Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a leading breast cancer advocacy group, named Judith A. Salerno its new chief executive officer Monday.
Salerno's appointment comes after the Dallas-based group's founder and previous CEO, Nancy G. Brinker, resigned due a funding controversy last year.
Salerno, 61, was previously the deputy director of the US National Institute on Aging and is currently the executive director and chief operating officer of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Komen’s commitment has helped countless numbers of low-income and medically underserved women and men get care they might otherwise have gone without, and Komen’s research program is one of the most highly respected in the nation,” Salerno said in a prepared statement.
“I’ve spent the last 31 years of my life building this mission, and I’m looking forward to expanding our global mission and raising the funds that keep our work going," said Brinker following the new appointment.
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“Judy is an excellent choice. She is very well-known and highly respected as both a scientist and an innovator in public health."
The appointment comes during a difficult period for the charity group.
Several executives have left and fundraising is down after the group announced that it was cutting funding to Planned Parenthood in January 2012 because of a congressional investigation into whether federal money was used for abortions.
The controversial move grabbed headlines and led to the resignation of Brinker, who apologized for the swift actions against Planned Parenthood.
Brinker said she will move into a role focused more on fundraising and strategic planning.
She founded the charity in 1982 after her sister died of breast cancer.
It has spent more than $1.5 billion in outreach for breast-cancer education, screening and treatment since then. The group has also provided $755 million in research funding and has made the pink ribbon synonymous with support for breast cancer survivors.