Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Who is running the Red Cross? Fake administrators

Posted by Charles II on December 15, 2015

Via Atrios, Justin Eliott, ProPublica:


When Gail McGovern was picked to head the American Red Cross in 2008, the organization was reeling. Her predecessor had been fired after impregnating a subordinate. The charity was running an annual deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars.

McGovern and her handpicked team of former AT&T colleagues have presided over a string of previously unreported management blunders that have eroded the charity’s ability to fulfill its core mission of aiding Americans in times of need.

Under McGovern, the Red Cross has slashed its payroll by more than a third, eliminating thousands of jobs and closing hundreds of local chapters. Many veteran volunteers, who do the vital work of responding to local fires and floods have also left, alienated by what many perceive as an increasingly rigid, centralized management structure.

Far from opening offices in every city and town, the Red Cross is stumbling in response to even smaller scale disasters.

Driving the alienation, longtime employees and volunteers say, is a gulf that has opened up between McGovern’s executive suite and the rank and file who have spent decades in the mission-focused nonprofit world.

She has surrounded herself with a tight-knit group of former telecom colleagues, they say. “They’re all people from the period when AT&T imploded,” said one former senior official. “The priorities seem to be a reflection of what that team is comfortable with: sales and marketing.”

While McGovern has angered many employees and volunteers, she has maintained the support of the constituency that matters most for her job: the Red Cross’ board of governors, which hires and can fire the CEO. The board includes current and former executives from Goldman Sachs, Eli Lilly and Home Depot along with the chairwoman, McElveen-Hunter, a successful businesswoman and former ambassador to Finland.

2 Responses to “Who is running the Red Cross? Fake administrators”

  1. jo6pacjo6pac said

    I have no idea when it went down hill here but when MS. E. Dole was in charge it became the corp world and nothing to do with help people in need. I have never given money to red cross for these very reasons. Give local.

    • Charles II said

      Good on you, Joe.

      I believe that the Red Cross went downhill in the 1980s, under Elizabeth Dole. There were a series of scandals in the blood business, as well as fraud and malfeasance by local chapters. These came to light between ca. 1980-2000. But in the last 15 years, it has had even larger scandals.

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