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Gary Reedy to retire as CEO of ACS and ACS CAN in April 2021

In an email to all staff and volunteers this morning, Gary Reedy announced that he will leave his post next April, when his contract expires.

“I am confident that by April, we will emerge on the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic and global economic crisis and be well positioned for a new leader to come in and hit the ground running,” Gary wrote. 

Gary became CEO in 2015, after more than 15 years as a volunteer leader for the organization, including serving as past chair of the ACS Board in 2013 and the ACS CAN Board in 2011. Prior to that, Gary was worldwide vice president, government affairs and policy, at Johnson & Johnson, where he spearheaded initiatives to influence global health policy. He also had senior leadership positions with SmithKline Beecham and Centocor.

During his CEO tenure, Gary provided the vision and leadership to rebuild the American Cancer Society after the organization consolidated from a federated model to a single corporate entity. Today, ACS has returned to its roots as a volunteer-led organization and has a new mission statement, core values, cultural beliefs, and a stronger commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity than ever before. The organization is working toward ambitious goals it set for the nation to reduce cancer mortality by 40 percent by 2035.

“We are more nimble, less risk-averse, more courageous, and not afraid to innovate for greater impact,” Gary said. “And, we are delivering on our key initiatives through cutting edge research, increasing screening rates, improving access to health care, deepening corporate engagement with our partners, and launching the BrightEdge philanthropic impact fund.”

“We are grateful for Gary’s dedication and leadership,” said Jeff Kean, chair of the ACS Board, “and we are fortunate that Gary will continue to lead this organization as we embark on an extensive search for the next CEO. The Board will seek a leader who can bring creative, strategic action to ACS and ACS CAN as we move beyond COVID-19 and to a future of collaboration among a diversity of communities and partners fighting cancer around the country.”

More details will be forthcoming regarding the formation of a Board-appointed search committee and the process they will undertake to identify and transition to a new chief executive by April 2021. 

“Thank you for the honor of serving as your CEO of the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN. I consider it one of the greatest privileges of my life. As I reflect on my time here, I can say unequivocally that what I will miss most are the amazing volunteers and staff I have come to know as colleagues and friends. The spirit of volunteerism and the mission of this organization will forever be a part of who I am,” Gary said.

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