Our Team: Pat Christen
President & CEO
Pat Christen leads HopeLab by cultivating an environment of curiosity, candor, integrity, and play in which individuals are able to do their best work and are supported in living whole-heartedly. As President and CEO, she is responsible for oversight of HopeLab operations and the development of an organizational culture that delivers on HopeLab’s mission.
Pat has more than 25 years experience in the management of nonprofit organizations, including strategic planning, program development, business and fund development, board governance and leadership development. She is committed to finding practical and innovative solutions to complex problems. At HopeLab, she guides a multi-faceted team focused on developing effective solutions that will measurably improve the lives of young people with chronic illness.
During her tenure at HopeLab, Pat instigated the creation of systems and relationships necessary to conduct the organization’s international 34-site randomized controlled intervention trial for HopeLab’s Re-Mission video game for cancer. Results of this groundbreaking research were published in medical journal Pediatrics. In addition, Pat worked closely with HopeLab Board Chair Pam Omidyar and the Board of Directors to expand disease priorities for the organization’s focused efforts; these now include cancer, obesity, sickle cell disease, major depressive disorder and autism. Pat has since led HopeLab into a new phase of innovative research and product development activities to enhance the Re-Mission video game and to create Zamzee, an online rewards platform for teens powered by their physical activity. Pat also serves as Chair of the board of directors of Zamzee, the social enterprise launched by HopeLab in 2010 to bring the Zamzee product to market and scale its social impact.
Pat previously held the position of President and Executive Director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for 15 years, where she worked with her counterparts nationally to craft the federal Ryan White C.A.R.E. Act. This precedent-setting legislation now generates more than $2.0 billion annually in funding for AIDS care in the United States.
Pat also served as president of the Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, establishing AIDS clinics and playing an active role in AIDS-planning efforts globally. As president of Pangaea, she was responsible for the construction of the Infectious Diseases Institute at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, a state-of-the-art AIDS clinic, research, and training center which opened its doors in August of 2004. Pat has written, studied, and lectured on social and health issues both in the U.S. and abroad. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, East Africa from 1982–1985. She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and is a graduate of Stanford University, where she studied biology and political science.
Pat has a husband, and four kids, all of whom are a constant source of inspiration, love and joy.
Photo credit: Liz Song