Susan G. Komen Executives

March 23, 2012 by staff 

Susan G. Komen Executives, At least five high-ranking executives with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity have resigned in the aftermath of the organization’s decision to eliminate its funding for Planned Parenthood.

The departures include three officials from Komen’s Dallas headquarters, as well as CEOs of affiliate groups in Oregon and New York City. The chairman of the foundation also stepped down from his post, though he will remain on the board. Although some cited personal reasons, the resignations suggest that Komen is still in turmoil, even after reversing course and restoring the money to Planned Parenthood.

Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said she could not speak to individuals’ reasons for leaving but acknowledged the effects of the controversy among supporters.

“Obviously, we know some folks are upset. We’ve certainly seen that,” Aun said. “We know people have been upset by recent events, but most really do recognize the importance of our work.”

The resignations began about a month ago. Chris McDonald, executive director and chief executive of the organization’s Oregon and southwest Washington affiliate, announced that she’ll leave at the end of April. She said her decision wasn’t “predicated by any one event,” but that actions by national headquarters affected her thinking.

“Despite our deep frustration about the distraction that our organization headquarters’ actions caused, I was proud that our affiliate took a strong stand against the politicization of the fight to improve women’s health,” McDonald said in a Feb. 25 statement posted on the organization’s website.

One board member for McDonald’s affiliate, Portland attorney Jennifer Williamson, rejoined the board after stepping down last month to put pressure on the national organization. She couldn’t walk away from the local Komen work to expand access to women’s health care, she said.

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