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Nancy Brinker

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Nancy Brinker

Nancy Brinker
30th Chief of Protocol of the United States
In office
September 14, 2007 – January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Donald Ensenat
Succeeded by Capricia Penavic Marshall
23rd United States Ambassador to Hungary
In office
September 26, 2001 – June 19, 2003
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Peter Tufo
Succeeded by George Herbert Walker III
Personal details
Born (1946-12-06) December 6, 1946
Peoria, Illinois
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign B.A.

Nancy Goodman Brinker is the founder and Chair of Global Strategy of [4] Brinker is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Promise Me - How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer, released on September 14, 2010.

Brinker has helped build Komen by fostering a coalition of relationships within the business community, government, and volunteer sectors in the United States.[5] For her work on breast cancer research, Time magazine named Brinker to its 2008 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[6] Calling her "a catalyst to ease suffering in the world," President Barack Obama honored Brinker with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, on August 12, 2009.[7][8]

Early life and education

Brinker (née Goodman) was born to a Jewish family in Peoria, Illinois,[9] the daughter of Marvin L. and Eleanor (née Newman) Goodman. Her father was a commercial real-estate developer and her mother a homemaker.[10][9] In 1968, she received a B.A. from the University of Illinois.[9] After school, she moved to Dallas, Texas and worked at Neiman Marcus as an assistant couture buyer. Thereafter she took various positions at other public relation firms before marrying Norman Brinker, the founder of the Steak and Ale, Bennigan's, and Chili's restaurant chains.[9]

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

In 1982, Brinker established [17] On December 2, 2009, Brinker was appointed CEO.[1] She also pioneered cause marketing, allowing millions to participate in the fight against breast cancer through businesses that share Komen's commitment to end the disease.[18] Susan G. Komen for the Cure received Charity Navigator's highest rating, four stars.[19] In late January 2012, a public furor arose around the Foundation's policy decision to stop funding most Planned Parenthood offices, resulting in an apology from Brinker and a revised policy by the first week of February 2012.[20] On June 17, 2013, Judith A. Salerno replaced Brinker as CEO.[21]

Government service

World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador

Brinker is currently serving as the United Nations agency.[22] She advocated for strengthening global action for cancer prevention and control in the context of the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2008. Her message emphasized the need for low- and middle-income countries to strengthen comprehensive and evidence-based cancer control policies and programs.[23]

Chief of Protocol

On June 18, 2007, President Bush nominated Brinker to be Chief of Protocol of the United States and to have the rank of ambassador and assistant under-secretary of state. Brinker was sworn into the post on September 14, 2007. Her term lasted until January 20, 2009.

In this role, Brinker advised, assisted and supported the president, the vice president and the secretary of state on official matters of diplomatic procedure. She accompanied the president on official visits abroad and served as his personal representative and liaison to foreign ambassadors in Washington. The Office of the Chief of Protocol is responsible for activities including the planning, hosting, logistics, and officiating at ceremonial events for visiting chiefs of state and heads of government. On April 15, 2008, Brinker was the first American to greet Pope Benedict XVI upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base as part of her official duties.

The office also manages Blair House, the president's guesthouse. On October 7, 2008, Brinker hosted a symposium on "Breast Cancer Global Awareness” at the Blair House. First Lady Laura Bush joined the participants and for the first time ever, the White House was illuminated in pink for the occasion.[24]

As Chief of Protocol, Brinker expanded the role of the office through outreach programs intended to foster better relationships with the Diplomatic Corps. The effort, known as Diplomatic Partnerships[25] involved over 60 events, including "Experience America", where the Diplomatic Corps traveled throughout the United States to meet with business and civic leaders.[26][27]

Ambassador to Hungary

Brinker served as United States Ambassador to Hungary from September 2001 to 2003.[28] A political appointee,[29] she advanced a broad range of American security and economic interests.[30] Specific successes include expanded security cooperation, development of a closure strategy for the Hungarian Fund, resolving commerce transparency issues, and for the first time, holding a conference on the trafficking and exploitation of workers that health ministers from the neighboring Balkan States attended. She also raised awareness about breast cancer among Hungarian women by leading a march over the Chain Bridge in Budapest. The bridge was illuminated in pink for the occasion.[31]

