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Will Leadership Shake-Up Cure The Susan G. Komen Foundation?
There are going to be several changes at the top at the Susan G. Komen Foundation with the hope that these changes will help deal with a p.r. disaster that occurred last January. The president’s resignation will take effect next month. Two of the Foundation’s board directors are also resigning and Founder/CEO Nancy Brinker will be playing a new role. The question is will it be enough to re-establish the trust that Americans once had for the Susan G. Komen Foundation?
After hiring anti-choice Republican pro voter purge, anti-choice activist, Karen Handel, as their vice-president for public affairs; the Susan G. Komen Foundation entered a downward spiral from which it is still struggling to recover. It began with the Foundation’s decision to revoke its funding for breast cancer screenings provided by Planned Parenthood in January this year. At the time, sources within the Foundation told reporters the decision was made of Karen Handel, as Palm Beach Daily News, reported at the time:
In a blog posted Thursday, Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic said sources in or formerly part of Komen’s management told him the funding policy was changed because of Karen Handel, who became Komen’s senior vice president for public policy in April. Handel is anti-abortion and wrote during an unsuccessful bid for Georgia governorship in 2010 that since she is “pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood,” Goldberg writes.
Komen’s managing director of community health programs, Mollie Williams, resigned in protest immediately after the board made the fateful decision.
While Handel’s conservative friends were thrilled with the decision, most of America shared Mollie Williams’ sentiments. So much so that within days of that disastrous decision becoming public, Karen Handel resigned from the Foundation. To this day, the Susan B. Komen Foundation is dealing with the fall-out.
The latest attempt involves a significant leadership shakeup, as NBC reports:
The president, Liz Thompson announced her plans to leave the foundation next month.
In a statement Thompson said:
“That legacy will continue,” Thompson said. “It has been a privilege and an honor to serve in this role.”
Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law, both members of the board of directors are also leaving.
Last, but hardly least, founder and CEO Nancy Brinker will shift to a new role as Manager of the Komen Board executive committee where, according to the statement, she will focus on “revenue creation, strategy and global growth”
Trust is very fragile. It takes a while to gain it. Once acquired it can be easily lost and regaining it is, to put it mildly, challenging. For much of its history, the Susan G. Komen Foundation was synonymous with providing help and hope to all women with breast cancer. The decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood amounted to turning the Foundation’s back on many American women. It may be awhile before Americans are assured that Susan G. Komen’s mission is as inclusive as it once was.
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