I believe we can help people with Parkinson's disease live better today by improving health and quality of life through patient education, resources and expert care while investing in research that leads to medical breakthroughs as quickly as possible.John L. Lehr
John L. Lehr leads the Parkinson's Foundation as president and chief executive officer. He has nearly three decades of nonprofit fundraising and management experience, with a strong focus in the voluntary healthcare and medical research sectors.
Lehr played a key role in merging two legacy Parkinson’s disease (PD) organizations into the Parkinson’s Foundation in 2017. Since joining the Foundation, fundraising revenue has grown each year by double digits, allowing the Foundation to greatly expand its mission programs. Lehr led the efforts to open 17 regional chapters to better serve local Parkinson’s communities. These developments and other initiatives have allowed the Foundation to earn a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, and to be named to the 2020 list of Best Places to Work by The NonProfit Times.
During his tenure at the Foundation, Lehr has overseen several major initiatives including:
- Expanding the Foundation’s Global Care Network to increase access to high-quality PD care nationwide;
- Launching PD Generation: Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease, a groundbreaking study to gather genetic data for research and drug development on thousands of people with PD by offering free genetic testing and counseling;
- Co-hosting the Parkinson’s Policy Forum to align the PD community around key issues, and to petition state and federal lawmakers to take action on pressing patient needs and policy changes;
- Launching the Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech, the Foundation’s newest research-driven investment fund, to accelerate breakthroughs in treatments that people with PD need today.
Lehr also guides the Foundation’s four-year strategic plan to advance our mission and drive impact for the PD community. In advocating for the PD community, Lehr recognizes the importance of expanding community services and resources that are offered for free, notably extended hours and Spanish-language capabilities for the Foundation's Helpline, which receives 20,000 calls a year.
Lehr earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in History from Villanova University. From 1990–1991, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sri Lanka.
May 4, 2023
Following Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Parkinson’s Foundation President and CEO John L. Lehr sat down with NASDAQ’s Live From MarketSite to discuss the early signs of PD and the important work the Foundation is doing to make life better for the entire PD community.
National Health Council
April 17, 2023
Parkinson’s Foundation President and CEO John L. Lehr discusses the early signs of Parkinson’s disease, how to live well with the disease, and shares essential resources that are designed for people living with and caring for someone with PD. The Foundation is a member of the National Health Council, and Parkinson.org is linked throughout.
April 12, 2023
The producing team behind the Broadway hit, A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, has raised $500,000 in honor of legendary singer, songwriter and performer Neil Diamond and the one million people in the U.S. living with Parkinson's disease. The funds raised will help the Foundation continue making life better for people with PD by providing increased access to high-quality care, research opportunities and critical resources.
April 12, 2023
Broadway’s A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical has raised and donated $500,000 to the Parkinson's Foundation in honor of the show's subject, singer-songwriter Neil Diamond. Following the Broadway musical's April 11 curtain call, the cast revealed the final total from A Beautiful Noise's fundraising efforts with a check presented by co-producers Jonathan Corr and Sandi Moran to Parkinson’s Foundation President and CEO John L. Lehr.
This episode of GoodUnited’s Nonprofit Innovators podcast features a one-on-one interview with John Lehr, president and CEO of the Parkinson’s Foundation. Lehr discusses how nonprofits can be creative and innovative with a small budget, how a merger at the Foundation led to new and innovative research and programs, and more.
The Parkinson’s Foundation has announced the expansion of its Global Care Network with the addition of four Centers of Excellence and six Comprehensive Care Centers to increase access to high-quality care throughout the U.S. Commentary is featured from John L. Lehr, president and CEO of the Parkinson’s Foundation.
As part of the “How to Create Philanthropy that Leaves a Lasting Legacy” series, Parkinson’s Foundation President and CEO John L. Lehr is interviewed to share insight into the steps he takes to create sustainable success.