AACI Presidential Initiative

About the Presidential Initiative

AACI distinguishes itself among professional cancer organizations through its ongoing engagement with academic cancer centers. The AACI Presidential Initiative allows the president of AACI's Board of Directors to formalize a special project of broad interest and value to AACI members during their two-year term. Several of AACI's signature programs began as presidential initiatives.

Leadership Diversity and Development Initiative (LDDI)

Leadership Diversity and Development Initiative

AACI President Caryn Lerman, PhD, is the director of USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Dr. Lerman’s presidential initiative focuses on leadership development with an emphasis on diversity. Activities will include:

  • Expanding and updating the leadership pipeline survey of AACI cancer centers
  • Developing a best practices toolkit for cancer centers covering leadership development, diversifying the pipeline, and onboarding
  • Hosting workshops for emerging cancer center leaders 
  • Onboarding new cancer center directors
Dr. Lerman and members of the LDDI Steering Committee have published a paper, "Leadership Diversity and Development in the Nation's Cancer Centers," in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

AACI will host the new Leadership Diversity and Development Initiative Workshop, November 8-9, at Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel in Rosemont, IL. Cancer center directors are encouraged to register one emerging leader at their center to attend. 

LDDI Steering Committee

Chair - Caryn Lerman, PhD
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

David M. Gosky
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

Chanita Hughes Halbert, PhD
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Roy A. Jensen, MD
The University of Kansas Cancer Center

Kelvin Lee, MD
Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center

Edith P. Mitchell, MD, FACP, FCPP
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health

Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

Elisa Rodriguez, PhD
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Yolanda Sanchez, PhD
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Reuben J. Shaw, MD, PhD
Salk Institute Cancer Center

Cornelia Ulrich, PhD, MS
Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah

George Weiner, MD
Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Iowa

Cheryl L. Willman, MD
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD (2020-2021)
Mitigating Cancer Disparities

Roy A. Jensen, MD (2018-2020)
Public Policy Resource Library

Stanton L. Gerson, MD (2016-2018)
Network Care 

George J. Weiner, MD (2014-2016)
Academic Difference

Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD (2012-2014)
Molecular Diagnostics


William S. Dalton, MD, PhD (2011-2012)
Website Portal


Michael A. Caligiuri, MD (2009-2011)
Project Cancer Education

Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD (2007-2009)
Oncology Workforce

H. Shelton Earp, III, MD (2005-2007)
Public Issues/Advocacy

Harold L. Moses, MD (2003-2005)
Collaborations With Like-Minded Organizations

John E. Niederhuber, MD (2001-2003)
NCI Relationships

Ronald B. Herberman, MD (1999-2001)
AACI Structure and Staffing