Over the past decade The American Red Cross has been overwhelmed by rapid turnover of leadership and has struggled to restore a reputation damaged by the downfalls of leadership and harsh criticism of response reactions in recent disaster situations, such as Hurricane Katrina. Prior to the current president and chief executive, Gail McGovern, taking control in April 2008 the organization was led by Mark Everson, who was forced to resign because of an inappropriate relationship with a female subordinate. According to The Washington Post, the board of The Red Cross “concluded that the situation reflected poor judgment on Mr. Everson’s part and diminished his ability to lead the organization in the future” (Rucker, 2007). Everson had only
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It appears as though Gail McGovern has also been able to further the success of the organizations goals by inspiring the different chapters to transcend their own self-interests, which in turn promote the workings of the Red Cross and help again to establish the credibility they have been working so hard to attain. Her new approach to communication between chapters has had a tremendous response as demonstrated in Chronicle of Philanthropy, “…chapter leaders said that Ms. McGovern's efforts to involve them in setting a new course for the 128-year-old organization have already helped dissolve fund-raising competition between national and local branches of the charity and led to better communications with and about donors” (para. 8). The unique structure of the organization also greatly affects the manner in which power is imposed on members of the organization.
The Red Cross has expressed their commitment to stand up to their values and is prepared to assist whenever the situation presents itself. This commitment expressed by McGovern filters down through to the volunteer staff of the organization. The Red Cross has a significant advantage over many other organizations due to its ability to help fulfill intrinsic needs. The sense of commitments its members experience is based on fulfilling these needs and the inherent desire to assist humanity. This can be demonstrated by the amount of time the Red Cross has