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Friends' Executive Director, Jeff Allen, Named Organization's First Chief Executive Officer

Friends' Executive Director, Jeff Allen, Named Organization's First Chief Executive Officer

Founder Ellen Sigal Stays as Board Chair, President Marlene Malek Becomes Vice Chair; New Leadership Structure Designed to Continue Success and Impact for Future

Washington, DC, August 18, 2016 –  Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) announced today that Jeff Allen, PhD, will assume the role of President and CEO effective immediately. Friends’ founder, Ellen Sigal, PhD, will continue with the organization as Board Chair.

Allen will become the day-to-day lead of Friends’ scientific and policy programs, organizational operations, and will direct strategic legislative initiatives. His leadership will help the organization continue to grow and be as successful in enacting change for patients as possible.

“Jeff has been with us leading the organization for more than a decade and he has the vision and unique qualifications to carry Friends into its next chapter,” said Sigal.  “I remain committed to Friends and have no doubt that as a team we will continue to execute amazing work.”

Sigal will maintain her role through active involvement in providing strategic direction to the organization and guiding the Board of Directors. Elevating Allen to President & CEO will allow Sigal to focus on leading specific initiatives she is deeply passionate about and continue to operate in her many capacities as a steadfast representative and advocate of patients.

“We could not be where we are today without all of the hard work Ellen has put into Friends,” Allen said. “Many have said, and I echo this sentiment, that she is a force of nature within the cancer research community.  We intend to keep that force at work as we move toward a new era of cancer care and treatment.”

Marlene Malek, Friends’ Founding Board President, will continue to play an integral role in the future direction of the organization by becoming Friends’ new Vice-Chair of the board.

“For those that know Ellen and me and our dedication to patients, they know we will never be out of the game,” Malek said. “We truly feel that with Jeff as President & CEO, Friends will be able to increase our impact on the science policy community and patients’ lives.”

Friends of Cancer Research has been moving toward this change over the past several years, and is part of a larger growth strategy focusing on utilizing Friends’ leaders’ strengths to their full potential.

About Friends of Cancer Research
Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) 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 information, please visit