Julie Fleshman, President & CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Julie M. Fleshman, JD, MBA

President and Chief Executive Officer

In her 23 years of leadership at PanCAN, Julie Fleshman has been a global catalyst for change in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Her commitment began after she lost her dad to the disease, just four months after his diagnosis. He was 52. Fleshman wanted to know why more wasn’t being done – why her dad and thousands of other patients were offered no treatment options and sent home to die.

The pancreatic cancer landscape back then was quite different from today. Very little was known about the disease, only a handful of researchers were studying it and the five-year survival rate was just 4%.

In 1999, Fleshman was hired as PanCAN’s first employee, became its first Executive Director in 2000 and in 2004, became President and CEO.

Under her leadership, PanCAN has grown from a staff of one with annual revenues of $228,000 to a staff of over 175 with a budget of more than $58 million.

Advocacy and grassroots efforts have expanded to nearly 60 affiliates nationwide and yielded a 1075% increase in federal funding for pancreatic cancer research.

Fleshman encourages convening of leading experts and stakeholders in the field – researchers, healthcare professionals, industry and key opinion leaders. This allows her to build a continually expanding community of hundreds of pancreatic cancer thought leaders across the country who work in concert and devote their research efforts to improving patient outcomes.

During Fleshman’s tenure, the organization has awarded 236 pancreatic cancer research grants and has a projected total research investment of approximately $208 million, including the competitive Research Grants Program and leading-edge scientific and clinical initiatives.

Her collaborative leadership style enabled the organization to launch ground-breaking initiatives like PanCAN’s Precision Promise℠ – a clinical trials platform designed to accelerate new treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients. In 2021, PanCAN launched the Early Detection Initiative, the largest prospective clinical trial of its kind, to create an early detection strategy for the disease.

Fleshman is sought after as an expert by the national media including The New York Times, CNN, PBS, Headline News, CBS News and ABC News, as well as local press throughout the country. Fleshman addresses diverse stakeholder groups including industry, patients, scientists, donors and volunteers and she is often on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress about the importance of the federal investment in pancreatic cancer research.

Fleshman holds her JD and MBA degrees from Santa Clara University and a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She also studied abroad at Oxford University and in Tokyo, Japan.

Fleshman has been honored for her leadership and dedication in the fight against pancreatic cancer by many organizations. In 2021, she was named Los Angeles Business Journal’s Nonprofit Executive of the Year. She serves on the boards of several cancer care and research committees and organizations. She recently served as a National Cancer Research Advocate for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), providing advice to the NCI Director with respect to promoting research outcomes that are in the best interest of cancer patients. She is currently Chair of Clearity’s Board of Directors, a patient advocacy organization for ovarian cancer patients.

In addition, Fleshman is the Chair of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, an international group of pancreatic cancer patient advocacy groups with a mission to drive transformational change for all those affected by the disease. PanCAN is a founding member of the Coalition, which includes more than 100 pancreatic cancer organizations representing 38 countries on six continents.

COMPANY WEBSITE: https://pancan.org/

CEO LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-fleshman-b8407745/

COMPANY FACEBOOK PAGE: https://facebook.com/pancan

COMPANY TWITTER PAGE: http://twitter.com/pancan

COMPANY INTSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/pancan

COMPANY LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/company/pancreatic-cancer-action-network/

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