March 23, 2016
Alexandria, VA—Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, Chief of the Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where he also serves as Vice President for Government Relations and Chief Advocacy Officer, and a Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, has been named the next Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He will succeed Allen S. Lichter, MD, FASCO, who is stepping down after ten years of service in the CEO position.
Dr. Hudis is among the world’s most recognized experts in breast cancer treatment and prevention, and is a former President (2013-2014) and Board member of ASCO. He will begin his new position on June 27, 2016.
“Dr. Hudis is the best leader to advance ASCO’s vision in a time of rapid technological, scientific, and societal change,” said Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO, President of ASCO. “As a recent President and one of ASCO’s most active volunteers for more than two decades, he has shown a remarkable commitment to our mission of improving patient care. He has helped usher in some of ASCO’s boldest initiatives, and I’m very pleased that ASCO will gain from his vision and enthusiasm for years to come.
“In addition to his dedication to patient care, Dr. Hudis is a champion for the practice and art of oncology. As CEO he will help advance the needs of all of ASCO’s members, no matter where or in what settings they practice, and will make sure ASCO provides the education, services and advocacy they need to succeed in their work and serve their patients.”
ASCO’s Board of Directors considered many qualified candidates and determined that Dr. Hudis possesses the full range of critical qualifications needed to lead the organization in the years ahead. These include deep scientific expertise; clinical research experience; extensive experience caring for patients; a dedication to teaching others; effective organizational leadership; and strong performance in executing the operations of a not-for-profit organization. The Board also sought someone with an understanding of current health policy issues and emerging technologies that are shaping the field of oncology.
“From my first meetings as a senior fellow in 1990, to my earliest opportunities to present data – sharing the stage with luminaries and earlier leaders in my field – to the ways ASCO allowed me to contribute to improvements in cancer care, I have been excited by the service that the Society offers its members and patients around the world,” said Dr. Hudis. “My passion for ASCO’s mission is the reason I have dedicated so much of my professional life to the organization and I am thrilled to join the staff and volunteers as we enter an exciting new era in all aspects of cancer prevention and treatment.”
In the decade since Dr. Allen Lichter became ASCO’s CEO, the Society has experienced rapid growth and launched important new initiatives to improve the quality and value of cancer care. During his tenure, ASCO reached nearly 40,000 members, including more than 13,000 international members and many allied health professionals. Among his many significant contributions, Dr. Lichter oversaw the launch of CancerLinQ™, ASCO’s big-data initiative to improve patient care; helped create the Leadership Development Program and FASCO designation for members with standout volunteer service; hired the organization’s first Chief Medical Officer; and established several important new departments to support the diverse needs of ASCO members.
“All of us on the Board are grateful to Dr. Lichter for putting ASCO and its members at the vanguard of cancer science and patient care,” said Dr. Vose. “He leaves ASCO in an incredibly strong position to meet the needs of physicians and patients worldwide."
Dr. Hudis, in addition to his time as President, has held a number of prominent roles since joining ASCO in 1991. He served on ASCO’s Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015, and was Board Treasurer from 2009 to 2012 and a member of the Executive and Planning Committees from 2009 to 2013. He was Co-Chair of the Board’s Finance and Governance Subcommittee and Chair of the Finance Committee from 2009 to 2012. Dr. Hudis has served as Chair of ASCO’s Integrated Technology Committee and Co-Chair of the Breast Cancer Symposium. He also served multiple terms on the ASCO Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee, and helped lead ASCO panels charged with assessing evidence on breast cancer therapy. He has served on CancerLinQ’s Board of Governors since 2014, and as CEO of ASCO he will automatically become chair of that body.
Dr. Hudis is one of the nation’s leading specialists in breast cancer treatment and a recognized expert in studies of cancer prevention. He obtained his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, where he completed his internship and residency, and completed his fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Within MSK, he has held a number of teaching, leadership, and administrative positions while maintaining an active research program and busy clinical practice.
“We are thrilled and proud that Cliff will continue to be a trailblazer in oncology, while remaining on our staff and caring for patients,” said Craig Thompson, MD, president and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “His superb expertise as a clinician, advocate, and leader makes him the ideal person to take the helm at ASCO and serve as a worthy successor to Allen."
At MSK, Dr. Hudis has led a team that developed new agents for metastatic disease and dose-dense adjuvant chemotherapy regimens for early stage breast cancer, established a clinically meaningful role for targeting the androgen receptor in metastatic triple negative disease, and explored the molecular mechanisms that underlie the association of obesity with breast and other cancers, among many other projects. His Service has grown into one of the largest groups of medical oncologists dedicated to the treatment of breast cancer in the world and is tightly integrated into MSK’s Breast Disease Management Team (which he has co-led). In addition, he has served MSK in a number of administrative roles that support the institution’s faculty and mission, has developed a robust integration of the program’s geographically distributed clinical care sites, and has mentored a large number of faculty and trainees who are now independent clinical and scientific leaders.
Dr. Hudis has received many awards and honors, including in 2008 the Drexel University College of Medicine WMC/MCP Achievement Award, which recognizes graduates of the Medical College of Pennsylvania who are highly acclaimed for their service and leadership in the medical profession. In 2016, he also became a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO) based on his years of service.
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Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With nearly 40,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer. For ASCO information and resources, visit www.asco.org. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.cancer.net.
Press release originally appeared on ASCO.org.