Chief of Protocol, 2007-2009
Nancy G. Brinker is regarded as the leader of the global breast cancer movement. Her journey began with a simple promise to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything possible to end the shame, pain, fear and hopelessness caused by this disease. In one generation, the organization that bears Susan's name has changed the world.
Shortly after Susan's death from breast cancer at the age of 36, Brinker founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 1982. Brinker faced an immediate uphill battle: newspapers balked at printing the words "breast cancer," no one talked openly about the disease, there were no 800-numbers, no internet and few, if any, support groups. Few treatment options existed for breast cancer patients and limited resources were committed to the disease. In a matter of years, Brinker broke the silence around breast cancer, and Susan G. Komen is now 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. Today, the organization has invested almost $2 billion in breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. In 2010, Brinker released her New York Times best-selling memoir Promise Me, an inspirational story of her transformation from bereaved sister to the undisputed leader of the ongoing international movement to end breast cancer. She was named one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People" in 2008. From 2001 - 2003, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary and most recently served as U.S. Chief of Protocol from 2007-2009 where she was responsible for overseeing all protocol matters for visiting heads of state and presidential travel abroad. In 2008, President George W. Bush appointed her to The Kennedy Center Board of Trustees. Full bio.