40 Under 40

Emily Riffle, CFRE

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Washington, D.C.

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

1. Emily successfully led and completed a $25 million campaign at MedStar National Rehabilitation Network to raise funds for a new 60,000 square foot addition to the hospital.

2. She was part of the leadership team that successfully raised $30 million to build a new heart hospital at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

3. Emily currently manages a team of six and provides executive leadership over the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital's $200 million campaign to build a new medical/surgical pavilion on the north end of Georgetown University's campus.

4. Emily serves the Washington community as a board member and active volunteer with the Choral Arts Society of Washington.

Q & A

1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?

After four years of raising money for a small performing arts organization in Washington, DC, I yearned for the opportunity to make a more meaningful difference in the lives of others, and I knew that the mission of health care organizations aligned well with my personal values. I started my career in health care philanthropy at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in 2010. As MedStar Health’s largest hospital in one of the most important cities in the world, MWHC was a fantastic institution for me to learn the art and science of health care philanthropy. 

2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?

I always knew my passion was is health care, even as a as a little girl. I was fascinated by my father’s profession as an ophthalmologist and thought doctors were the coolest people. I was even pre-med in college and took the MCAT right before I left for my semester abroad. Soon after receiving my dismal test score, I realized it was time to pursue a different career, but I knew I would eventually come back to health care. 

When I was hired at MedStar Health in 2010, it didn’t take long to realize health care philanthropy would become my career. I immediately embraced the gratitude model that Bruce Bartoo was building at MedStar Health and wanted to be part of an organization where the focus was on patient and family gratitude. Health care philanthropy is an extraordinarily rewarding career, and there is no better feeling than knowing that I can play a small part in making a difference in the lives of others.

3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.

I was recently promoted to Vice President of Philanthropy at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to lead fundraising efforts for an ambitious project to build a new state-of-the-art Medical/Surgical Pavilion on Georgetown University’s campus. It’s the largest health care construction project currently underway in Washington, DC and has attracted national and international visibility. I feel privileged and blessed to now work for such a prestigious institution like MedStar Georgetown and I am honored to lead our philanthropy efforts. 

4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?

My first job was working at Dairy Queen when I was 16. I absolutely loved it! Dairy Queen helped me hone my skills in customer service and engaging with a very diverse population of customers. At MedStar Health, our first SPIRIT value is service, and I believe it was my job at Dairy Queen that taught me the importance of being service-oriented and focusing on the needs of others.

5. What are your future aspirations?

I am thrilled to be leading fundraising efforts at MedStar Georgetown as we aspire to successfully complete our $200 million capital campaign to build a new Medical/Surgical Pavilion in the heart of Georgetown. MedStar Health and Georgetown University have forged a lasting partnership and I look forward to expanding our joint fundraising efforts in the years to come.

Emily Riffle

Fun Fact:

I’m an identical twin and I also have older twin brothers.