Alzheimer’s Association Names Dr. Joanne Pike its Next Chief Executive Officer

Appointment of public health veteran and current Association president signals continued focus on scientific progress and access for treatments for all who will benefit

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Joanne Pike, DrPH, current president of the Alzheimer’s Association, the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research, will become the organization’s chief executive officer in January 2023. She will be responsible for delivery of all services to achieve the organization’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Dr. Pike will succeed Harry Johns, as outlined in an earlier announcement, who has served as the Association’s CEO since 2005. Under Johns’ leadership, the Alzheimer’s public health crisis became a global priority.

Sarah Lorance, chair of the Alzheimer’s Association Board of Directors, noted the board unanimously agreed on the decision to elevate Dr. Pike to chief executive officer, signaling full, ongoing commitment to the succession plan Johns announced in 2021.

“When my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at a very young age, the Alzheimer’s Association was a tremendous source of support and information for my family,” said Lorance. “Dr. Pike’s passion to support all communities increasingly impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias is undeniable. She’s the ideal next leader for the organization and for the millions impacted by Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.”

Dr. Pike’s 25-year career as an innovative leader in public health uniquely positions her to advance the care and research priorities that will have the most impact on those facing Alzheimer’s disease, with a particular emphasis on outreach to underrepresented and underserved communities.

“As one of the fastest-growing diseases in America, what we do next as a society to address the many impacts of Alzheimer’s will be critical,” said Johns, current Alzheimer’s Association CEO. “With the elevation of Joanne to chief executive officer, I am confident we will continue to speed such critical advances and ultimately win the fight to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Joanne’s expertise will be so important to the essential evolution of our healthcare systems to meet the very real needs of those affected in communities across the nation.”

Dr. Pike will take the helm of the Alzheimer’s Association at a time of great progress in research, including a robust treatment pipeline. Last month, we saw the most encouraging results in clinical trials treating the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s to date.

Since joining the Alzheimer’s Association in 2016, and serving now as president, Dr. Pike has had responsibilities that include the Association’s global efforts to accelerate research; enhance care and support; advance public policy; strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion; increase concern and awareness; and grow revenue. Previously, Dr. Pike served as chief strategy officer of the Association, guiding the implementation of the strategic plan throughout the organization. Earlier, she was the Association’s chief program officer, responsible for care and support services for those facing the disease; outreach aimed at creating partnerships with health systems, physicians, and other health care professionals; long-term care initiatives focused on person-centered care delivery models; and growth strategies to reach more individuals through quality improvement, education, and support programs and services.

“Having collaborated extensively with Joanne during the past 6 years, I have witnessed her steadfast commitment to all elements of our mission, and to all of the people that mission supports. She is dedicated to changing outcomes for the more than 6 million people living with Alzheimer’s in America today, their 11 million unpaid caregivers, and to advances that will create risk reduction and treatment opportunities for everyone in the future,” added Johns.

“The Board has been both intentional and thoughtful in its selection of the right leader for the Alzheimer’s Association collaboratively with Mr. Johns throughout the entirety of the selection process,” said Brian Richardson, outgoing chair of the Alzheimer’s Association Board of Directors. “Dr. Pike’s extensive public health experience combined with the humanity she lends the movement make her the obvious and best choice to ensure consistent and meaningful leadership moving forward.”

“My deep passion for public health leads me to approach Alzheimer’s disease and all other dementia with a particular sense of urgency,” said Dr. Pike. “The next few years hold incredible promise. There are more potential treatments for Alzheimer’s in the pipeline than at any point in history. I am grateful for Harry’s unwavering leadership during the past 17 years and applaud all that he accomplished in his tenure. I share his commitment to achieving our mission in all communities, particularly those which have historically been underserved. It will be an honor to lead the Alzheimer’s Association.”

Before joining the Association, Dr. Pike spent 13 years in leadership positions at the American Cancer Society and three years as the executive director of the Preventive Health Partnership, leading a collaboration between the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association to prevent and promote early detection of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Dr. Pike earned her doctorate in public health leadership, focused on health policy and management, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a master’s degree in community counseling from St. Mary’s University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Portland. 

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit alz.org.

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