about-us Category

Press Releases

American Cancer Society Chief Executive Officer Appointed to Serve on U.S. Delegation to the United Nations High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases
John R. Seffrin, Phd, joins U.S. and Global Government and Health Leaders to Reduce Impact of Non-Communicable Diseases

ATLANTA – September 7, 2011 – John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, has been appointed to serve as part of the U.S. Delegation to the first-ever United Nations High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) in New York City September 19-20, 2011. Seffrin will join a delegation led by Hon. Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, to represent the U.S. government in efforts to respond to the growing NCDs crisis. This historic meeting, held in conjunction with the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City, is only the second meeting ever held on a critical public health topic for heads of state at the United Nations (the first meeting was on HIV/Aids in 2001).      


“I am honored by the opportunity to serve on the U.S. Delegation to bring much needed attention and resources to the issue of non-communicable diseases,” said Seffrin. “NCDs, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases, account for 63 percent of global deaths, with most of these occurring in developing countries. The American Cancer Society is committed to reducing the global burden of cancer and looks forward to working with the U.S. government, the U.N. missions and global advocates in civil society to reduce the number of preventable deaths from cancer and other non-communicable diseases.”


Watch Seffrin’s comments on his role in the upcoming U.N. High-level Meeting – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoU1AbYYWKI


In April 2011, Seffrin, participated in the first-ever global health ministerial meeting on non-communicable diseases in Moscow, Russia. As a member of the official U.S. delegation led by Hon. Sebelius, Seffrin addressed how the U.S. can make NCDs a priority on the global health and development agenda. In his remarks, Seffrin warned that a potential “tsunami” of NCDs threatens the world in the 21st century, and implored global health leaders to take action now to prevent this impending epidemic, calling it a moral imperative to do so.


In June 2011, the American Cancer Society held a three-day event in New York City to advocate and raise awareness on the importance of the United Nations High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases. The Society brought together about 80 global cancer ambassadors, 45 international journalists and global policymakers to push for NCDs as a crucial topic on the global agenda.  In 2010, the Society was granted U.N. Economic and Social Council Non-governmental Organizations status, uniquely positioning the organization to offer statements at key global meetings regarding global health and development.


The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end cancer for good. As a global grassroots force of three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping you stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, helping you get well by being there for you during and after a diagnosis, by finding cures through groundbreaking discovery and fighting back through public policy. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.5 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.


Busola Afolabi
American Cancer Society
Phone: (404) 417-5894
Email: busola.afolabi@cancer.org