Leadership & Governance

Adam Garone at a hospital sitting with a child in the hospital playing on a Nintendo Switch gaming station
Adam Garone, CEO of Starlight Children's Foundation, playing on a Starlight Gaming station with a patient at White Memorial in Los Angeles

As Adam Garone watched his 3-year-old niece undergo seven months of the most aggressive form of chemotherapy a child that age can survive, it changed his life forever.  

“I saw first-hand the impact that moments of happiness and normalcy can have on a seriously ill child and their family,” Adam said. “It made me truly appreciate the health of my children and the importance of the time I get to enjoy playing and laughing with them.”  

In 2019, Adam eagerly accepted the opportunity to lead Starlight Children’s Foundation and deliver happiness to hundreds of thousands of seriously ill children, just like his niece, because he knew this was where his next chapter would be.  

From serving nine-years as an officer in the Australian military, co-founding and leading the Movember Foundation globally as CEO for 13 years, to consulting with other non-profits looking to make a change in the world, Adam has a long history of commitment to service. 

In Adam’s first year as CEO of Starlight, he strengthened the organization’s brand through a digital-first strategy that included a website redesign, brand refresh, systems update, and a renewed emphasis on storytelling. 

Under Adam’s direction, Starlight launched two grassroots initiatives – Stream For Starlight and Give Happiness – along with a focus on monthly giving and peer-to-peer fundraising.   

As Adam entered his second year as CEO, the coronavirus pandemic hit. Suddenly, the world was not the same as when he started. While the pandemic has changed so much in our lives, this remains true – Starlight’s mission is unwavering, and the programs are needed now more than ever.     

Adam continues to lead the Starlight team forward, united in the belief that all children deserve to experience the magic of childhood because seriously ill kids are still kids.   

Our Board

As a 501(c)(3) public charity we are committed to best practice levels of governance, transparency, accountability, and financial management.

The CEO is responsible for managing the overall operations and resources of Starlight. The CEO reports into the board who collectively provide strategic direction and oversight.

  1. Alisa Bowen

    Chair, Secretary

    The Walt Disney Company
  2. Howard Cohl

    Vice Chair, Nominations & Governance Committee Chair, Development Committee Chair

    Major, Lindsey & Africa
  3. Shawn Harpen

    Audit Committee Chair

    Previously with Patron
  4. Kira Goldberg

    HR & Compensation Committee Chair

  5. Debra Johnson

    Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair

    Allied Financial Advisors
  1. Arnie Mendoza (CPA)

    MG Partners, LLP
  2. Dawn Wilcox Verrecchia

    Children's Hospital LA
  3. Rechelle Porter (CCLS)

    UCSF Benioff Children's
  4. Paula Whiteman (MD, FACEP, FAAP)

  1. Peter Samuelson


    PhilmCo Media LLC
  2. Steven Spielberg

    Chairman Emeritus

    Amblin Entertainment