June 27, 2022


Founding President and CEO Ed O’Malley Appointed
President and CEO of Kansas Health Foundation

Wichita, Kan. – Ed O’Malley, founding president and CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC), has been named president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF). He will take up his new position on August 10.

“On behalf of the board, our outstanding staff and committed alumni, I congratulate Ed O’Malley and applaud the Kansas Health Foundation for selecting Ed as its CEO,” says David Lindstrom, chair of the Kansas Leadership Center’s Board of Directors. “I cannot imagine a better, more professional, dedicated, or qualified candidate than O’Malley to lead their outstanding organization. While the news is bittersweet, and Ed will be sorely missed at KLC, we wish them both tremendous health and continued success in the decades to come, and we look forward to building an even stronger bond and collaboration between our two great Kansas organizations.”

“I have been honored to work with Ed for a long time, both as a member of KLC’s Board of Directors and as a participant in many of its leadership programs,” says Vice Chair Susan Kang. “While I am sad to lose him as the inaugural executive of KLC, I am absolutely thrilled that an innovative visionary like Ed now has the opportunity to lead, shape and mold the Kansas Health Foundation, an organization whose public health mission makes our state a better place to live in and thrive.”

There is a direct kinship between KLC and the Kansas Health Foundation, a state-wide private philanthropy established in 1985 to improve the health of all Kansans. Citing research linking strong community leadership with better local health outcomes, KHF founded the Kansas Leadership Center to foster civic leadership for healthier Kansas communities in 2007 (and remains its core funder.) It appointed Ed O’Malley as founding president and CEO. Among his unique qualifications to lead the Health Foundation, O’Malley has worked closely with and benefitted from the mentorship of several prior KHF CEOs, including Marni Vliet, Don Stewart, Steve Coen and Reggie Robinson.

Taking the helm at the Kansas Leadership Center, O’Malley transformed a concept paper envisioned by the Health Foundation into a pioneering nonprofit educational organization with a civic mission, national reputation, and global reach. As the first employee of KLC, he built and guided a team of staff, teachers, facilitators and coaches that invented an original framework and developed a curriculum for civic leadership that effectively responds to community and organizational challenges.

O’Malley has played a lead role in creating and sustaining partnerships with a diverse and inclusive range of stakeholders, including community coalitions, non-profits, businesses, faith communities, universities, schools and governments. As a result, today KLC actively engages with more than 30 community leadership programs in Kansas and over 300 organizations, working together to advance a vision of leadership for stronger, healthier communities. KLC has provided civic leadership training to over 15,000 engaged Kansans, creating a common language and approach to leadership across the state. Recognized not just in Kansas but around the country and across the world, KLC has equipped participants from 44 states and 62 countries on 6 continents with skills to mobilize others to seize opportunities and make progress on shared challenges.

Alongside its leadership programs, O’Malley has championed civic engagement initiatives that build the capacity of every Kansan to lead and contribute to progress on the toughest challenges facing their communities. Notable among these is Kansas Beats the Virus (KBTV), a public health partnership with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which convened 4,596 Kansans from across the state to create and launch 1,837 community health action projects to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Kansas.

As part of KLC’s educational mission, O’Malley recognized the critical importance of publication and research to complement programs in leadership and civic engagement. He therefore founded KLC Press, whose catalogue includes 10 titles as well as its award-winning civic issues magazine, The Journal. He was also co-architect of Third Floor Research, an applied leadership research partnership with Kansas State University’s Staley School of Leadership Studies.

Ed is a sought-after speaker, delivering hundreds of speeches in the United States and abroad on civic leadership and engagement. He is also much in demand as a facilitator, with wide experience engaging diverse stakeholders, from residents of small towns in Northwest Kansas to national political and international organizational leaders. He is the co-author of several books, including: Your Leadership Edge, For the Common Good, What’s Right with Kansas and When Everyone Leads, to be released in January 2023 on Bard Press.

Before his leadership at KLC, O’Malley represented District 24 in the Kansas House of Representatives, served as government relations manager for the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce and worked as an aid to Governor Bill Graves. His civic participation and community leadership is long-standing and extensive. Among many other roles, past and present, he is vice-chair for DEI on the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, is a current board member and former chair of the Boys and Girls Club of South-Central Kansas and has been a member of both Governor Jeff Colyer (R) and Governor Laura Kelly’s (D) Education Councils.

Ed earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Kansas State University, with additional executive education from Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government.


Head shot available upon request.

About the Kansas Leadership Center

The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) is a first-of-its-kind nonprofit educational organization with a civic mission, national reputation and global reach. Founded in 2007 to foster leadership for stronger, healthier and more prosperous Kansas communities, KLC receives core funding from the Kansas Health Foundation (a private, philanthropic organization). It partners with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, educational institutions, businesses and communities to build cultures that are healthy, productive and well-positioned to make measurable progress on daunting challenges and emergent opportunities. KLC Press publishes leadership books and The Journal, a nationally recognized, award-winning civic issues magazine.

Over the past 15 years, KLC has built a strong and respected institution in Kansas designed to deliver leadership development and culture change at unparalleled scale. Now, organizations across the country and around the world look to us to provide resources and consultation to support their own aspirations for mission-driven leadership education. Learn more at kansasleadershipcenter.org.

Carrie Lindeman
[email protected]

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  1. Doug Brahl

    Ed is a great choice to lead the Kansas Health Foundation. His leadership skills and accomplishments are significant. Most important, he is a great guy and cares about the people of Kansas and making Kansas a better place.

    Congratulations, And Good luck, Ed.

    • Sam Smith

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Doug!


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