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Name: Brinker, Nancy
Current Position: Previous Chief
Nancy Goodman Brinker served as chief of protocal from September 14, 2007, until January 20, 2009. Despite her diplomatic career, Brinker is perhaps best known for her breast-cancer advocacy. She was born in Peoria, Ill., on Dec. 6, 1946, and graduated from the University of Illinois. Her biography also notes that she received instruction at the Neiman Marcus Executive Training Program in Dallas.
Brinker’s professional career began with a stint as a talk-show host in Dallas. She then became director of public relations for a Hyatt Regency Hotel. Before embarking on her signature philanthropic effort, she worked as an account executive at a public-relations firm.
Brinker’s sister died of breast cancer in 1980 (Brinker herself is a survivor of the disease). The organization she created two years later in her sister’s honor, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (today known as Susan G. Komen for the Cure), has become one of the premiere breast cancer charities. Today, some 125 Komen affiliates around the world mobilize 100,000 volunteers in the fight against the disease. She also created the foundation’s well-known fundraiser, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which has gone from a local operation in Dallas to a national one, with over 1 million participants.
Brinker was a major contributor to George W. Bush’s gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, as well as to the Republican Party. On May 23, 2001, President Bush appointed Brinker ambassador to Hungary. She was confirmed by the Senate on Aug. 3 and sworn in on Sept. 6. She served in that post until June 19, 2003.
Prior to her appointment as chief of protocol, Brinker served on the boards of Manpower and US Oncology.
According to her State Department biography, Brinker has served in multiple advisory capacities over the years. President Reagan appointed her to the National Cancer Advisory Board in 1986. In 1992, President George H. W. Bush appointed her one of three members of the President’s Cancer Panel. Vice President Dan Quayle tapped her to head a committee studying breast cancer research and outreach efforts. She has also served on the advisory boards of the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention, Women’s Health Resource Center, Women’s Health Initiative, the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship and the National Cancer Institute.
Brinker co-authored Winning the Race: Taking Charge of Breast Cancer and The Race is One Step at a Time: Every Woman’s Guide to Taking Charge of Breast Cancer & My Personal Story. Brinker charges between $20,000 to $30,000 for speaking engagements on cancer, leadership and women’s issues, according to her talent agent.
The Marketing of Breast Cancer (by Mary Ann Swissler, Southern Exposure)
Bush’s New Chief of Protocol’s Youthful Indiscretion ( by Mary Ann Akers, Washington Post)
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