New CEO of Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health appointed

Cynthia Brandt Stover, who led the Smithsonian Institution’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, will lead a 98-member staff at the foundation.

Cynthia Brandt Stover

Cynthia Brandt Stover, PhD, has been appointed president and CEO of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, effective Sept. 4.

Brandt Stover has been campaign director at the Smithsonian Institution since 2013. She brings more than 20 years of experience in fundraising, campaign leadership and external relations to her new role.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cynthia to the foundation,” said board chair Elaine Chambers, who served on the search committee led by board vice chair Manuel Henriquez. “With her remarkable successes in fundraising and her passion for the mission of children’s health, she brings the perfect combination of skills and qualities needed to lead us to further success.”

Brandt Stover will lead a 98-member staff. The foundation directs all fundraising for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and for the maternal and child health programs at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Fundraising totaled more than $163 million last year. The foundation also operates a grant-making program aimed at improving health care systems for children with special health care needs, and kidsdata.org, a website that provides data about the health and well-being of children statewide.

“It’s a time of unparalleled innovation in health care, and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has huge potential to improve the lives of children and families in the Bay Area and beyond,” Brandt Stover said. “Philanthropy can unlock that potential. I’m honored to join the foundation and a dedicated team of doctors, donors, board members and staff. Together we will engage even more members of the community in this inspiring mission.”

At the Smithsonian, Brandt Stover led the public phase of the institution’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, which raised $1.88 billion, surpassing its $1.5 billion goal 16 months ahead of schedule.

Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she was vice president for institutional advancement at Mills College in Oakland, California, where she increased annual giving, tripled major gift solicitations and worked closely with the president and trustees on policy and organizational strategy.

“At Stanford Medicine, strategic relationships play a crucial role in our ability to lead the biomedical revolution in precision health, helping us to predict, prevent and cure the health conditions that impact the lives of countless children and families,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine and a member of the search committee. “Cynthia has a track record of creating impactful relationships with institutional leaders, board members and colleagues, and her leadership will improve health outcomes not only in our local community but across the nation and world.”

Brandt Stover is no stranger to Stanford. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in English and fine arts from Vanderbilt University, she earned a master’s degree and PhD in sociology from Stanford. She then served as associate dean for external relations at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, where in 2008 her team surpassed the five-year fundraising average by 50 percent. 

“We are grateful for the foundation’s remarkable commitment to advancing children’s health, which has helped Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford grow and continues to help fund our transformational expansion,” said Dennis Lund, MD, the hospital’s interim CEO. “I look forward to working with Cynthia as she provides the leadership to ensure that more children and families receive the life-saving care they need.”

Brandt Stover is the third president and CEO of the foundation, which was founded in 1997. She succeeds David Alexander, MD, who stepped down in March after holding the position for 11 years.



Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at http://mednews.stanford.edu.

Leading in Precision Health

Stanford Medicine is leading the biomedical revolution in precision health, defining and developing the next generation of care that is proactive, predictive and precise. 

A Legacy of Innovation

Stanford Medicine's unrivaled atmosphere of breakthrough thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration has fueled a long history of achievements.