While ambassador, Brinker began to collect Hungarian art. Today, her collection spans 100 years, from just before the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the present and has been on display at several museums around the United States. The collection is one of the largest outside of Hungary.[32][33][34][35] The collection extends and complements the acknowledged masters of Hungarian modernism and has introduced the American audience to original artists of more modest reputation.[36]

Hungarian President Ferenc Mádl decorated Brinker with the Order of Merit, Medium Class, Cross Adorned with Star, for her work in advancing bilateral relations and in recognition of her charity activities.[37][38]

Other government service

  • On December 24, 2008, President Bush appointed her to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for a six-year term.[39]
  • In 2000, she served on the National Steering Committee for the National Dialogue on Cancer.
  • Vice President Dan Quayle invited her to chair a subcommittee monitoring research, progress and development in the fight against breast cancer.[40]
  • In 1990, President Bush appointed her to chair the President's Cancer Panel and to monitor the progress of the National Cancer Program.[40]
  • In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed her to the National Cancer Advisory Board.[40]
  • Brinker was a bundler for George W. Bush. In 2000, she was a Pioneer, a member of Bush's $100,000 Club.[41]

Business career

In 1994, Brinker founded In Your Corner, Inc., a business venture designed to meet the retail consumer need for reliable health and wellness products and information. In Your Corner, Inc. was sold to AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in 1998.[42][43]

She has testified before the United States Democratic Policy Committee's Congressional Breast Cancer Forum and participated in the International Women's Forum.[44]


Brinker has received the following awards and titles:

  • Texas Women's Hall of Fame [45]
  • Reader's Digest Trust Poll: The 100 Most Trusted People in America, May, 2013[46]
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded by President Barack Obama on August 12, 2009[7][47]
  • Time magazine, 100 Most Influential People in the World[6]
  • Ladies’ Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century[48]
  • Biography Magazine’s The 25 Most Powerful Women in America[48]
  • Anti-Defamation League Americanism Award[49]
  • The Ladies' Home Journal's Top 10 Champions of Women's Health[50]
  • 2009 Porter Prize [51]
  • 2005 Mary Woodard Lasker Public Service Award in Support of Medical Research[48]
  • The 1997 S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen, awarded by Jefferson Awards[52]
  • 2007 Trumpet Award[53]
  • 2007 Castle Connolly National Health Leadership Award[54]
  • The Texas Governor's Award for Outstanding National Service
  • 2007 Pro Cultura Hungarica Medal[55]
  • American Association for Cancer Research Centennial Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2007[56]
  • 2007 IARC Medal of Honour[57]
  • The American Society of Breast Disease 2006[58]
  • Global Pathfinder Award[58]
  • 2004 Service to America Leadership Award presented by the National Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation[59]
  • The Champions of Excellence Award presented by the Centers for Disease Control[48]
  • ASCO Special Recognition Award[60]
  • Cancer Research and Treatment Fund, Inc. Cancer Survivors Hall of Fame[2]
  • Modern Healthcare 2007 Health Care Hall of Fame[61]
  • The Sword of Ignatius Loyola Award from Saint Louis University[62]
  • The Healthcare Humanitarian Award presented by the Global Conference Institute
  • Toastmasters International Top Five Speakers for 2001 Award
  • The Sisters Network 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award
  • The 2000 Cino del Duca Award, the James Ewing Layman Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology
  • The 1999 Caring Award
  • The Albert Einstein's Sarnoff Volunteer Award[63]
  • The first Salomon Smith Barney Extraordinary Achievement Award
  • The Champion of Prevention Award by the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control[64]
  • 1995 University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award[65]
  • Inducted into the Cancer Research and Treatment Fund, Inc. Cancer Survivors Hall of Fame[2]
  • The American Society of Breast Surgeons Lifetime Achievement Award—2003


