Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Announces Kathryn Brown as Next Chief Communications and Marketing Officer

Brown to join Foundation in April 2023, bringing more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit communications and journalism, with a focus on health and science

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BETHESDA, Md. — Today, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced that Kathryn Brown will join the organization as its next Chief Communications and Marketing Officer. She will oversee strategic communications and marketing across the Foundation, including initiatives to inform and engage the cystic fibrosis community, as it accelerates its mission to find a cure for the progressive, rare, genetic disorder.

Kathryn Brown, the Foundation's next Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, hired in 2023.

Brown comes to the Foundation from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a biomedical research and philanthropic organization, where she has served as Chief of Communications since 2017. In her role, she was responsible for a wide scope of communications functions, including managing both internal and external communications, and overseeing a team of more than 20 staff.  

“Kathryn has a demonstrated track record of serving as an innovative thought partner, and her strategic leadership will be critical as we enter this next era of cystic fibrosis,” said Michael Boyle, MD, president and CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “As our efforts to advance research, science, and care evolve to meet the changing needs of people with CF, I am confident that Kathryn is well-positioned to lead our talented team in driving critical engagement with our community and our partners, as well as continuing to share one of the most amazing stories in medicine with the broader public.” 

As Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, Brown will lead efforts to amplify the Foundation’s mission, strategic priorities, and value to key audiences. An essential collaborator with other senior leaders, she will help identify ways to support and strengthen the CF community. Brown will also direct internal and external communications, brand management, digital communications and website management, social media and marketing, creative design and production, media relations, and several other areas.  

“I’m thrilled to join the CF Foundation and for the opportunity to work with the entire CF community, as we search for a cure and work to ensure that everyone with cystic fibrosis can live long, fulfilling lives,” said Kathryn Brown. “The Foundation is poised to continue making bold leaps forward so that one day in the future, not a single person will lose a life or loved one to CF. I’m honored to join the Foundation in our journey toward that day.” 

Prior to joining HHMI in 2013, Brown was vice president of marketing and communications at the Conservation Fund and worked as a communications consultant to HHMI, the National Academies, and other leading science institutions. An award-winning writer, she is a former contributing correspondent for Science and has written for Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, New Scientist, and other media outlets. She holds a B.A. in journalism and psychology from the University of Missouri and also serves as a trustee of the Association of Independent Research Institutes.  

Brown will join the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as Chief Communications and Marketing Officer on April 24, 2023. 

About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world's leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation funds more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. The CF Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. For more information, visit

Media Contact 
Dee Donavanik
Phone: 240-482-2857 

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