How Do You Move from Manager to Senior Leader at Your Nonprofit? (Katherine Lambert)

January 2020

Katherine Lambert is passionate about professional development in the nonprofit sector and is a champion for internal candidates who can serve as senior leaders. Her advice provides great insight for other senior leaders who want to better develop their talent, but also provides many clues for those pursuing a new job in the charitable sector.  On episode 17 of the Path Podcast, Katherine talks about how she allocates professional development funds in her organization, and exactly what she asks in interviews to determine whether someone has the requisite skills but also the intangible "fit" dynamic that will better predict success. How can we better orient and onboard our talent - in the first 30 days - to assure long-term success?  How do we better clarify job descriptions and job plans to align with the organization's strategic plan, as well as assure a professional development path is clear going forward? Find out these answers and many more resources in episode 17.

"Is your organization investing in you? If they are, are you putting it into action and investing in yourself?"


Katherine joined the Alzheimer's Association, Western Carolina Chapter, in 2014 as its Chief Executive Officer.  She works with a volunteer and staff team across the 49 counties in Central and Western North Carolina, and in 2017, her role expanded to serving as the Regional Leader for all chapters in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.  Prior to leading the Alzheimer's Association, Katherine served as Executive Vice President for Girl Scouts, Hornets' Nest Council for five years and as Chief Development Officer for an additional three years.  She also founded and led The Lambert Group for four years providing strategic planning, fund development and training resources for non-profit organizations.  Preceding her non-profit career, she spent six years in the financial services and headhunting industries. Katherine earned her bachelor's degree in Political Science with a Certificate in Marketing and Management from Duke University and has achieved her CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) designation.  Currently, she is an active member of Trinity Presbyterian Church and Women Executives.  She's chaired two nonprofit organizations, Sharon Towers and the Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.



  • Preparing for nonprofit job interviews to show skill and potential
  • Identifying comparison and aspirational peers
  • Onboarding strategies to assure rapid success
  • Brian Tracy's book Eat That Frog
  • Ann Rhoades' book Built on Values
  • Tom Rath's book Strengths Based Leadership