Announcing New Leadership

December 14, 2019

The AE Alliance has accomplished so much with a small staff and a dedicated board. Yet there is so much to be done to change the trajectory of this disease – to ensure rapid diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and advanced research so that no one faces this disease alone. To achieve this mission requires taking the AE Alliance to the next level.

As the Chair of the Board of the AE Alliance, I am excited to announce that after an extensive recruitment process we have hired an Executive Director who has the experience to drive organizational growth, the empathy to understand patient and family needs and the strategic vision to achieve results that improve diagnosis, treatment, and care.  I now have the pleasure of introducing the AE community to Caterri Woodrum.  Caterri brings amazing experience, empathy, passion, and excitement to the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance.

Until recently, Caterri was the Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc. Over the past fourteen years, she oversaw the Museum’s operations and finances and the Foundation’s fundraising and earned income support efforts. The Museum has an annual budget of $25 million and during her leadership completed a $50 million capital campaign. She oversaw a staff of 175 and had two governing boards to manage. It was immediately clear in talking with Caterri that she is adept at managing complex projects and organizations and brings a proven record of accomplishment in guiding and funding strategic endeavors, expansions and reorganizations.

When asked “Why the AE Alliance?”, Caterri offered several compelling stories. She grew up in and around hospitals and doctors, with her father a hospital administrator. Her early career included more than a decade working for a pharmaceutical company on orphan drugs. It was here she gained valuable insights into rare diseases and the complications of research and treatment. She knows personally the impact and trauma of illness.

Two years ago she decided to shift her focus and align her career with organizations that improve the health of our communities, with a particular interest in diseases impacted by dysfunctional immunity. She is a board-certified health and wellness coach through the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches, following training at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Manhattan, NY and Duke Integrative Medicine, Durham, NC.

Caterri lives with her husband, Jeff, in Orange County, NC.  She is an avid gardener and advocate for the protection of pollinators – monarch butterflies and bees – and has extensively landscaped her property with pollinator-friendly plants.

I look forward to you meeting Caterri and I know she looks forward to engaging with the whole AE community. She will start working full time in January. You can meet her at the AE Family Weekend and Florence Forth road race in Durham, NC on March 7, 2020.

Will McDow
Chairman of the Board