Susan G. Komen for the Cure Founder & CEO Nancy G. Brinker is stepping down from the job but staying with the organization in a fundraising and strategy role. Komen President Liz Thompson announced plans to leave the organization in September.
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.
The fallout of the fight regarding Dallas, Texas headquartered Komen defunding breast cancer screening by Planned Parenthood has damaged the organization and claimed most of the organization’s senior managers. The participation in race events has reportedly been down significantly across the country.
The NonProfit Times had called on Brinker to resign in an editorial back on February 13.
Board chair LaSalle Leffall, Jr., resigned from the position but has stayed on the board. Several senior leaders have left since the public relations crisis. Senior Vice President Karen Handel, the central strategist in the defunding, resigned on February 7. Also gone are: Leslie Aun, vice president of communications; Katrina McGhee, executive vice president and chief marketing officer; Joanna Newcomb, director of affiliate strategy and planning; Nancy Macgregor, vice president, global networks; and, and Dara Richardson-Heron, CEO of Komen Greater New York City.
Thompson, who joined Komen in 2008 to lead its research and scientific programs. She became president in 2010. “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,” said Thompson via a statement. “That legacy will continue,” Thompson said. “It has been a privilege and an honor to serve in this role.”
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. Brinker built a global breast cancer organization in her sister’s name that has grown to invest more than $740 million in breast cancer research and prevention.
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.