The Board of Directors of Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida has selected Mary Strickland as the organization’s new president and CEO.
Strickland’s career includes a broad range of professional experiences. She started as an emergency room nurse and later led a large New York City nonprofit. She went on to help direct New Jersey’s Department of Human Services and ultimately managed global public and government affairs for divisions of the international for-profit company Novartis. It was this broad range of leadership experiences that attracted LSS board members to Strickland, said Board Chair Rusty White.
“Our organization has been in a stage of strategic transition,” White said. “We were looking for a strong leader who could manage change and bring expertise to the many ways we serve this community. We found much more than we were looking for in Mary Strickland.”
Strickland, who maintains her license as a registered nurse, earned her master’s in business administration degree from Dartmouth’s prestigious Tuck School of Business. She moved to Jacksonville in 2012 while serving as executive director of government affairs for Sandoz, a division of Novartis, the world’s second largest generic pharmaceutical company.
Strickland describes herself as a detail-oriented, collaborative leader. “I’m very hands-on,” she said. “I like to engage with the community. You won’t see me in my office much.”
Married to a U.S. Navy public affairs officer at NAS Jacksonville, Strickland and her husband have four children, three in college and a 15-year-old at home.