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CEO Barrios to take lead in Califoria, search begins for new CEO

jarret barrios

Today, the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Board of Directors is announcing that Jarrett Barrios will step down as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer, effective March 3, 2014 to become the CEO of the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region, the second-largest Red Cross region in the United States. 


Barrios, who became CEO of the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts in 2011, spearheaded the growth and evolution of the organization, successfully strengthening links with civic and corporate partners to help grow the region’s support base, reengineering disaster response and recovery practices, engaging greater numbers of younger and more diverse volunteers and developing the largest food pantry system in New England. His work has earned him the 2014 American Red Cross Presidential Award for Excellence, a prestigious national recognition, awarded to Red Cross staff and volunteers who demonstrate superior job performance in alignment with the organization’s priorities.


“From the Boston Marathon bombing response to annual Thanksgiving turkey distributions, Jarrett has grown the Red Cross in Massachusetts - its programs, its base of volunteers, and the funding that supports it all,” said John Stadtler, Red Cross of Massachusetts board chair. “His effective leadership style has sharpened our focus on our mission to serve others, and has expanded our reach in more and more diverse communities. We will miss him and congratulate him on this opportunity.”


Under Barrios’ leadership, the American Red Cross of Massachusetts has: 

  • Mobilized large scale disaster relief and recovery operations for Blizzard Nemo and Boston Marathon Bombing. These responses were the largest Red Cross mobilizations since the historic Blizzard of ’78. 
  • Expanded the volunteer base.  Volunteers constitute 94% of the total Red Cross workforce. Under Barrios’ tenure, the emphasis on volunteer recruitment, training, retention and satisfaction, resulted in a 400% increase in the volunteer workforce in Massachusetts. There are currently 3,000 active volunteers
  • Improved relationships with community partners and strengthening community disaster-readiness efforts. One substantial result of these efforts was a significant increase in the number of disasters responded to locally. These efforts have realized a 28% net increase in local disaster response in the 2013 fiscal year, and another 22% so far in the 2014 fiscal year (July to June)
  • Increased the number of Red Cross clubs in area high schools, colleges and youth programs. Since 2011, the number of active youth clubs has more than doubled. With 57 active youth clubs and 1,400 active youth volunteers across the state, the Red Cross is engaging hundreds of youth in humanitarianism and philanthropy
  • Expanded Service to Armed Forces and International Services programs, including emergency family communications and other forms of emergency assistance to the U.S. military and their families as well as Red Cross Messages and tracing services cases can be opened for family members who have been separated internationally because of armed conflict, political tension, or disaster
  • Developed the largest food pantry system in New England, providing food to 129,000 individuals in the 2013 fiscal year.
  • Increased the emphasis on fundraising in order to meet greater service delivery demands.
  • “I am proud of our accomplishments. Our ability to care for people touched by tragedy has reached new levels of excellence in compassion and care,” said Barrios. “I look forward to working with the search committee, our Board of Directors and staff to name a new leader to ensure the continued growth and success of the Red Cross in Massachusetts.”  


    Barrios served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1998 – 2002, when he was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. In the State Senate, he worked with the American Red Cross in his capacity as chair of the Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee; he also served as Vice Chair of the Health Care Committee, and became the first Latino ever to serve in the state’s senate.  He also served in executive positions with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and GLAAD.

    Barrios will assume a new leadership role within the Red Cross as the chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region. He begins his new position on March 3. Stadtler, along with Division Vice President, Don Herring, will lead a national search for a successor. Barrios will work closely with the search committee to ensure a smooth transition. “Jarrett’s help selecting and onboarding a new CEO is a testament to his commitment to the Red Cross and his desire to deliver excellent service to the people of Massachusetts,” said Stadtler. “We wish him all the best in the next stage of his career.”