Executive Director | Con Alma Health Foundation

Executive Director
Santa Fe, NM


Con Alma Health Foundation (Con Alma), New Mexico’s largest foundation dedicated solely to health from a health equity perspective, seeks nominations and applications for the position of Executive Director (ED). Con Alma is respected nationally and in New Mexico for its work to improve the health status and access to health care for all New Mexicans. With assets of roughly $25 million, the Foundation fulfills its mission through a thoughtful and strategic approach that builds capacity and fosters collaboration among funders, partners and communities to strengthen systems and advocate for policies that address the health needs of all New Mexicans with a focus on serving people of color and rural communities.

The new ED will succeed Con Alma’s esteemed, long-serving Executive Director who will be retiring. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the ED will implement the Foundation’s mission and values through its programs and operations; and direct the development, planning, evaluation, resource development, staffing and coordination of all Foundation activities. S/he will lead strategic planning and evaluation efforts and ensure that the Foundation’s strategic plan is continually updated to meet mission needs. The ED will consult with the Community Advisory Committee, a group of respected advisors who serve as a resource to provide insight on the health care needs and trends within the communities. Finally, the ED will serve as a public representative for Con Alma and work collaboratively with partners across sectors (nonprofit, philanthropic, governmental, private/business) on behalf of communities.

The ideal candidate will have substantial work and leadership experience in a relevant field, fostering collaboration and support for positive change within the context of New Mexico’s diverse communities. S/he will bring experience from working and partnering in various systems that impact health equity and foster success broadly for communities. S/he will possess deep knowledge of systems change and experience addressing health disparities through dealing with the broad social, economic and place-based forces affecting the social determinants of health. S/he will have the ability to oversee the development and implementation of programs and possess the skills to facilitate authentic, productive dialogue within diverse communities and settings. The ED will have demonstrated success in protecting, preserving and increasing organizational assets; and in leading a dedicated, strong, diverse team in navigating change and achieving mission success.

This search is being conducted by Linh Nguyen and Britni Russell-Bianchi of the national search firm, NPAG. Applications will be accepted until January 15, 2021. Instructions can be found at the end of this document.

Organizational Overview

Con Alma, a private health conversion foundation, is New Mexico’s largest foundation dedicated solely to health, was created in 2001 with an endowment of $20 million from the sale of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, and received an additional $3.5 million endowment through a second conversion in 2002 from the sale of the Los Alamos Medical Center resulting in a collaboration between Con Alma and the Auxiliary for the Los Alamos Medical Center called the Northern New Mexico Health Grants Group. The Foundation’s assets currently total around $25 million.

Con Alma’s mission is to respond to the health rights and needs of culturally and demographically diverse peoples and communities of New Mexico. Con Alma seeks to improve health status and access to health care services, and advocates for health policies which address the health needs of all New Mexicans. The Foundation makes grants and contributions to fulfill its mission. Six core values guide the Foundation’s policies, operations, program initiatives and grant making: 1) Improve the health status of all New Mexicans; 2) Maintain the public trust; 3) Involve, collaborate and partner with New Mexico communities; 4) Innovate and lead; 5) Teach and learn; and 6) Be an effective advocate for a health policy that supports the Foundation’s charitable purpose and mission.

Dedicated to health equity, Con Alma pursues the elimination of health disparities by defining health broadly: physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, social, oral, environmental, economic, and spiritual health and well-being. The Foundation understands that health is more than healthcare and has a focus on advancing health and health equity through systems change versus direct services and works to address the broad policy and systems environment that influence health. As a statewide funder, Con Alma respects and responds to the values and experiences of all peoples and communities in New Mexico. The Foundation has a focus on serving people of color and rural communities and a strong commitment to community self-definition, self-determination, and community involvement. More information about Con Alma may be found at: conalma.org.

Sample Programmatic Areas:

Con Alma Health Foundation grants

Grantees represent a diverse array of nonprofits supporting healthy communities around the state of New Mexico. Since its inception Con Alma Health Foundation has awarded more than $17 million dollars to support the health rights and needs of the culturally and demographically diverse peoples and communities of New Mexico. You can find lists and descriptions of current and past grantees by visiting our Grantee History.

Northern NM Health Grants Group

The Northern New Mexico Health Grants Group (NNMHGG), is a joint initiative of Con Alma Health Foundation and the Los Alamos Medical Center Auxiliary. In May 2002, the Los Alamos Medical Center was sold by Banner Health Systems, a nonprofit corporation, to Province HealthCare, a for-profit corporation. Some proceeds from the sale of Los Alamos Medical Center (LAMC) were preserved to serve the unmet health care needs of the people of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and northern Santa Fe counties. More here.

COVID-19 emergency assistance

After the devastating impacts of COVID-19, Con Alma Health Foundation received a grant to provide humanitarian aid to help some of the families and communities feeling the greatest strain under the COVID-19 health emergency. Using a health equity lens, Con Alma will award grants to address short term needs in New Mexico as a result of COVID-19 and will focus on long-term policy and systemic change strategies that address health disparities and advance health equity as part of an equitable recovery. Con Alma also received a grant to establish and manage the COVID-19 Relief for Immigrant Communities in New Mexico Fund, which provides direct assistance to New Mexicans who are immigrants and creates awareness about the structural barriers to their well-being. Con Alma will prioritize grants to immigrant-led organizations and requests that include collaboration and coordination with others on COVID-19 efforts. More here.


