Key Staff

Laurie Strongin, Chief Executive Officer

Laurie Strongin is founder and CEO of the Washington, DC-based Hope for Henry Foundation. Laurie’s work with Hope for Henry and the memoir she published, “Saving Henry,” have placed her at the forefront of supporting the rights of patients and their families and the responsible use of new medical technologies. 

Laurie’s advocacy has led her to service on the nation’s preeminent science policy and bioethics panels – including her participation on the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Ethical and Social Policy Considerations of Novel Techniques for Prevention of Maternal Transmission of Mitochondrial DNA Diseases. Her activism has produced op-eds in national newspapers; appearances on television and radio; collaborations with Congressional leadership; and recognition from the White House. An in-demand inspirational speaker, Laurie has been featured as a People magazine “Heroes Among Us” and was the subject of profiles in the USA Today and the Washington Post.

Sharon Kessler, Development Director

Sharon Kessler is a veteran fundraiser with over fifteen years of development experience. Most recently she’s worked as a Fundraising consultant with C. Fox Communications and DatocWitten Group supporting organizations who want to move their missions forward and develop Corporate Partnerships. Prior, she spent three years at Children’s National Health Systems in Washington D.C., where she served as the Interim Director of Special Events and consulting Race Director for the Race for Every Child, which raised $1.2 million in its 2015 year.

At Children’s National, her management responsibilities have included the three Race for Every Child events and supporting two multi‐million dollar Children’s Balls including the 2014 gala that raised a record-‐‐$10 million+ working with Washington, D.C. business and political leaders.

Prior to Children’s National Sharon served as the Chief Development Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC. She spent ten years implementing their successful Special Events program with New York’s top business leaders and companies and oversaw all aspects of special events including an annual raise requirement of $3.5 million. In addition, she managed the organization’s annual giving and foundation grants program.

Sharon has been successful at closely working with event leadership, working to maximize both individual and corporate fundraising opportunities, while cultivating strong relationships with an elite-‐‐level donor base, Board members and Event Chairs.

Sharon has been a speaker on development and peer-‐‐to-‐‐peer event management at the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Fundraising Day in NYC and at the Bridge Conference hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Carolyn Schneiders Fung, Program Director

Carolyn Schneiders Fung has been a part of the Hope for Henry team since 2012. She became a Child Life Specialist in 2008, following the completion of her internship at Children’s National Medical Center. Carolyn began her career at Duke University Medical in Durham, NC. She discovered her passion for working with children and teenagers receiving solid organ transplants, and helped pilot a child life position within the adult lung transplant team. Additionally, Carolyn managed the Pets at Duke Pet Therapy Program, introduced the Beads of Courage Serious Illness Program, and built relationships with community donors.

In 2012, she was hired to work at Children’s National Medical Center, becoming Hope for Henry’s first full-time, in-hospital staff member. In that role, she provided services alongside with the hospital’s top-notch child-life team, delivered Hope for Henry’s unique and exciting programming, and worked to create new programs to improve patient well-being and outcomes. Building on Hope for Henry’s special focus on play, learning, child development, and advocacy, Carolyn helped create the new patient incentives program—Hope for Henry’s Super Path to Super Duper Better.

In the spring of 2016, Carolyn became the first-ever program director for Hope for Henry, and she currently oversees Hope for Henry programs at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, Children’s National Medical Center, and Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, MD.