Governance

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 American Cancer Society is one of the largest and oldest voluntary health organizations in the world. Established in 1913 by a small group of physicians and businessmen, the Society has been governed by volunteers since its inception. The Board of Directors is composed of 5 officers and 16 directors. Directors are elected for a two-year term. The Board is responsible for setting policy, establishing long-term goals, monitoring general operations, and approving the organizational outcomes and allocation of resources.

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. 

2014 American Cancer Society Board of Directors

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.

American Cancer Society 2013 Organizational Outcomes Report

The American Cancer Society is pleased to announce the availability of the 2013 Organizational Outcomes Report. This report presents the Society’s and the larger cancer community’s achievements and measurable progress toward the Society's strategic plan, 2015 goals, and nationwide objectives. In addition, the report calls attention to challenge areas that will require additional attention in the future.