DALLAS, June 19, 2019 — Bertram L. Scott, a nationally recognized health care executive from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Robert A. Harrington, M.D., FAHA, an acclaimed interventional cardiologist from Stanford, California, will lead the American Heart Association, as it enters its 2019-2020 fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019. Along with a national volunteer leadership board, they’ll guide the Association to drive breakthroughs in science and technology, change systems and policies, and transform health care and communities as the leading global public health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives.

Previously named to Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America,” Scott takes the reigns as chairman of the board following a two-year term as chairman-elect. After climbing the executive ranks at Prudential Life Insurance Company, Horizon Mercy HealthCare, TIAA-CREF, Cigna and Affinity Health Plan, Scott served at Novant Health in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he recently retired. He has volunteered with the Association on regional and national levels for more than 20 years, as a member of the National Board of Directors since 2012.

Harrington, the Association’s new president, is a global leader in acute ischemic heart disease as the Arthur L. Bloomfield professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University. His volunteer contributions include helping to launch One Brave Idea — the Association’s landmark scientific collaboration with Verily and Astra Zeneca — providing guidance to the science enterprise and leading the Association’s Health Technology Advisory Group. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Association’s Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine, co-chairs the Research Leaders Academy Planning Committee and chairs the Silicon Valley Heart Ball.

“As the American Heart Association grows and evolves, I’m energized by the strong, vibrant future we’re building and looking forward to the transformative leadership of Bert Scott, Dr. Bob Harrington and the entire board,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “They bring a wealth of experience and expertise that will propel our rise from a heart and stroke science leader to a global authority in overall health and well-being.”

The Association also announces its 2019-2020 volunteer officers — treasurer, chairman-elect and president-elect. Marsha Jones, executive vice president and chief diversity officer of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, begins her two-year term as treasurer. In this role, Jones is responsible for the Association’s funds and securities. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Allegheny Division of the American Heart Association.

Raymond P. Vara, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Hawaii Pacific Health in Honolulu, is chairman-elect, having previously served as treasurer. He is also chairperson of the Association’s Corporate Operations Coordinating Committee and has been a member of that committee since 2011. Vara was chairman of the Association’s former Pacific Mountain Affiliate from 2009 to 2011.

Mitchell S.V. Elkind, M.D., a professor of neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University in New York, becomes president-elect. A renowned neurologist focused on brain health, Elkind has held numerous local and national volunteer positions. He chairs the Advisory Committee of the American Stroke Association — a division of the American Heart Association. 

“The Association is honored to have these board members at the helm as we shatter barriers to better health and quite literally save lives,” Brown said.

Additional Resources:


The American Heart Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Expert Perspective: 214-706-1173

Staff contact: Cathy Lewis – 214-706-1324; cathy.lewis@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org