We are pleased to announce that Sharon Klein has joined Neurofibromatosis Northeast as our Executive Director. With more than 15 years of non-profit fundraising experience, she brings a focus and passion on finding cures for rare diseases. She has held numerous leadership roles in executive alignment and collaboration, fundraising, management, and patient advocacy and programs.
Sharon’s career in the nonprofit world began right out of college, when she worked as a Program Coordinator at The Leukemia Society of America, now The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Working at what was then a grass roots organization and wearing many hats, Sharon quickly became well versed in relationship building, branding, and marketing. After serving in leadership roles in development at other organizations including the Wang Theater, Sharon returned to LLS in 1999. Serving more than 12 years there, Sharon led philanthropy and patient initiatives for the Massachusetts and Rhode Island chapters, where she served first as the Director of Development and then later as Executive Director for both Chapters. Sharon is most proud of her accomplishments at LLS, where under her leadership, the Chapters raised more than $6 million annually, to fund research and patient programs.
In 2018, Sharon decided to switch gears from working at a national nonprofit to a startup organization. Her curiosity about science led her to a senior leadership role at the Institute for Protein Innovation (IPI), a group focused on creating synthetic antibodies and creating new therapies for people with rare diseases. Having been the only non-scientist at IPI, she harnessed the opportunity to teach the lab team about fundraising, and how the work in the lab could be translated into a story that would motivate donors.
Sharon is married and has teenage twins, Ava and Gavin, who are the center of her universe. She loves the arts and when not attending a student concert, track meet, or college tour, she enjoys taking flamenco dance lessons or going to see a musical or dance show with her daughter.
“I am looking forward to building lifelong partnerships and friendships throughout the NF community. My focus will be on accelerating funding mechanisms for new research initiatives in both basic and translational science. I will continue to reinforce NF awareness through patient advocacy, branding, and marketing. My goal is to inspire donors by supporting the best science in NF and related diseases, while providing hope for patients and families .”