As the College’s more than 500 employees work to support the ACC Mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health, they are led by an executive staff leadership team. Learn more about ACC’s staff leaders:
Cathleen C. Gates, CEO
Cathleen C. Gates serves as CEO of the American College of Cardiology. During her nearly 30-year tenure at the ACC, Gates has served in a variety of roles, including interim CEO, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief people officer. As CEO, Gates works closely with ACC's leaders and more than 500 staff to deliver on the College's strategic goals and meet the needs of the College's more than 54,000 members worldwide.
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Among her biggest accomplishments, Gates spearheaded ACC's move from its Heart House headquarters in Bethesda, MD, to Washington, DC; served as executive sponsor for the College's first diversity and inclusion program; was instrumental in ACC being named a Modern Healthcare Top 100 Best Places to Work; and has played a critical leadership role in the College's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to joining ACC, Gates supervised financial and Securities and Exchange Commission reporting for three publicly held real estate investment trusts. She also served as a certified public accountant at Ernst and Young, where her client focus was health care and real estate. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants.
Lisa M. Hix, JD, General Counsel
Lisa M. Hix, JD, is the general counsel of the American College of Cardiology. Hix has more than 15 years of experience as a nonprofit and corporate attorney, specializing in a broad range of legal issues affecting charities and health care institutions. Before joining the ACC, she was a partner with Venable, LLP in its Nonprofit and Trade Associations Practice, where she represented numerous health care organizations.
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She earned her bachelor's degree from Smith College and a law degree from Duke University School of Law, where she was an editor of the Duke Journal of International and Comparative Law. Hix is a member of the D.C. Bar.
Brendan Mullen, Senior Executive Vice President
Brendan Mullen is senior executive vice president of the American College of Cardiology. Mullen oversees communications, business development, marketing, digital and enterprise strategy, and international affairs and serves as part of a dyad with Chief Science and Quality Officer John Rumsfeld, with Mullen overseeing staff management of Science and Quality.
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Mullen originally joined the ACC in 2008 as director of strategic planning and later was the senior director for the PINNACLE Registry. During his time at the ACC, Mullen has been involved in the conception and development of the College's positions and programs relating to health care reform, payment reform and quality improvement. Mullen has written on a broad range of topics in health care but is most proud of the editorials and articles in the Annals of Internal Medicine and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that he co-authored with ACC members. Before joining the ACC, Mullen worked for nearly 10 years as a consultant for the Advisory Board Company, a health care research and consulting firm largely focused on hospital and health system strategy and operations. He also served as vice president of Programs and Strategy at the National Quality Forum.
Janice B. Sibley, Executive Vice President
Janice B. Sibley is executive vice president at the American College of Cardiology. Her areas of responsibility include education and publishing. In her role for education, Sibley oversees a global array of ACC educational programs, products and learning support systems.
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These include in-person educational programs, online and mobile systems-based education, self-assessment and skills-based practice products, as well as professional conferences such as the ACC Annual Scientific Session and the ACC International Conferences which are hosted annually in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. In publishing, Ms. Sibley oversees the Journal of the American College of Cardiology collection of peer-reviewed journals, including all editorial operations and publication management, as well as advertising and content commercialization efforts associated with the collection.
Sibley has been with the ACC for nine years and has worked in scientific and continuing medical education for more than 30 years. She has published and spoken professionally on a variety of topics, including systematic instructional design, competency-based learning and continuing professional development in the health care sector. She holds a Master of Science degree in the biological sciences, as well as a Master of Arts degree in educational technology and instructional design from San Diego State University, where she pioneered some of the first educational software programs for desktop computer-based learning systems.
John Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, FACC, Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Science Officer
John Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, FACC, is the chief innovation officer and chief science officer for the American College of Cardiology. He is a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and an attending cardiologist at the VA Rocky Mountain Region Medical Center.
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Previously, Rumsfeld served as national director for cardiology for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from 2012 2017 and as chief science officer for ACC's NCDR programs from 2005 2016. He also founded the VA's Clinical Assessment Reporting and Tracking Program and served as the inaugural national director for 2009 2016.
A member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Rumsfeld is a globally recognized leader in cardiovascular quality of care and outcomes research, clinical quality programs and health care analytics. In 2016, he received the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award for Quality of Care and Outcomes Research from the American Heart Association.
Rumsfeld received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and doctoral degree in epidemiology from the University of Colorado. He completed his internal medicine internship and residency at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center and cardiology fellowship at the University of Colorado.
Jerry Blackwell, MD, MBA, FACC, MedAxiom President and CEO
Jerry Blackwell, MD, MBA, FACC, is president and CEO of MedAxiom. Blackwell graduated from Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Ohio State University Medical Center and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. He earned his executive MBA from the University of Tennessee.
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He has more than 30 years of experience in cardiovascular medicine, including academic cardiology, private practice and large integrated cardiovascular group leadership. Most recently, he served as executive vice president and chief clinical officer of the Ballad Health System.
Blackwell has a passion for physician leadership, teaching and care transformation, particularly team-based care and organizational performance improvement. He maintains a clinical practice with special interests in advanced imaging, including cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging, cardiovascular computed tomography angiography and cardiac positron emission tomography.
Blackwell has been involved with both MedAxiom and the American College of Cardiology for many years. He has served on ACC's Board of Governors and ACC's Health Affairs Committee, as well as on the board of directors for the Cardiology Advocacy Alliance.