Richard Wender, MD


University of Pennsylvania

Richard Wender, MD has dedicated his career to leading medical and public health efforts that strive to improve the quality of primary care, implement population health, and address social determinants of health in the continuous pursuit of equity for all people. He was recently appointed as the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wender spent the first 33 years of his career in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, including 12 years as the Alumni Professor and Chair of the Department. At Jefferson, Dr. Wender and his team spearheaded innovative programs in geriatric medicine, palliative care, the patient-centered medical home, quality-based payment, refugee health, and community partnership. From 2013 to 2020, Dr. Wender served as the first Chief Cancer Control Officer of the American Cancer Society. He helped to build a cancer control team that launched a transformative national initiative to achieve 80% colorectal cancer screening rates in every community, a national and global campaign to increase HPV vaccination rates, and an enterprise-wide effort to help build healthier communities.

Dr. Wender has continuously advocated for the importance of preventive care and for the creation of an effective bridge between primary care and public health. This includes providing 100s of keynote addresses, at least one in all 50 states, and authoring numerous publications. As Chair of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and a member of the steering committee for the President’s Cancer Panel cancer screening initiative, Dr. Wender is helping to lead efforts to promote the safe provision of cancer screening services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robert A. Smith, PhD

Dr. Robert A. Smith is a cancer epidemiologist and Vice President, Cancer Screening at the National Office of the American Cancer Society (ACS) in Atlanta, Georgia. He also is Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University School of Medicine, and an Honorary Professor, Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine at Queen Mary University of London. His primary research interests are cancer epidemiology, evaluation of cancer prevention and early detection programs, quality assurance in the delivery of health services, and cancer rehabilitation and survivorship. He received his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1983. Prior to joining the staff at the ACS, he held positions with the Boston University School of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control. At the ACS he leads the development of cancer screening guidelines, and special research and policy projects focused on cancer prevention and control. He is the author of over 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles, reports, and book chapters, and a frequent lecturer on cancer screening issues. He serves on many international and national government and professional advisory committees and working groups, and in 2017 was a member of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Handbooks Working Group for volume 17 on Colorectal Cancer Screening. Dr. Smith was one of the founding members of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, and has served as its Co-Director for 20 years. He also is a founding member of the National Lung Cancer Roundtable and the Principle Investigator of the first 3-year supporting grant. Among his honors, Dr. Smith is an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Breast Imaging; in 2004 he received the Cancer Prevention Laurel for Outstanding National Leadership from the Prevent Cancer Foundation; and in 2011 he received the Medal of Honor from the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Lisa C. Richardson, MD, MPH

Lisa C. Richardson, Headshot

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Richardson is the Director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC). As director of DCPC, she provides leadership and direction for all scientific, policy, and programmatic issues related to four national programs: the Colorectal Cancer Control Program, the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, and the National Program of Cancer Registries.  Dr. Richardson’s public health service includes the following: medical director for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer and Early Detection Program (1997-1998), medical officer in CDC’s Division of Blood Disorders (1998-2000) and later served as the division director, faculty member at the University of Florida in Medical Oncology collaborating with the Florida Cancer Data System funded by CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (2000-2004), medical officer in the DCPC’s Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch (2004), team lead for Scientific Support and Clinical Translation Team supporting the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (2006-2009).  From 2010 to 2013, Dr. Richardson served as DCPC’s Associate Director for Science and helped set scientific priorities to maintain high-caliber integrity in public health activities.

Dr. Richardson received her medical degree and Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master in Public Health from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. Her public health knowledge and expertise has well-positioned her for leading DCPC.