Nancy Brinker, the head of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, will finally step down from her position as chief executive, about 7 months after an attempt to deny grants to Planned Parenthood damaged the charity’s reputation and significantly cut into their funding base.
In a statement, Komen called the changes “a new period of transition,” and said Ms. Brinker would move to a new management role focusing on revenue creation, strategy and global growth. Komen’s president, Liz Thompson, plans to leave in September, the statement said.
In a controversy that prompted the resignations of several senior executives, Komen announced in January that it planned to eliminate most financing for breast cancer education and screening by Planned Parenthood. Among its services, Planned Parenthood provides birth control and abortions, which several Komen executives opposed.
The decision provoked a national furor among abortion rights groups, forcing Komen to reverse itself. But doing so did not quell calls for a leadership shake-up that for many included Ms. Brinker’s resignation.
So Brinker, a former ambassador under George W. Bush, gets kicked downstairs, still affiliated with the organization but out of a high-profile role.
As I said when this scandal was going on, I don’t think there will be a Susan G. Komen Foundation for too much longer. This demotion just makes me believe that more. The shine on the pink ribbon has completely worn off, with fundraising and major events like their annual walk-a-thon down sharply. The Planned Parenthood controversy really put the spotlight on not only Komen’s politics but also their activities, and how they weren’t really moving toward “the cure” but raising a lot of money to raise their own profile. Women are savvy enough, when presented with the facts, to recognize the fundraising-for-fundraising’s-sake at the heart of the Komen mission.
Planned Parenthood’s statement, expressing that it was “proud” to keep working with Komen and that they appreciated the work of Brinker and Liz Thompson, is what you say about an organization that gives you a lot of money. Beneath the surface of that press release, I’m sure there’s a lot of chuckling going on.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch, I’d say…