AACI President Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, is resigning from Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia. She will step down as AACI president and begin her new role as chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society (ACS) on Tuesday, June 1. Dr. Knudsen will be the first woman CEO to lead the 107-year-old organization and the American Cancer Society Cancer Advocacy Network (ACS CAN).
A member of AACI's Board of Directors since 2016, Dr. Knudsen began her term as president in October 2020. Since assuming the presidency, she has focused on leveraging the expertise of North America's 102 leading cancer institutes to understand and mitigate cancer health disparities.
Dr. Knudsen’s presidential initiative aims to convert understanding of cancer disparities across AACI centers into meaningful, measurable actions to improve the lives of patients with cancer. To facilitate this, Dr. Knudsen is collecting and analyzing data to better understand the catchment areas covered by AACI cancer centers.
A national search for Dr. Knudsen's successor is underway. SKCC Chief of Cancer Services Andrew E. Chapman, DO, FACP, will serve as the cancer center's interim enterprise director beginning June 1.
AACI remains committed to Dr. Knudsen’s presidential initiative as it relates to cancer health disparities and health equity and is exploring ways that the initiative will continue after her departure. Vice President/President-elect Caryn Lerman, PhD, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, will begin her term as AACI president in June. Drs. Lerman and Knudsen are discussing ways their respective initiatives can complement one another.