Chief Executive Officer, American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
John R. Seffrin, PhD, has served as chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) since its inception in 2001. He also serves as CEO of the American Cancer Society, the world's largest voluntary health organization and the parent organization of ACS CAN. Prior to coming to the American Cancer Society, Dr. Seffrin was professor of health education and chairman of the Department of Applied Health Science at Indiana University.
He served as president of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) from 2002 to 2006, during which time he worked to revive UICC’s historic role as a global leader in tobacco control advocacy and served as its international spokesperson. Dr. Seffrin also served as chairman of the Board of Independent Sector (the largest US membership organization representing nonprofit organizations) from 2002 to 2005.
In 1999, Dr. Seffrin was selected to be a charter member of C-Change (formerly known as the National Dialogue on Cancer) Steering Committee, which is co-chaired by former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush. In 1997, Dr. Seffrin was appointed to the National Cancer Policy Board, and in 1999, he was appointed by Senator Dianne Feinstein to co-chair the National Cancer Legislation Advisory Board. He also served a four-year term on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Seffrin is a preeminent leader of the international tobacco control movement. He led the creation of the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids (now the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids), serving as its initial board chair. He served on the Advisory Committee to Congress on Tobacco Policy and Public Health, co-chaired by Dr. C. Everett Koop and Dr. David Kessler; the US Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health; the President’s Commission on Improving Economic Opportunities in Communities Dependent on Tobacco Production While Protecting Public Health; and the Department of Health and Human Services Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health.
Ball State University, Purdue University, Thomas Jefferson University and Indiana University have bestowed honorary doctorates upon him in recognition of his more than three decades of esteemed leadership in the worldwide fight against cancer.
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.