Vice Chair and Co-Founder of Friends of Cancer Research

Marlene Malek is Vice Chair of the Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) Board of Directors. Friends is an advocacy organization based in Washington, DC that drives collaboration among partners from every healthcare sector to power advances in science, policy, and regulation that speed life-saving treatments to patients. For more than two decades, Friends has been instrumental in the creation and implementation of policies ensuring patients receive the best treatments in the fastest and safest way possible.

Previously, Ms. Malek served as Board President from 1996 to 2016 and was instrumental in the founding and establishment of Friends. As Vice Chair, Ms. Malek works to mobilize support for increased cancer research funding. The Washingtonian Magazine named Ms. Malek, a “Washingtonian of the Year” for her work in building support for cancer research.

Currently, Ms. Malek serves on the Board of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, as well as the Duke University’s Cancer Institute in Durham, NC.  At Duke, Mrs. Malek was given the “Shingleton Award” for outstanding service on the Board.  Ms. Malek also served on the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Leadership Council and is a member of the National Dialogue on Cancer.  Ms. Malek received a Presidential appointment to the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) where she served a six-year term.  While on the NCAB she chaired the committee on Communication and Cancer Control. In the past, Ms. Malek worked as a home care volunteer for Hospice, where she has provided physical and emotional support to terminally ill cancer patients and their families.

In the cultural realm, Ms. Malek received a Presidential Appointment to the Board of Trustees for the J.F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts from 2002-2008, and now serves on their International Committee.  Additionally, she serves on the board of Ford’s Theatre Society in Washington, DC.  At Ford’s Theatre she serves on the Executive Committee and sponsors the “Gold Medal” given to individuals who exemplify the character of Abraham Lincoln.  Ms. Malek is an active member of the Collector’s Committee of the National Gallery of Art and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. In 2013, she received a Virginia Governor’s appointment to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA.

In the community, Ms. Malek is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Marymount University, and was awarded Marymount University’s “Gold Medal,” for community leadership and the University’s Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. In addition, the “Malek School of Health Professions” at Marymount University is named in honor of Ms. Malek and her late husband Frederic V. Malek, for their service and commitment to the institution.

Other community activities include, The Board of Trustees for Vital Voices Global Partnership and Explore Children’s Museum. She also serves on the Board of the Vice President’s Residence Foundation and the George and Barbara Bush Foundation.

Marlene Malek graduated from Marymount University with a degree in Nursing.  She resides in McLean, Virginia and has two grown children and five grandchildren.