler, who has served as CEO of the association for 11 years.

Brown has served as the AHA chief operating officer (COO) for the last seven years. Since 1986, she has worked with the AHA in a variety of roles, including Metro Detroit Director in the Michigan Affiliate; executive vice president for the Massachusetts Affiliate; executive vice president for the New England Affiliate; national executive vice president for science operations, and her current position at the National Center.

In her role as COO, Brown has lead a number of advances for the AHA, including the launch of its cause initiatives (Go Red for Women, START!, Power to End Stroke and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation); the Winning with Talent Task Force.

“Although we’ve made great progress in the fight against heart disease and stroke, our work is far from over. The AHA will continue to work aggressively to help people live healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. I look forward to the opportunity to lead the AHA to its next level of success,” Brown said.