Magdalena Daccord is the Chief Executive of FH Europe, the European network of 31 patient organizations. Since joining the organization in November 2019, she has grown its membership by over 20%, built two advisory committees and an Industry Round Table, and despite the challenges imposed by Covid, managed to quadruple revenue.


Yet, what Magdalena considers her biggest success to date is building an international community of patient organizations and individual patient ambassadors who advocate for cardiovascular health prevention. FH Europe is currently the leading patient advocacy and support organization in its disease area, bringing together patients, citizens, leading researchers, medical experts, politicians, and policymakers. Magdalena successfully fosters multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder engagement, collaboration, and networking to further the organization’s mission.

Magdalena Daccord
Chief Executive, FH Europe

What inspired you to work in the international association sector? Would you recommend this career to others?  

I was inspired to work in the international association sector because I wanted to make an impact where it’s needed most.

I would absolutely recommend this career to anyone who wants to make a difference and is willing to dream big, work hard, and face challenges. Anyone who seeks to create legacy, enjoys working with people, and is mission-driven while ready to face challenges will thrive in this environment.

How do you/ your association #EmbraceEquity? Does giving a voice and a space to diverse groups make for better results?  

FH Europe celebrates equity among its member organizations, their members, the Board, and experts on various advisory committees. Patients, who are traditionally considered inferior, are treated and considered as experts regardless of their origin, gender, and social status.

With the Patient Ambassadors Programme, FH Europe empowers its members to exercise equity through education, engagement, co-creation, and equality.

How important are diversity, equity, and inclusion for the future success of associations? What initiatives, projects and ideas can you share that help others understand the real value of DEI? 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are crucial in advancing associations, ensuring their sustainability and development. However, they are only truly appreciated and valued when practiced in the everyday life of the community or organization. It’s not just about having quotas and policies, which are important, but about putting them into practice. The real value of their implementation lies in inviting perspectives and experiences to organically blossom, rather than imposing a sense of inclusion, diversity, and equity.