Brinker has co-authored four books:

  • Promise Me: How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer , co-authored with Joni Rodgers - September 14, 2010
  • The Race is Run One Step at a Time, co-authored with Catherine McEvilly Harris
  • 1000 Questions About Women's Health, co-authored with Dr. H. Jane Chihal
  • Winning the Race : Taking Charge of Breast Cancer, co-authored with Chriss Anne Winston

Brinker wrote the forewords for:

  • Tamoxifen for the Treatment and Prevention of Breast Cancer by V. Craig Jordan
  • Tamoxifen: A Guide for Clinicians and Patients by V. Craig Jordan


Nancy Goodman married her first husband, Robert M. Leitstein, an executive at Neiman Marcus; they divorced in 1978.[10][66] They had one son.[10]

On February 13, 1981, Nancy Goodman wed [70][71] They divorced shortly after the 2000 U.S. Presidential election,[72] but Norman Brinker remained a board member of Komen for the Cure, having served on its board since its founding in 1982 until his death in 2009.[73]

Brinker is a major funder of gay marriage initiatives.[74][75][76][77][78] She serves on the Advisory Board of the Harvey Milk Foundation.[79]

See also


  1. ^ a b Dallas Business Journal (December 2, 2009). "Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker returns as CEO | Dallas Business Journal". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c [1]
  3. ^ "Speakers Bureau, Public Speakers, Inspirational Keynote Speakers and Celebrities". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Nancy Goodman Brinker named the World Health Organization’s goodwill ambassador - Mike Allen". Politico.Com. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  5. ^ David ahlberg. "Wisconsin State Journal". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b  
  7. ^ a b "Remarks by the President at the Medal of Freedom ceremony | The White House". August 13, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  8. ^ Lambiet, Jose. "Local News: West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Martin & St. Lucie Counties". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c d Encyclopedia of World Biography: "Nancy Brinker" retrieved July 25, 2013
  10. ^ a b c Tresniowski, Alex (October 29, 2001). "Promise Kept Driven by a Vow to Her Dying Sister, the New U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, Nancy Brinker, Revolutionized the War on Breast Cancer". The People. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  11. ^ Mcdonald, Karen (January 20, 2010). "U.S. House honors Nancy Brinker - Peoria, IL". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Komen founder Brinker named to magazine's list of influential people". The Dallas Morning News. 03/05/2008. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder of the World’s Largest Breast Cancer Awareness Organization to Speak to Palestinian Audience" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. March 27, 2007. Retrieved February 3, 2009. 
  14. ^ Hesse, Monica (February 15, 2012). "Nancy Brinker: The steely force in the Susan G. Komen foundation". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Oncology Times". Oncology Times. October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ [3]
  19. ^ Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Charity Navigator. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  20. ^ Belluck, Pam; Preston, Jennifer; Harris, Gardiner (February 3, 2012). "Cancer Group Backs Down on Cutting Off Planned Parenthood". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  21. ^ "KOMEN BREAST CANCER CHARITY NAMES NEW CEO". AO. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  22. ^ [4]
  23. ^ "WHO | Nancy Goodman Brinker appointed Goodwill Ambassador". May 26, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Embassy of Hungary, Washington, D.C". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Diplomatic Partnerships". Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  26. ^ "The Washington Diplomat". The Washington Diplomat. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  27. ^ [5]
  28. ^ "Nancy Goodman Brinker - U.S. Embassy Budapest, Hungary". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  29. ^ Tresniowski, Alex. "Promise Kept". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  30. ^ [6]
  31. ^ "Embassy of Hungary, Washington, D.C". June 6, 2005. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Private Collection of Hungarian Art Comes to Maltz". July 23, 2007. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Great Paintings, Small Masterpieces: Selection of Early 20th Century Hungarian Art - NYC". January 24, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Orme Lewis Gallery". Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Great Paintings, Small Masterpieces: Selection of Early 20th Century Hungarian Art from the Nancy G. Brinker Collection". Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Hungarian Art Collection of Ambassador Nancy Brinker in the U.S.". Embassy of Hungary. November 14, 2006. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ "Kennedy Center Administration Our People: The Board of Trustees". Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  40. ^ a b c "U.S. Department of State Biography: Brinker, Nancy Goodman". Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Nancy Brinker: Bush Pioneer". Texans for Public Justices. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Nancy Brinker: She’s racing toward a cure". June 29, 1999. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  43. ^ "In Your Corner Official Website". Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  44. ^
