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April Dawn Shinske

Chief Communications & Marketing Officer, The Marfan Foundation

  • 22 Years Non-Profit Leadership (MarComm, Analytics, DEIB, Training, Fundraising)

  • Non-Profit Leadership Certified Executive, Harvard Kennedy School 

  • M.A. Integrated Marketing Communications, Marist College 

  • Leading Adult/Distance Learning Coursework, Penn State University World Campus

  • B.A. English/Journalism/Secondary Education, Vassar College 

  • AI Communications Certified, Ragan Communications 

  • DEI-Certified Executive Candidate, Cornell University, Spring 2024

April Dawn Shinske headshot, smiling with greenery behind

April Dawn Shinske leads integrated marketing communications through an equity-first lens, focused on analytics-driven strategies that fully reflect the vast diversity of constituents and communities served.

With more than two decades of experience directing audience-centric campaigns across platforms to build brand equity; position executives as thought leaders; advance brand reputation; and inspire volunteers, donors and staff teams to take life-saving action, Shinske has been the Chief Communications & Marketing Officer for The Marfan Foundation and its divisions since July 2023, telling the stories of people living with genetic aortic and vascular conditions.

Previously, she spent 21 years at the American Heart Association (AHA), where she was honored to be a founding staff member of the Northeast Health Equity Consortium during her time as an internal communications and innovation leader. Her work at AHA culminated in a role as National Director Donor Experience from 2021 to 2023. Previous AHA roles included Director, Internal Communications, Eastern States region, and Senior Director Internal Communications & Innovation for the Founders Affiliate -- serving the northeastern United States. She began her AHA career as a fundraiser and logistics coordinator, and spent time as a data quality expert and corporate systems trainer for the organization. Prior she worked briefly in secondary-education textbook publishing at Pearson Education and as a freelance journalist.

Shinske holds an Executive Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Harvard Kennedy School, an M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Marist College, and a B.A. in English with concentrations in Journalism and Secondary Education from Vassar College. Shinske completed courses in leading Adult Learning and Distance Education via Penn State World Campus. She has a 2024 certification in AI Communications from Ragan Communications. She will complete an Executive Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Cornell University in spring 2024. 

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