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Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden Launch Biden Cancer Initiative; Aims to Make Progress in Cancer Prevention, Detection, Treatment, Care

Dr. Jill Biden and Vice President Joe Biden

New York, NY, June 28, 2017 — President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden on June 26 launched the Biden Cancer Initiative, their new venture to continue the fight to make progress in cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and care.

The launch event was highlighted by Vice President and Dr. Biden joining members of the Biden Cancer Initiative Board of Directors for a conversation about the mission of the Initiative, the issues it will address, and the promise of what they hope to accomplish together.

The Biden Cancer Initiative will develop and drive implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research and care, and to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes.

Through the Biden Cancer Initiative, Vice President and Dr. Biden strengthen their commitment to inject a sense of urgency into our cancer research and care systems and reimagine how the government, academia, non-profits and the private sector can better organize their resources and systems to collaborate to take on cancer, with the patient as the focus.

The Initiative will be a major convening force in driving new actions and collaborations toward ending cancer as we know it.

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden said of this new effort, “Every minute, every day matters to patients and we must bring that same sense of urgency to cancer research and care systems….We are joining everyone who spends their days thinking about preventing cancer, about better understanding its biological basis, about bringing early detection and education to all communities, about developing new treatments and therapies, and about caring for patients and their families through some of the hardest days anyone faces. We are on your team. And we are proud to be working alongside you.”

“I have had the privilege of caring for cancer patients for over two decades.  For the first time in my career I can walk into a patient’s room with a sense of hope and optimism.  The tide is changing in the war on cancer, but not quickly enough. I am so excited to work with Vice President and Dr. Biden to make a meaningful impact against this disease,” said Dr. David Agus, Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California (USC); Founding Director and CEO, Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC and member of the Biden Cancer Initiative Board of Directors.

Announcement of Board of Directors

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will co-chair The Biden Cancer Initiative’s Board of Directors co-chaired by, which includes world-renowned leaders and experts in the fields of medical research, patient care, information technology, finance, management, patient engagement, patient experience, and public policy.

Joining the Board of Directors are:

  • David B. Agus, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California (USC); Founding Director and CEO, Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC
  • Erin Andrews, FOX Sports’ Lead NFL Sideline Reporter; Co-Host, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars
  • David G. Bradley, Chairman, Atlantic Media Company; Founder, Advisory Board Company; Founder, Corporate Advisory Board Company
  • Carol L. Brown, M.D., Director, Office of Diversity Programs in Clinical Care, Research, and Training, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Jimmy “Taboo” Gomez, Musician (Black Eyed Peas); Cancer Survivor
  • Julie Papanek Grant, M.B.A., M.Phil., Partner, Canaan Partners
  • Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., Deputy Director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University
  • Howard Krein, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Director of Health Policy and Innovation, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and Associate Professor, Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, Microvascular Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Eric S. Lander, Ph.D., Director, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
  • Todd Park, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer
  • Gregory C. Simon, J.D., President, Biden Cancer Initiative
  • Kim Thiboldeaux, CEO, Cancer Support Community
  • Jeffrey Zients, former Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council

“The Biden Cancer Initiative offers people diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones hope that our nation’s leaders truly recognize the urgency that ending cancer as we know it demands. I am humbled to be a part of this important Initiative, and committed to bringing the patient voice to inform all that the organization endeavors to achieve,” said Kim Thiboldeaux, CEO, Cancer Support Community and member of the Biden Cancer Initiative Board of Directors.

“I was fortunate to have the chance to work with Vice President and Dr. Biden at the White House and to witness their incredible combination of leadership, heart, and dedication to serving the American people. I am thrilled to work with them on the Biden Cancer Initiative, which will continue the urgent fight for progress in cancer research and care,” said Jeffrey Zients, former Director, National Economic Council and member of the Biden Cancer Initiative Board of Directors.

Staff Leadership

The Biden Cancer Initiative will be headquartered in Washington, D.C., and led by some of the same team who led the White House Cancer Moonshot for then-Vice President Biden.

Greg Simon will serve as President and member of the Biden Cancer Initiative Board of Directors. Greg served as the Executive Director of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force.

Simon returned to the White House after serving as Vice President Al Gore’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor between 1993 and 1997.

Previously, Greg was CEO of Poliwogg, a financial services company, Senior Vice President for Worldwide Policy and Patient Engagement at Pfizer, co-founded with Michael Milken, FasterCures/The Center for Accelerating Medical solutions, and with Leon and Debra Black co-founded the Melanoma Research Alliance. Greg is a cancer survivor, having been recently successfully treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Also joining the leadership team as Vice President is Danielle Carnival, Ph.D. Danielle most recently served as the Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Director for the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force.

Over her more than six years at the White House, Carnival leveraged her doctoral training in neuroscience to develop programs and policies to make progress on Obama-Biden Administration goals, notably Danielle assumed leadership roles for some of the Administration’s signature initiatives and events, including the White House Cancer Moonshot, White House Science Fairs, College Opportunity Days of Action, and Computer Science for All and Diversity in STEM initiatives.

Katie Collins will be Program Director for the Biden Cancer Initiative. Katie served as the Policy Analyst for the Cancer Moonshot Task Force and the Special Assistant to the effort’s Executive Director. She previously worked in the Usher’s Office in the Executive Residence, where she managed daily operations on the White House complex, including First Family scheduling, media interviews and filming, and all personal and official receptions.

Relation to Biden Foundation

The Biden Cancer Initiative was born out of the Biden Foundation which will carry on its mission to build upon Vice President and Dr. Biden’s lifelong commitment to protect and advance the rights and opportunities of all people through educational programming and public policy analysis. The two efforts will continue to work in close collaboration.

While its application with the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status is pending, the Biden Cancer Initiative is operating under a fiscal sponsorship agreement with the Biden Foundation.

Background on Cancer Moonshot

In President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address, he called on Vice President Joe Biden to lead a new, national “Cancer Moonshot” to dramatically accelerate efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer—to achieve a decade’s worth of progress in five years.

On January 28, 2016, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum establishing the Cancer Moonshot Task Force to bring together all federal agencies that touch the cancer experience, charged with leveraging Federal investments, targeted incentives, private sector efforts, patient engagement initiatives, and more, to support cancer research and enable progress in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

By the end of the Administration, the Cancer Moonshot, in partnership with federal agencies and the private, academic, and philanthropic sectors, launched nearly 80 new actions and collaborations designed to double the rate of progress in the cancer fight, brought together 7,000 people at nearly 300 events held in every state of the Union as part of the Cancer Moonshot Summit, signed 10 memoranda of understanding with nine countries, a Blue Ribbon Panel of experts identified priority areas for additional research investment, issued a Cancer Moonshot Report laying out a roadmap for the federal agencies to continue the work of the Moonshot including the then-Vice President’s Executive Report which described the biggest impediments to progress that he saw and how to take action to remove them, and worked with a bipartisan group of leaders in Congress to pass the 21st Century Cures Act including $1.8B additional investment by the National Cancer Institute.

What started as an office in the White House had become a movement.

Initiatives begun under the Cancer Moonshot at federal agencies have continued, as have efforts started across the country in private companies, foundations and hospitals.

Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden know there is much more to accomplish in the fight against cancer and will build on the progress made under the Cancer Moonshot through the efforts of the Biden Cancer Initiative, which will operate independently of the federal government.

For More Information

Learn more about the Biden initiative on Twitter @BidenCancer and www.facebook.com/bidencancer.

To learn more about the Biden Cancer Initiative, visit our website following the launch at: www.bidencancer.org.