President and CEO
Harry Johns became president and chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Association in September 2005.
Since his arrival the Alzheimer’s Association has built significant momentum for the cause through a number of innovative tactics: the first nationwide campaign to increase understanding and awareness about Alzheimer’s disease; an emphasis on accelerated progress through the promotion of clinical studies; a campaign to enhance early detection; advanced online information and tools to support individuals with the disease and their caregivers; focus on public policy and advocacy; and targeted high-impact research in detection, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s.
Under Johns’ leadership the Alzheimer’s Association has driven a significant increase in media attention to the cause and to the work of the organization. The Association’s annual publication, Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, has become the most cited source covering the broad spectrum of Alzheimer’s issues. The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference™ is the world’s largest meeting on Alzheimer’s research. The Association led advocacy for the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), which mandates a national strategic plan and annual updates to address Alzheimer’s. NAPA was passed unanimously by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in January 2011 and the country’s first National Alzheimer’s Plan was released in May 2012. The Association and the National Institute on Aging released new diagnostic criteria for the disease in 2011. Collaborations led by the organization and research funded directly by the Association, both internationally, have advanced new levels of understanding in the field. The Nonprofit Times has recognized the Alzheimer’s Association as one of the “50 Best Nonprofits to Work For” for four years in a row, including the organization as one of the top large nonprofits in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Before joining the Alzheimer’s Association Johns spent more than twenty-two years with the American Cancer Society (ACS). In his final role at ACS he served as executive vice president for strategic initiatives. As a member of the executive team, he was responsible for the organization’s nationwide strategy and a broad range of its operations.
Johns earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, and a master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.
In 2011 he was appointed by the Secretary of Health & Human Services to the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services and serves on the Council’s Research Subcommittee, providing input and recommendations to the Secretary and to Congress on a national strategy to address Alzheimer’s disease. Following the 2013 G8 Dementia Summit, he was named to the World Dementia Council. He also serves on the board of Research!America and as the President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, a 501(c)(4) sister organization to the Alzheimer’s Association working to make Alzheimer’s a national public policy priority.
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its 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. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer’s.