Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Names Karen Handel as Senior Vice President, Public Policy

Accomplished Stateswoman Supports Komen’s Urgent Advocacy Needs in U.S.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, announced that it has appointed Karen Handel to serve as senior vice president of public policy.

Handel is a well-known and experienced policy maker, having held various positions in government at the local, state and federal level. Most recently, she was the Secretary of State for the state of Georgia, where she had oversight of 400 employees, responsible for overseeing elections, corporations, securities and professional licensing boards.

In her role at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Handel will be responsible for leading the organization’s federal and state advocacy efforts, including management of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Advocacy Alliance. Handel has been working with Komen as a consultant for advocacy since January and with this appointment now officially joins the staff. She will be based out of Komen’s Washington, D.C. office.

Handel’s connection to Komen and breast cancer goes back to her early 20's when as a young staffer for longtime Komen partner Hallmark Cards, she helped to coordinate the company's involvement in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® Series. Handel was recruited to work for Vice President Dan and Marilyn Quayle when Mrs. Quayle chose breast cancer as one of her major platform issues. As Deputy Chief of Staff, Handel coordinated Mrs. Quayle's breast cancer awareness activities, including the initiative to establish October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and visits to scores of breast cancer centers across the country. In her time with Mrs. Quayle, she conducted hundreds of constituent issues related to breast cancer.

“Karen is an outstanding leader who will be an integral part of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s presence in Washington D.C.,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “With deep expertise in government relations and a profoundly personal connection to Komen, Karen will help us be the voice for the voiceless, fighting for every women’s access to care.”

“This is an extremely important time to be coming back to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure family,” said Handel. "With the current status of Medicaid and state budget cuts, it is imperative that Komen leads the charge with policy makers to help ensure access to crucial breast cancer screening and treatment programs for the millions of women around the country who need them.”

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