The American Cancer Society, Inc., takes its mission to save lives seriously and therefore works to protect the resources entrusted to it by the public. The Society is governed by a single Board of Directors, which is made up of volunteers from the medical and lay communities. Our system of organizational governance ensures the input of appropriate experts on decision making and strategic oversight of comprehensive nationwide operations.
Board of Directors
The Society’s Board of Directors is composed of 11 officers, 24 directors (12 medical professionals and 12 lay persons), and 8 directors-at-large (4 medical and 4 lay). Directors are elected for a 2-year term and can serve a maximum of 3, 2-year terms.
The Board of Directors utilizes a self-perpetuating board model and is responsible for the nominating process, the election of the Board members and Officers, and the election of the Nominating Committee.
The Board is the sole governing and fiduciary body for the American Cancer Society, and as such it sets policy, develops and approves an enterprise-wide strategic plan and related resource allocation, and is responsible for the performance of the organization as a whole.
View a list of the American Cancer Society Board of Directors.
The relationship of the President, Chair, and Chief Executive Officer reflects the relationship among the Board and professional staff. The President, as the medical and scientific spokesperson for the Society, ensures public trust in the Society's positions. The Chair coordinates the stewardship and energy embodied in the Society's volunteers. The Chief Executive Officer applies the expertise of the professional staff to achieve the goals set by the organization.
Ethics and Financial Practices
To preserve the public's trust and protect the Society's strong reputation, the Society has adopted many of the governance practices used by publicly traded for-profit companies. The Society's written Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy contains a mechanism for managing and disclosing conflicts of interest, as well as a Whistleblow Confidentiality Agreement for staff and certain volunteers.
In addition, the Society has established charters for the Audit, Compensation, Finance, Governance, and Nominating committees. The Audit Committee assures accountability and transparency through its oversight of internal controls, compliance, ethics, and accounting processes and practices. The Compensation Committee is composed of independent directors who assure that the total compensation paid to the Society’s executives is reasonable and complies with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code. The Finance Committee monitors the financial performance and strategy of the Society. The Governance Committee continually enriches the capacity of the Board to govern and lead the Society toward achieving the Society’s strategic goals and beyond. The Governance Committee also ensures that the governance process models best practices outlined for nonprofit organizations and regularly evaluates the effectiveness of the Board and its committees. The Nominating Committee supports the Board in fulfilling its responsibility for the review of candidates nominated to the Board, including officers, directors, and directors-at-large. The Committee also reviews individuals nominated to Honorary Life membership of the American Cancer Society.
These governance practices reflect the American Cancer Society's commitment to the highest standards of organizational integrity. For more information, please feel free to contact the Office of Corporate Communications or the Office of Strategic Governance and Corporate Affairs at the American Cancer Society corporate office in Atlanta, Georgia.