Meet the dedicated leaders who guide the Arthritis Foundation in the fight to conquer arthritis with life-changing science, resources, advocacy and community connections for all people living with America’s #1 cause of disability.
National Leadership Team
President & Chief Executive Officer
A mission-first leader in the voluntary health space, Steve has over three decades of experience devoted to making life better for patients with life-altering diseases.
Since joining the Arthritis Foundation in 2021, Steve has established the organization’s multi-year strategic mission plan, which outlines the Foundation’s clear pathways to finding a cure and improving quality of life for the nearly 60 million Americans diagnosed with arthritis.
Steve is passionate about aligning the Arthritis Foundation’s advocacy agenda and science strategy with the organization’s priorities, which are shaped by patient voices. Steve’s leadership is guided by the Foundation’s strong community of patients and volunteers — who are critical in driving the organization’s progress in boldly attacking arthritis and its effects.
Prior to being named president and CEO in 2022, Steve served as the Arthritis Foundation’s executive vice president for mission and strategic initiatives for the prior year. Previously, he served as president and CEO of the Sjögren’s Foundation for 18 years, from 2003 to 2021. While there, Steve worked to make Sjögren’s a household name, increasing awareness among the general public and health care professionals. He also notably led the development of the first-ever Clinical Practices Guidelines for Sjögren’s, a resource to help physicians treat, manage and monitor their patients.
Since childhood, Steve has been devoted to worthy causes, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s telethon and the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope Heart program. He has also served in staff leadership positions at the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society and, in 2012 and again in 2019, served as volunteer chair of the National Health Council board of directors.
Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston University and an executive MBA from Auburn University. He is the proud father of three sons.
“It is my greatest honor and joy to work alongside our volunteers and patients, who serve as my biggest inspiration,” says Steve. “That’s what is so powerful about being part of a mission like ours. Their stories are what fuel us as we champion the fight against arthritis together.”
VICKIE FUNG, MPH
Senior Vice President, Mission Delivery
Vickie joined the Arthritis Foundation in 1996 and has held roles of increasing responsibility in mission delivery.
As vice president of mission delivery, Vickie oversees mission-driven initiatives across the organization, including patient education and engagement, juvenile arthritis programs and enterprise-wide health partnerships. Her team develops and executes consumer-based patient education resources and tools, develops strategies that drive patient and volunteer engagement in mission opportunities, and maintains an appropriate feedback loop with patients, volunteers and staff for ongoing quality improvement.
Vickie holds a Master of Public Health, Public Education and Promotion from the University of California, Los Angeles. She resides in Arcadia, California.
“Our mission is to help people with arthritis feel empowered and to know that they are not alone in our fight against arthritis,” says Vickie. “It is very inspiring to me to see the lives we’ve been able to impact. I am privileged to be part of an extraordinary group of staff and volunteers who work hard to make a difference every day.”
Senior Vice President, Operations
As senior vice president of operations, Kelly is responsible for providing oversight and strategy development for operations, information technology, human resources and finance.
Kelly comes to us from Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), where he most recently served as vice president of business strategies. While working at BIO, Kelly was responsible for driving strategic growth planning and key improvements in revenue generation, internal systems, data processes and financial operations.
Kelly has diverse leadership experience in association, nonprofit and commercial organizations. He has delivered positive business outcomes in roles at the American International Automobile Dealers Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the American National Red Cross, Lockheed Martin and Sycamore Networks.
Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Cincinnati. He resides in the Washington, D.C., area.
“I am honored to be part of the life-changing work we do at the Arthritis Foundation,” says Kelly. “Seeing the direct impact we have on people battling arthritis inspires us to work even harder each day to fulfill our mission, so we can touch more lives.”
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Sabrina joined the Arthritis Foundation as senior vice president of marketing and communications in 2020. After working in agencies and consulting firms, she held leadership roles at Stanley Black & Decker, SunTrust Bank and the American Cancer Society. Sabrina is based in Atlanta and leads the Foundation’s integrated marketing, brand, content and digital experience efforts. She has a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Georgia and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®).
“I’ve learned that creating an authentic human experience is the best way to be both meaningful and memorable,” Sabrina says. “Good design is not just making things pretty. It’s about solving problems, which I’m honored to do alongside passionate staff, volunteers, partners and supporters on behalf of the entire arthritis community.”
