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March 24, 2022

Executive Compensation at the American Diabetes Association (2020)

by Anne Paddock

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) based in Arlington, Virginia.  Over the past several years, the ADA experienced a drop in revenues and a decline in the organization’s endowment. In 2018, with the replacement of the Executive Director and key staff, revenue increased slightly -by $14 million to $158 million – but declined by $11 million  to $147 million in 2019 and then by $30 million to $117 million in 2020.

By cutting staff (from 1,500 in 2013 to 956  in 2019 to 515 in 2020) and other expenses, ADA seems to be back on track financially but a smaller version of themselves. However, it remains to be seen if the organization will accomplish one of their key goals in the years ahead:  to prevent and cure diabetes.

The ADA has been around for 80 years and during that time, diabetes (specifically, Type 2) has exploded in this country. Accurate records were not maintained in 1940 but estimates are that about 1 million Americans had diabetes back then. Today, that number is 35 million with an additional estimated 100 million Americans being pre-diabetic which often becomes Type 2 diabetes within 5 years.  But, the growth in diabetes is not due to population growth.

In 1940, the population of the US was about 132 million. In 2018, the population had grown to 328 million – an increase of about 250%. The growth in diabetes (from 1 million to 30 million, without even considering the pre-diabetics) was 2,900%. In other words, the disease has been growing much faster than the population which means something has changed and that something appears to be diet and weight. Unless the ADA is able to convince people to make serious lifestyle changes, Type 2 diabetes rates will not decrease.

In 2020, the ADA raised $118 million and spent $100 million with the unspent revenue ($18 million) allocated to the general fund (which had $91 million at year-end).  The single largest expense for ADA is compensation. 515 employees were compensated $40 million, which equates to an average compensation of $78,000.  74 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 12 most highly compensated employees listed below:

  • $1,092,159:  Tracey D Brown, CEO
  • $  331,790:  Robert Gabbay, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer (effective 7/1/20)
  • $  293,525:  Eloise Scavella, Chief Operating and Strategy Officer (to 10/30/20)
  • $  262,664:  Charlotte M Carter, CFO
  • $  257,650:  Linda Cann, SVP
  • $  251,148:  John Agos, Chief Strategic Development Officer (to 7/1/20)
  • $  231,963:  Paul Nalbandian, Associate Publisher, Advertising Sales
  • $  224,262:  Jacqueline Sebany, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer (effective 1/21/20)
  • $  219,805:  Charles Henderson, Chief Development Officer (effective 1/6/20)
  • $  209,709:  Jeanine Jones, VP, HR Operations
  • $  202,707:  Greg Liptak, VP, Quality Improvement
  • $  195,074:  Sean McDonough, VP and General Counsel

The 12 most highly compensated employees received nearly $4 million in compensation.  6 of the 12 most highly compensated employees are male while 6 are female.

See the Form 990, Schedule J, Part III Supplemental Information for details on gross up payments, severance payments and retirement contributions.

Stephanie Silverman is a director of the ADA and the CEO of Venn Strategies – an organization that received  $701,545 for government relations consulting.

35 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 5 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $1,753,744:  Blackbaud, Inc, of Austin, TX for constituent records applications
  • $1,187,019:  Spectrum Science Communications, of Washington, DC for health communications
  • $  885,590:  Contravent LLC, of St Lake City, UT for digital marketing
  • $  749,615:  Resources Global Professionals, of Irvine, CA for project management services
  • $  701,545:  Venn Strategies, of Washington, DC for government affairs

To read the IRS Form 990 (2020), click here.


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