You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Gail McGovern Report Shows Changes over Past Five Years

Gail McGovern
The people we’ve helped and our volunteers and donors have set an amazing example for me.

A five-year update by Gail McGovern, the American Red Cross president and CEO, describes the organization’s progress and explains why the Red Cross is needed now more than ever.

The report, Transforming for the Future, tells the story of how the Red Cross has transformed in the last five years, becoming a financially stable, leaner and more efficient organization, better prepared for the future.

“Over the past five years, I have put pictures on my refrigerator of courageous people I have met as I’ve traveled to sites of disasters such as New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma, China, Japan, Haiti and many others,” writes McGovern, who marked her fifth anniversary with the Red Cross in June. “I do this as a constant reminder of how important the mission of the American Red Cross is to our country.”

McGovern discusses the organizational restructuring that took place in the past five years, the efforts to reduce costs and how the Red Cross has embraced technology, through steps such as releasing six free preparedness apps and launching the Digital Operations Center.

The changes have resulted in greater efficiencies, streamlined operations and fundraising success, while the Red Cross continues to respond to an average of 70,000 disasters a year.

“Overall, the Red Cross is 10 percent smaller today than it was five years ago,” she says. “Our overhead is very low, and I’m proud to tell donors that the changes we have made have not impacted our ability to fulfill our mission.”

Looking ahead, McGovern’s vision for the Red Cross and the nation for the coming years includes:

  • All people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope.
  • Our communities are ready and prepared for disasters.
  • Everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products.
  • All members of our Armed Forces and their families find support and comfort, whenever needed.
  • In an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby and an AED close at hand.
  • McGovern describes her experiences of attending the Joplin High School graduation one year after tornadoes devastated the city and of meeting resilient victims of Hurricane Sandy.

    “The Red Cross has made me a kinder, more tolerant person,” she writes. “The people we’ve helped and our volunteers and donors have set an amazing example for me, and I aspire to model their generosity and gratitude more and more every day.”

    Read the full report on

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.