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C&C Announces Exciting Leadership Change

After many years of holding two titles at Compassion & Choices — president and chief executive officer — and guiding the organization through tremendous success and growth, Barbara Coombs Lee will hand off one of those roles and establish a new leadership model for C&C.

The board of directors has appointed Kim Callinan, chief program officer since 2015, to the position of CEO. Beginning February 1, Kim’s responsibilities will transition from leading the program team to overseeing management of the entire organization.

Barbara will remain as president and increase her focus on such duties as lifting the organization’s visibility by releasing her second book, writing and speaking on issues of end-of-life care, and engaging in meaningful dialogue with our community of supporters.

“The board has wisely chosen to promote from within C&C and recognizes the outstanding opportunity in Kim’s abilities, knowledge and experience,” Barbara said. “I am so very grateful to Kim for bringing her prodigious skills and energies to the organization, and for being prepared and eager to step into this role.”  

Kim came to Compassion & Choices with a robust background of nonprofit leadership and a strong belief in its goal to improve end-of-life care. She took on the difficult and important work of helping to organize, grow and strengthen C&C’s diverse programs. She also has overseen C&C’s political progress in nonauthorized states, powerful initiatives to ensure access to medical aid-in-dying in authorized states and legal work across the country.

Under her guidance, these programs have flourished. C&C has passed medical aid-in-dying laws in California, Colorado and the District of Columbia; protected and expanded access to medical aid in dying in states where it is an authorized medical practice; and grown the movement to unprecedented levels of impact and visibility.

“This is the natural progression of Kim’s current leadership at the organization. I have every faith that as I move more fully into the role of president, Compassion & Choices will be in excellent hands for continued success with Kim as our CEO,” Barbara explained.

Kim said, of her past three years with the organization, “I have seen such incredible growth, the unwavering energy of this community, and the amount of hard work they’re willing to put in to expand end-of-life options and increase patient autonomy and self-determination. It is truly impressive and, in large part, why I am so excited to take on these new responsibilities.” She continued, “This community has already achieved a great deal, but there is so much more we can do to expand end-of-life options, and create new and better paradigms within the medical community.”


Ahead of the transition, as C&C begins to construct a new five-year strategic plan, your input is needed! Why do you support Compassion & Choices? What are you most excited about? What do you see as the biggest opportunities for the future?

Please fill out this brief survey by January 24 and let Kim know where you think C&C should be focusing its energies in the years to come.