  45. ^ "Texas Woman's Hall of Fame". TCU. 
  46. ^ Korn, Majorie (5/07/2013). "Susan G. Komen founder 100 Most Trusted People in America". Reader's Digest. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  47. ^ Korn, Majorie (12/08/2009). "Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker receives Medal of Freedom". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  48. ^ a b c d Bio: Nancy G. Brinker
  49. ^ Dargan, Michele (February 2, 2010). "Nancy Brinker to receive Anti-Defamation League award for breast cancer efforts". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  50. ^ "President Bush to Nominate Brinker to be Ambassador of the United States to Hungary". May 23, 2001. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  51. ^ "Nancy Brinker to receive 2009 Porter Prize". 09/03/2009. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  52. ^ "Jefferson Awards:National Winners". Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^ "Diplomatic Pouch - Hungary’s Modern Art Gaining Attention". Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  56. ^ "Nancy Brinker and Lance Armstrong honored with Centennial Medals at the AACR 2007 Annual Meeting". 11/04/2007. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  57. ^ "Mariano Barbacid receives Medal of Honour". Madrid. May 18, 2007. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  58. ^ a b
  59. ^
  60. ^ "ASCO Special Award Winners". Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  61. ^ "Health Care Hall of Fame Inductees: Nancy Brinker". Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  62. ^ Murphey, Mary (March 27, 2002). "Brinker to receive Sword of Ignatius Loyola award". The University News (Saint Louis University). Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  63. ^ "Deirdre Imus’ Advocacy for Children’s Health Garners National Volunteer Service Award from Albert Einstein College of Medicine". May 24, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  64. ^ "History of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest". Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  65. ^ "Alumni Achievement Award 1990-1999". Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  66. ^ [Category:All articles with dead external links] Nancy Brinker Profile, Peoria Journal Star]
  67. ^ "A Heaping Plate of Ventures for Chili's Impresario". The New York Times. August 29, 1992. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  68. ^ "Nancy Brinker, Founder, and Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO, Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Twenty-Five Years at the Forefront of the Breast Cancer Movement". 01/06/2007. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  69. ^ Fetterman, Debbie (03/04/2007). "After 25 years, Komen group still fighting for a cure". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  70. ^
  71. ^ "Nancy Brinker, Bush Pioneer". July 2000. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  72. ^ Tresniowski, Alex (October 29, 2001). "Promise Kept". People Magazine. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  73. ^ Grimes, William (09/06/2009). "Norman Brinker, Casual Dining Innovator, Dies at 78". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  74. ^ Geidner, Chris (2012-09-20). "Former RNC Chairman Hosting Marriage Equality Event With Tony Kushner And Dan Savage". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  75. ^ "Liberty Awards National Dinner: Sponsors". Lambda Legal. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  76. ^ "Komen CEO Nancy Brinker hosts fundraiser for gay-rights group". 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  77. ^ Garcia, Michelle (2013-01-29). "Komen Founder Raising Money for Gay Rights With Son". Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  78. ^ "For Komen founder Nancy Brinker, gay rights is another issue close to the family". The Washington Post. 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  79. ^ "Leadership & Advisory Board". Milk Foundation. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 

External links

  • Nancy G. Brinker website
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure website
  • Chat Online Live with Nancy Brinker October 7
  • Her Sister's Keeper
  • Biography of Nancy G. Brinker, U.S. Department of State website
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Peter Tufo
U.S. Ambassador to Hungary
Succeeded by
George Herbert Walker III
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