Susan G. Komen for the Cure today announced a new period of transition as it positions itself for the future in the ongoing global mission to end breast cancer. Komen Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker announced plans to move to a new management role focusing on revenue creation, strategy and global growth as chair of the Komen Board Executive Committee when the search for a new senior executive has been completed. At the same time, Komen President Liz Thompson announced plans to leave the organization in September.
Komen also announced that board members Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law, who have served on the Komen board since 2008 and 2009 respectively, are leaving the board of directors. Komen had previously announced plans to add a second Affiliate network representative to the Board of Directors in September; a process for nominating replacements for Ms. Law and Ms. Lauderback has begun.
Thompson, who joined Komen in 2008 to lead its research and scientific programs and became president in 2010, said she is confident in the infrastructure and leadership of the organization that she built during her tenure at Komen. Thompson said the time is right for her to pursue other opportunities.
“Komen today is on an excellent path to recovery, with the most dynamic scientific and community health programs of any breast cancer organization, a strong Affiliate network, and committed leadership in all of these areas to build on our strengths and mission. No other breast cancer organization does as much to help women and men through this disease -- from screening to diagnosis to treatment and support all the while advancing research and policies that will ultimately bring us to cures.
“That legacy will continue,” Thompson said. “It has been a privilege and an honor to serve in this role.”
Brinker praised Thompson for expanding Komen’s work and influence in scientific, community health, advocacy and global programs. “These are the fundamentals of our mission,” Brinker said. “Liz’s expertise and steady hand have helped us build on already outstanding programs, and we wish her well in her future endeavors.”
As for her new role, Brinker said, “I was asked by the Board in 2009 to assume the CEO role. Three years into that role, and 32 years after my promise to my sister to end breast cancer, I want now to focus on Susan G. Komen’s global mission and raising resources to bring our promise to women all around the world.”
Brinker founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 1982, two years after her sister, Susan G. Komen, died of breast cancer. Before she died, Suzy asked Nancy to promise to end breast cancer. From that promise, Brinker built a global breast cancer organization in her sister’s name that has grown to invest more in breast cancer research than any non-profit outside of the federal government: more than $740 million to date.
To ensure that women everywhere receive direct help, Komen also has invested $1.3 billion in 30 years to community programs to pay for screenings, education, and provide financial and psycho-social support to people facing breast cancer. Last year alone, Komen paid for 700,000 breast screenings for low income and uninsured women while providing financial aid to another 100,000.
“Our mission is clear and consistent, and will never change, regardless of the controversy earlier this year,” Brinker said. “We are doing everything in our power to ensure that women have access to quality cancer care and the support that they need, as we seek answers through cutting-edge research.”