MARIA VASSILEVA, PHD
Senior Vice President, Science Strategy
As the senior vice president of science strategy at the Arthritis Foundation, Dr. Vassileva leads and oversees all aspects of our scientific programs, including strategic planning, development and evaluation of all new projects and management of the scientific awardee portfolio and internal science team.
Dr. Vassileva is focused on applying innovative approaches while building multi-stakeholder consortia and to position the Foundation as a conceptual and programmatic leader in arthritis research and drug development.
Dr. Vassileva holds a doctorate of philosophy in biochemistry and cellular biology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, with a minor in vaccine science and policy. She holds a bachelor of science in biology and chemistry with a concentration in mathematics.
Prior to her role at the Arthritis Foundation, Dr. Vassileva led the clinical research team at Navitas Clinical Research, formerly KAI Research, a global contract research organization, as the director of clinical research and was a member of the senior management team there. Her previous roles include director for strategic program development at Social & Scientific Systems, a senior scientific program manager at the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH) and a senior research associate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
At FNIH, she oversaw a portfolio of complex clinical public-private partnerships with budgets of over $60 million, including the Accelerated Medicines Partnership in Type 2 Diabetes, and all programs under the Biomarkers Consortium Metabolic Disorders Steering Committee umbrella, including projects in musculoskeletal disorders and bone quality.
Dr. Vassileva is an expert in biomedical public-private partnerships and multi-stakeholder collaborations. She has multiple publications in peer review journals and has extensive teaching, mentoring and contract negotiation experience.
Senior Vice President, Field Management & Development
As senior vice president of field management and development, Michael oversees the Arthritis Foundation’s community engagement and fundraising departments, including major giving, foundation relations and corporate relations. Michael also leads field staff in nearly 65 communities across the country.
Michael has more than 17 years of nonprofit experience with the American Heart Association (AHA), Human Rights Campaign and Witness for Peace. He joined the Arthritis Foundation after serving as the AHA’s national lead for national corporate relations, during which time he secured one of the largest corporate sponsorship commitments in the organization’s history. Michael’s previous roles at the AHA include national director of Go Red for Women and executive director for Metro Atlanta.
Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis on nonprofit studies. He resides in Atlanta with his husband and their 1-year-old twins.
“For 75 years, the Arthritis Foundation has united patients, health care providers and communities to improve the lives of those living with arthritis and to boldly pursue a cure,” says Michael. “I’m honored to be a part of this proud legacy and to work alongside our passionate staff and extraordinary volunteers to realize a future free from arthritis.”
Chair, Board of Directors
Matt Mooney was named chair of the Arthritis Foundation’s Board of Directors in November 2022.
A co-president of ON Partners, a nationally ranked executive search firm, Matt has more than 30 years of consulting experience serving clients across the technology, consumer products, industrial, financial and professional services sectors. He has placed over 500 executives in C-level, general management and board leadership positions for public and private companies.
Matt is a longtime volunteer and supporter of the Arthritis Foundation. Inspired by their daughter who has lived with juvenile arthritis since age 2, Matt and his wife Heidi Hoffman Mooney support the Arthritis Foundation nationally and in their home state of Georgia. Matt joined the national board of directors in November 2014. Before ascending to the role of board chair, he served as vice chair. He also served as chair of the Foundation’s Southeast Region Board and chair of the annual Jingle Bell Run in Georgia. He is also a member of the Georgia Leadership Council.
“I am incredibly proud to be the incoming chair of the Arthritis Foundation’s national board of directors,” says Matt. “We have a strong set of priorities, including advancing our scientific agenda by funding innovative research and enabling the development of a diverse rheumatology workforce.”
Meet Our Board
2023 National Board Roster
Officers & Executive Committee
Matt Mooney | Chair | Georgia
Dennis Ehling | Vice Chair | California
Winell Belfonte | Treasurer | Maryland
Helen King | Secretary | Pennsylvania
Immediate Past Chair | Frank Longobardi | Florida
Board of Directors
Carlos Carrasco | Florida
John L. Coalson, Jr. | Georgia
Mary (Peggy) Crow, MD | New York
Robin Dore, MD | California
David Felson, MD | Massachusetts
Mark Froimson, MD | Ohio
Helen King | Pennsylvania
Kevin Mandrell | Indiana
Amanda Parks | Georgia
Paulo Pinho, MD | New Jersey