Richard Wender, MD


American Cancer Society

Dr. Wender, chief cancer control officer of the American Cancer Society, helps lead the only comprehensive cancer control organization in the world. He drives the effort to transform the face of cancer here and around the globe by developing strategies for access to care, patient navigation, and health equity. He leverages the Society’s strength as a convener 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.

As part of the Society’s focus on implementing proven strategies for fighting cancer, the Society named Dr. Wender as its first-ever chief cancer control officer in 2013. Prior to joining the staff, he provided extensive volunteer leadership at the organization’s state and local levels. In 2006, he was elected national president of the Society, 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, Dr. Wender was the alumni professor and chair of the department. During his tenure, the department created innovative programs in several arenas, including developing one of the first geriatric oncology collaborations in the country.

Dr. Wender has led numerous initiatives designed 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 currently serves as chair of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. He is also a prolific author, with numerous scholarly works, and has co-authored several cancer screening guidelines.

He has been honored numerous times for his leadership in medicine, having 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 his bachelor of science degree from Princeton University, is a graduate of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed his family medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.