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Susan G. Komen® Appoints Five New Members To Board Of Directors

Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization welcomes five industry leaders from healthcare, finance and technology to serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. The incoming members join an elite group of 13 executives to help govern and advise the world’s leading non-profit breast cancer organization in its mission to end breast cancer. 

“I am excited to welcome the new board members, who have a wealth of expertise and experience,” said Paula Schneider, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen. “Members of this board, past and present, are industry leaders who have volunteered to serve and are committed to help us achieve our vision – to see a world free of breast cancer.”

“I am grateful for their commitment on our focus to advance health equity, drive groundbreaking research, provide evidence-based breast health education and give high-quality, personalized support to those impacted by breast cancer. They understand how critical it is for us to unite individuals in the breast cancer community and to protect breast cancer patients by creating lasting systemic changes that will improve outcomes for all,” said Schneider.

“We are truly delighted by the diverse talent and experience that these new members bring,” said Jerri Johnson, Vice Chair for the Komen Board of Directors. “These respected leaders bring a powerful combination of business expertise and a deep commitment to philanthropy that will be invaluable to us as we unite together against breast cancer.”

“This board will continue to play a critical role to help Komen expand their investments in research for deadly and aggressive breast cancers, increase direct patient care services, lead more policy and advocacy efforts in order to break down barriers to high-quality care, advance health equity and improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients and their families,” said Johnson.

Jerri Johnson, Executive Director of Business Technology at The Walt Disney Company – who is living with metastatic breast cancer – will continue as Vice Chair along with Ed Dandridge, Senior Vice President of Communications at The Boeing Company, as Chair of the Board.

The new members are:

Julie Gruber, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Gap, Inc. Gruber leads the Legal, Compliance, ER, Asset Protection, and Global Security functions for Gap, Inc. As Corporate Secretary, she is a trusted advisor to the board and works closely with the Chairman of the Board and the CEO. Gruber is a graduate of the University of California’s Hastings College of Law and received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Yale University.

Kristen Maple Racich, Partner and Chief Impact Officer for Lord Abbett, responsible for managing $250 billion in assets and serving clients worldwide. Maple Racich is actively involved in all five of the firm’s leadership and governance committees, maintains a strong focus on enterprise leadership and culture initiatives and leads the firm’s Human Capital and Sustainability teams. Kristen earned a BS in business administration from the University of Delaware.

BJ Schaknowski, CEO of Symplr, a leading healthcare operations software and services company. Schaknowski is a seasoned software industry executive with over 20 years of experience in leadership roles across a wide variety of operating functions. He earned a BA in Communications from the State University of New York at Geneseo and his MBA at the University of Georgia – Terry College of Business. He also served in the United States Marine Corps infantry as an enlisted reservist for 8 years.

Robyn Shepherd, Partner and the Head of Corporate Engagement at Bridgewater Associates, a premier asset management firm, where she oversees public affairs as well as the initiatives for operational sustainability, social responsibility and diversity and inclusion.  Shepherd previously served as Chief of Staff to the CEO. The Hedge Fund Journal recognized Shepherd as one of the “50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds” in 2020 and she was named the 2021 “Women of Excellence: Trailblazer” by Seramount.  Shepherd received her BA in economics from Brown University.

Lydia The, Partner in McKinsey’s Life Sciences Practice, serves as the US lead for the McKinsey Cancer Center. The is responsible for the firm’s work on oncology for biopharma, provider, nonprofit and regulator clients. She serves clients on a wide range of topics, especially on R&D strategy with a focus on oncology and immuno-oncology. She is also the McKinsey lead for the Bloomberg International Cancer Coalition, co-led by the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, Memorial Sloan Kettering and Asia Society, which has the mission of strengthening international clinical trial collaboration. Lydia received her Ph.D. in Molecular & Cell Biology at UC Berkeley, where she was supported by a National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship.

The new members of the board join current board members:

Ed Dandridge, Senior Vice President of Communications at The Boeing Company; Jerri Johnson, Executive Director, Business Technology for The Walt Disney Company; RenéeBaker, Head of Advisor Inclusion Networks at Raymond James; Traci Otey Blunt, Founder & Principal of Blunt Group Strategies and former Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications for the National Football League; Michelle Bottomley, Chief Executive Officer of the Modern Growth Exchange; Peter D. Brundage, Senior Managing Director at Evercore; Julia Harris, President of Ronin Holdings; Gail Heimann, President and CEO of Weber Shandwick; Christina Minnis, Global Head of Acquisition Finance and Co-Head of the Americas Credit Finance Group at Goldman Sachs; Andi Owen, Chief Executive Officer of MillerKnoll; Luke Sauter, Vice President of Specialty Pharmacy at Walgreens; and Sean Slovenski, CEO and recognized healthcare industry innovator.

Board terms for Kwanza Jones, Eugene Kim and Susannah Gray have ended, but each remains committed to Komen’s mission and will continue to partner with the organization to support breast cancer programs worldwide.

“The commitment of current and past board members cannot be overstated. They have stepped into critical roles to help guide and strengthen this organization in order to help save lives,” said Paula Schneider, Komen’s CEO.