In partnership with the New Mexico Association of Grantmakers and other funding partners and stakeholders, Con Alma is working to raise the issue of broadband inequities in New Mexico—exacerbated by COVID-19—especially in the areas of healthcare, education, and the economy; identify current efforts to strengthen the infrastructure and broadband capacity to serve all; and engage philanthropic and nonprofit partners to identify next steps in which we can partner with private/business sector, and federal, state and tribal governments to strengthen broadband capacity.


Leadership and Mission Stewardship:  The ED will advance the Foundation’s mission and core values through a health equity focus. S/he will support the Board of Trustees in the development of the Foundation’s agenda, priorities, strategic planning, program evaluation and organizational operations, and will represent the Foundation to the external community and. The ED will work with the Community Advisory Committee, which provides advice and recommendations to the Board concerning the performance of the Foundation in achieving its Charitable Purpose and Mission, and identifying and assessing the health needs of all New Mexicans.

Resource Development:  The ED will protect, preserve and increase assets through decreased expenses and increased revenues and other strategies to advance the Foundation’s mission while preserving assets. The ED will continue the Foundation’s strategic success in leveraging resources and increasing impact through national and local grants, funders’ collaboratives and other strategies. The ED will foster and build on relationships with other foundations, nationally and in New Mexico -- engaging with federal, tribal, state, county, city governments; academic and health care institutions; and a broad spectrum of leaders from across New Mexico and the U.S.

Internal Operations:  The ED will ensure that the Foundation operations are soundly managed and that policies and procedures for administration are in place. S/he will serve as the liaison to the Foundation’s legal and financial advisors and ensure compliance with all local, state and federal requirements. The ED will direct and work collaboratively with Foundation staff members to ensure that the organization is successfully administered according to its mission and core values; provide professional development opportunities for and support staff; steward organizational culture; and create a supportive environment for staff to improve performance and accomplish mission goals.

Collaboration:  Con Alma is highly respected for its leadership and community-oriented focus and the ED will continue the Foundation’s long-standing relationships with funding and community partners at the local, state and national levels. The ED will continue to create and promote partnerships with community-based and health care organizations to accomplish the goals of the Foundation, develop and foster relationships with national, state and local health-related agencies, foundations and other community organizations. The ED will represent the Foundation as its primary public relations and marketing officer under the direction of the Board. S/he will design and oversee appropriate marketing strategies necessary to promote Con Alma’s activities and maintain knowledge of national and local health care trends as they relate to the needs of the residents of New Mexico.

Programs:  The ED will stay apprised of trends and support research in the Foundation’s interest area, establish relationships with those actively involved in best practices in the field and provide direction for the Foundation’s grantmaking that promote systemic change. S/he will be outcome-oriented and direct the planning and operation of the Foundation’s programs, program evaluation, development of operating policy and procedures and supervise all Foundation staff. Additionally, the ED will oversee the implementation of the annual Grant Awards Recognition and accomplish and accept additional duties as needed and as assigned by the Board of Trustees.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:  The Foundation is committed to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace, communities and state. The ED will steward, model and encourage this approach to grantees and community and funding partners. As one example, the ED will work with the Board and Community Advisory Committee to ensure that Con Alma is well and uniformly represented to culturally and geographically diverse communities within New Mexico.


While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:


  • Senior executive experience (CEO/Executive Director/Vice President level) of a private foundation, grantmaking foundation or related nonprofit organization strongly preferred.
  • Broad knowledge of the systems, networks and resources throughout the philanthropic and nonprofit sector; awareness of health issues facing urban, rural and ethnically diverse populations strongly preferred.
  • Proven success in resource development. Proposal writing skills a plus.
  • Skills in program development and evaluation, and a commitment to outcome evaluation.
  • Strong business management skills including financial oversight.
  • Experience in organizing/supporting the work of a governing board and advisory committees.
  • Skills in developing consensus among diverse groups with broad interests.
  • Ability to lead and engage effectively with all levels of staff, the Board of Trustees, Community Advisory Committee members and other stakeholders.
  • Superb communication and external relations skills and demonstrated success in building an organization’s profile and reputation in local, regional, national and professional communities; ability to maintain and enhance Con Alma’s profile as the leading health and health equity foundation in New Mexico.
  • Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree in related field.

Personal:  Organizational and political sophistication combined with outstanding interpersonal and communication skills; flexibility, innovation and creativity; the desire and ability to serve comfortably and effectively in a public role to shape and increase Con Alma’s visibility; a leader who will inspire trust, respect and integrity; the ability to synthesize complex concepts to others in a way that can be understood; and a commitment to and professional or personal history of working with the geographically diverse, multicultural communities in New Mexico.


This search is being led by Linh Nguyen and Britni Russell Bianchi of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s candidate portal .

Con Alma Health Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity, equity and inclusion. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.