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Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children impacted by a parent’s cancer. Founded in 2000, Kesem has grown significantly, and now operates over 100 college-based chapters, serving nearly 9,000 children in 2018. Kesem seeks a dynamic, visionary and strategic leader who can build on Kesem’s 18 year history, while expanding our programs and services to reach all of the 5 million children who have been impacted by a parent’s cancer.

Dear Kesem Family and Friends:

As you may already know, after eight years of spectacularly successful leadership at Kesem, our beloved CEO, Jane Saccaro, will be stepping down. With Jane’s own three children quickly growing, she would like to spend more time with them, and this year will be her last as Kesem’s CEO.

It is hard for many of us to imagine the magic of Kesem without Jane, but her commitment to the organization is as strong as ever. Jane will remain in her role as CEO until we have successfully recruited and onboarded the new CEO (which we expect to happen by Spring 2019) and will then move into a volunteer role as Executive Advisor. In this capacity, Jane will remain closely involved with the organization in supporting the new CEO through the transition.

Jane’s tenure at Kesem has been nothing short of transformational. In 2010, Camp Kesem was a relatively small non-profit with 23 chapters, serving just over 1,000 children annually. Today, Kesem is a thriving, sustainable and nationally recognized organization with 117 chapters across the United States. Over 4,000 student leaders served nearly 9,000 children this past summer. Under Jane’s skilled guidance, Kesem has grown at an annual rate of over 20% and the organization is in the strongest position we have ever seen. With solid financial footing anchored in a sustainable business model, a very talented staff in place, strong leadership from an active Board of Directors and a proven model that has been refined over the last 18 years, we feel incredibly well-positioned for the future.

We are deeply grateful for Jane’s profound commitment to the people, the cause and the magic of Kesem over the past eight years. Her ferocious determination to move the organization forward, hyper-organized approach, poise in communicating with one person or hundreds, generosity of heart and mind, and kindness will be deeply missed.

Over the past three months, a Task Force, comprised of leaders from Kesem’s National Board of Directors and Jane, has been working on our succession plan. We have retained Korn Ferry, a leading search firm to serve as our partner and conduct a nationwide search for an amazing new CEO. We have engaged our Board of Directors, staff and supporters in creating a prioritized list of key competencies that we will be seeking in a CEO candidate. A full description of the job spec can be found below. If you know of potential candidates, please forward their names to Rosa Morris (Rosa.Morris@KornFerry.com) for consideration.

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to Kesem. We have much to celebrate and yet still much to accomplish in the remainder of 2018!

With Gratitude,

Emily M. Brakebill, National Board of Directors Chair

Position Summary


  • Gather intelligence around the meetings with stakeholders to gain a thorough understanding of the role and organization
  • Finalize job specification/Leadership Competencies defined


  • Develop Search Strategy
  • Korn Ferry starts market recruiting and interviewing viable candidates
  • Periodic updates to the Search Committee and constituents during this confidential round of recruiting


  • Confidential Semi-Finalist and Finalist interviews are conducted
  • Leadership assessments are conducted


  • Public announcement of the new CEO
  • Transition plan commences
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Rosa Morris, Principal
Global Education Practice
Washington, D.C.
(202) 955-0952

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Jane Saccaro, CEO, Kesem
10586 West Pico Boulevard, #196
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(260) 225-3736