Richard Wender, MD


American Cancer Society

Richard C. Wender, MD, chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society, leads the organization’s domestic and global cancer control strategies, with a focus on access, navigation, and health equity. He guides the organization’s efforts toward the goal of ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to live a healthy life and receive high-quality care across the entire spectrum of cancer, from prevention to diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

The American Cancer Society named Dr. Wender as its first-ever chief cancer control officer in 2013. Prior to joining the ACS staff, he provided extensive volunteer leadership at its state and local levels. In 2006, he was elected national president of ACS, becoming the first primary care physician to serve in this capacity.

Dr. Wender worked for more than three decades as a family physician in the department of family and community medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. From 2002 until 2013 he was the Alumni Professor and Chair of the department. During his tenure, the department created innovative programs in several areas, including developing one of the first geriatric oncology collaborations in the country.

He has led numerous initiatives to improve preventive care and chronic disease management, with a focus on cancer prevention and control. He is a pioneer of the patient-centered medical home, and he currently serves as chair of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. Dr. Wender has authored more than 100 articles and chapters and has co-authored several cancer screening guidelines.

Honored numerous times for his leadership in medicine, Dr. Wender has been recognized with the Laurel for Cancer Prevention Leadership from the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and the St. George Medal from the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Wender earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Princeton University, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and completed his family medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.