August 9, 2012 — Susan G. Komen for the Cure on Wednesday announced that its president, Liz Thompson, will resign in September and founder and CEO Nancy Brinker will step down and assume a new role focusing on revenue creation, strategy and global growth, the New York Times reports (Schwirtz, New York Times, 8/8).
Two board members, Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law, also will leave the organization.
The announcements mark the most significant leadership changes at Komen since multiple officials resigned earlier this year following the foundation's decision to stop providing grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer education and screening programs. Amid public backlash, the organization almost immediately reversed its stance on grants to Planned Parenthood (Kliff/Sun, "Wonkblog," Washington Post, 8/8).
Brinker said the changes are not a result of the Planned Parenthood controversy. "I think we all made mistakes and we addressed them and we're through that and we're moving on," she said, adding, "It's not cleaning house, it's an evolution."
Thompson said she leaves the organization with a "heavy heart," but the "time is right" because she has accomplished her goal of improving the group's reporting and grant-making strategy and there is new energy in the organization (West, Wall Street Journal, 8/8).
Brinker said she is moving to a new position because "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" (AP/Politico, 8/8). "Wonkblog" reports that a Komen insider not authorized to speak on behalf of the organization said Brinker would "still be intimately involved on a day-to-day basis." Further, the insider said that Thompson was leaving Komen out of frustration about the role Brinker would continue to play at the organization ("Wonkblog," Washington Post, 8/8).
Searches are underway to find a new president, CEO and chief operating officer (Wall Street Journal, 8/8).
Planned Parenthood in a statement praised the efforts of Brinker and Thompson to find a cure for breast cancer and said it is proud to continue its work with the organization (New York Times, 8/8).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership