Lisa Paulsen, president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), has stepped down from her post after 27 years leading the Los Angeles-based organization. Paulsen will remain with the foundation, her focus shifting toward creating new fundraising and revenue-generating initiatives for foundation projects such as Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), which she co-founded, and foundation efforts in the education arena.
Paulsen will also continue to serve as an executive producer for future telecasts. The EIF Board of Directors will announce the appointment of a new president and CEO in the coming months.
“I look forward to directing all of my time into these crucial efforts, about which I am so passionate,” Paulsen said via the announcement. “As EIF grew, so did my executive and administrative responsibilities as president and CEO. I am thrilled that our new chair, Chris Silbermann, and the EIF Board have given me the opportunity to focus all my energy doing what I love so much — raising money for the incredibly valuable programs EIF has launched over the years, producing, and engaging the talent who so generously support our work.”
Paulsen helped raise more than $1 billion for health, educational, and social initiatives during her tenure at EIF and became one of the leading influencers in the sector. She was selected to The NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 for six consecutive years spanning from 2009 to 2014.
SU2C has provided funding in the search for new treatments to more than 1,200 scientists across more than 140 institutions since its 2008 launch. The biennial telecast, for which Paulsen served as an executive producer in 2014 and 2016, has attracted more than 800 film, television, and music stars with Paulsen and EIF shouldering the primary responsibility of securing donated air time and the participation of celebrity supporters.
EIF, under Paulsen, has also partnered with fellow SU2C co-founder Katie Couric on its National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance which launched in 2000.
“Lisa is the ultimate go-to person when you want to get something done,” Couric said via a statement. “She has an uncanny ability to take ambitious ideas and turn them into reality by putting together the team needed to make that happen. Quite simply, Stand Up To Cancer would never have come to be without Lisa’s commitment and leadership, and I’m thrilled she will have more time to focus on growing our lifesaving movement.”
In addition to cancer-related initiatives, Paulsen has helped lead EIF efforts including Hunger Is, a collaboration with The Albertsons Companies Foundation that has raised more than $18 million for programs providing healthy food to children since 2014, and the official SAG Awards Post-Awards Gala. The gala, which EIF co-hosts with People magazine, has honored actors’ charitable efforts in their communities for the past 21 years.