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Media Statement: ProPublica profile on Gail McGovern

During her seven years of service as President and CEO of the American Red Cross, Gail McGovern has worked tirelessly to ensure that this critical humanitarian organization is always there for people in need.

She has used her finance and management skills to bring the Red Cross back from the brink of serious challenges she inherited and has set the Red Cross on the path to financial stability. To ensure it is a good steward of donor dollars, she cut management and general overhead almost in half, but not at the expense of delivering the Red Cross mission every day, and providing extensive services to those in need. For example:

  • Financial support to victims of home fires and other local disasters has gone up every year for the past three years, including the overall funding and number of cases served;
  • A new campaign was launched in 2014 to prevent home fires, resulting in the installation to date of more than 215,000 free smoke alarms in nearly 2,600 communities, saving at least 32 lives; and
  • The American Red Cross continues to respond to nearly 70,000 disasters every year in communities at home and around the world. In 2015, the Red Cross provided more than 34,000 overnight shelter stays, served more than 1.1 million meals and snacks, and responded to more large-scale U.S. disasters than it has in each of the past three years.
  • Also, McGovern has worked to right-size the Red Cross’ blood operations in light of a significant decline in the demand for blood products, which has led to rapidly declining revenues affecting the entire industry. She has done this without risking the ability of the Red Cross to collect approximately 14,000 units of blood each day to meet the needs of patients across the country.

    Under Gail’s leadership, the Red Cross has used new technology to reach more people than ever before with lifesaving information, including a series of award-winning free apps which have been downloaded more than seven million times in the U.S. and translated into 30 languages.

    The American Red Cross is stronger today due to McGovern’s efforts in partnership with an amazing team of employees, volunteers, and donors. She is a humanitarian who cares deeply about the people we serve – never forgetting that we are able to do so because of the generosity of our donors, volunteers, partners and the American public.

    To read a letter from the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross, click here.

    To read more about McGovern’s accomplishments at the Red Cross, click here.

    To read more about how we help people after disasters including financial assistance, click here.

    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.