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Nancy Brinker        

Founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Former U.S. Ambassador & Former Chief of Protocol of the U.S.

Nancy G. Brinker ignited the global breast cancer movement years ago by promising her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died at age 36 of the disease, that she would put an end to the shame, pain, fear and hopelessness caused by breast cancer.

In 1982, Ambassador Brinker with a handful of dedicated friends founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure in her sisters memory. At that time, there was an enormous stigma around breast cancer. Newspaper editors told her they would not print the words breast cancer, no one talked openly about the disease, and there were few, if any, support groups. Few treatment options existed for breast cancer patients and hardly any researchers focused on the disease. Within a few years, Ambassador Brinker, who led a relentless, one-woman breast cancer information and awareness campaign, succeeded in breaching the silence surrounding the disease, fundamentally changing the way it is talked about and treated. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is now the worlds largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.

A year after creating the organization, Ambassador Brinker started the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the most successful fundraising and education event for charity ever created. Additionally, she pioneered cause-related marketing, which has enabled millions more people from top executives to everyday consumers to join the fight against breast cancer. Her unwavering advocacy was instrumental in the development of many new treatment options and a higher quality of life for patients diagnosed with breast cancer as well as long-term survivors. To date, Komen for the Cure has played a role in every major advance in breast cancer and is now the worlds largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer.

Ambassador Brinker's determination to create a world without breast cancer is matched by her passion for enlisting every segment of society to participate in the elimination of this disease. She continues her mission to ensure that everyone, from sitting United States presidents and members of Congress, to top global medical experts and social leaders, understands and addresses the heavy toll breast cancer takes on our society, our families, our economy and our future. An outspoken champion of all people with breast cancer as well as those who are at risk for developing the disease, Ambassador Brinker takes her cause and her passion all over the world, seeking the fresh input and international partnerships essential to ending breast cancer forever.

Globally known as a change agent, Ambassador Brinker was included in TIME's 100 Most Influential People in 2008. She served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary from 2001 to 2003 and most recently served as U.S. Chief of Protocol from 2007 to 2008 where she was responsible for coordinating ceremonial events for visiting heads of state as well as overseeing all protocol matters for Presidential or Vice Presidential travel abroad. In 2008, President George W. Bush appointed her to The Kennedy Center Board of Trustees.

Ambassador Brinker has received numerous accolades for her work, including the prestigious Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, the Trumpet Foundation's Presidents Award, the Independent Women's Forum Barbara K. Olson Woman of Valor Award, the Champions of Excellence Award presented by the Centers for Disease Control, the Forbes Trailblazer Award, Ladies Home Journal's 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century and Biography Magazine's 25 Most Powerful Women in America.

Speech Topics


A Philanthropic Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility

As the founder of one of the most recognizable philanthropic organizations in the country, Nancy Brinker has partnered with countless corporations and associations to increase awareness and funding for cancer research. Calling on her experience connecting people and companies to important social issues, she understands the integral role corporations can play in the world of social responsibility, and she inspires individuals, audiences, and entire organizations to work harder, to give something back, and to reinvent their reputations by incorporating philanthropy into their day-to-day operations.

Still Racing for the Cure

After more than a quarter century, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has evolved into the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Brinker shares the successes and continued challenges in the fight against cancer since she began the global breast cancer movement in 1982. Brinker describes how the organization has pioneered cause-related marketing, created Komen Affiliates serving the breast health needs of millions in their communities, and developed educational tools to reach people in more than 200 countries. As the world's largest source of private funds for breast cancer research and community outreach programs, Brinker's organization has seen more than $1.2 billion invested to date. She shares with audiences the latest news on the breast cancer front, the most promising developments at Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and the inspiring stories that touched lives all over the world.

Change Your Culture

Evolve or Perish. Since she founded Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Brinker has been the leading force behind the revolution of cultural awareness that has made Americans able to talk publicly and passionately about breast cancer. In her world travels, she has spread that message to other countries struggling to combat cancer. From a background in business and marketing, she delivers a powerful message calling on her own personal history of creating one of the most recognizable and momentous marketing campaigns in the American culture: Race for the Cure. Her life's work has both opened people's eyes and saved people's lives, and she shows how organizations can apply the same concepts to their mission.

Brave Enough!

The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, and one of Biography magazine’s 25 Most Powerful Women in America, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Women of the 20thCentury, and Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2008, Ambassador Brinker energizes women executives, entrepreneurs, and business owners to overcome the unique challenges facing female business leaders and seize the unprecedented opportunities in today’s business world. Drawing on her own experience of founding, building, and guiding the world’s largest network of breast cancer survivors and activists, Ambassador Brinker inspires women to be “brave enough” to pursue their professional ambitions, persevere in the face of barriers, and become mentors and models to the next generation of women leaders. This presentation is ideal for women’s business conferences and meetings.

The Patient Empowerment Revolution

A former member of the President’s Cancer Panel, the United Nations World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control, and one of America’s foremost patient advocates for a quarter century, Ambassador Brinker addresses the key challenges facing the delivery of affordable, accessible healthcare in the United States and around the world today. Drawing on her pioneering experience of transforming the way the world talks about and treats breast cancer—and warning how the baby boom will become an unprecedented “cancer boom”—Ambassador Brinker argues that today’s “patient empowerment revolution” will only succeed if patient-centered care becomes the central organizing philosophy of a 21st century healthcare system. This presentation is ideal for the healthcare industry and associations.

The Power of One

One of the nation’s foremost social entrepreneurs and a global activist who has inspired millions around the world, Ambassador Brinker empowers audiences of all ages and backgrounds to embrace “the power of one”—the ability of every individual to make a difference in their communities, companies, countries, and the world. Drawing on her remarkable life experience as a breast cancer survivor, catalyst of an international health movement, US Ambassador and US Chief of Protocol, Brinker shares a unique lesson for personal and professional fulfillment to help every individual lead a life of success and significance. This presentation is ideal personal/professional development conferences.

The Art of Seeing the Invisible

Drawing on her 30-year experience transforming a small living-room operation into a billion-dollar global network against breast cancer, Ambassador Brinker shares the leadership lessons that every executive and employee needs to know to build their company, energize their teams, strengthen their brand, and institutionalize a culture of innovation to stay ahead of the competition and achieve world-class results. Ambassador Brinker motivates corporate audiences in every industry and sector to excel in “the art of seeing the invisible”—pursuing bold goals that may seem invisible and making them inevitable. This presentation is ideal for senior executive retreats and company annual meetings.

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