Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker was sworn in as Chief of Protocol of the United States on September 14, 2007.
In this role, Ms. Brinker advises, assists and supports the President of the United States, the Vice President and the Secretary of State on official matters of diplomatic procedure. She accompanies the President on official visits abroad and serves as the President's personal representative and liaison to the foreign Ambassadors in Washington.
Under her direction, the Office of the Chief of Protocol is responsible for activities including the planning, hosting and officiating of ceremonial events for visiting chiefs of state and heads of government, as well as coordinating logistics for the visits. The office also manages Blair House, the President's guesthouse.
In 2001, President Bush appointed Ms. Brinker to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary, where she advanced a broad range of U.S. security and economic interests. Specific successes include expanded security cooperation, development of a closure strategy for the Hungarian Fund, resolving commerce transparency issues, and for the first time, holding a conference on the trafficking and exploitation of workers that Health Ministers from the neighboring Balkan States attended.
Ms. Brinker is the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, named after her only sister, Susan, who died from the disease in 1980. Today, the foundation is recognized as the nation's leading catalyst in the fight against breast cancer. Currently, the Komen Foundation boasts more than 100,000 volunteers working through a network of 125 U.S. and international affiliates.
Ms. Brinker also founded the Susan G. Komen for the Cure's signature program - the Race for the Cure®, the largest series of 5K run/fitness walks in the world. Since its origin in 1983 in Dallas, Texas, the Race for the Cure® Series has grown from one local race with 800 participants to a national series of 112 races with over a million participants.
In 1986, President Reagan appointed Ms. Brinker to the 18-member National Cancer Advisory Board as one of six laypeople. In 1992, she was appointed by President Bush to the three-member President's Cancer Panel to monitor the progress of the National Cancer Program and was selected by Vice President Quayle to serve as the chairman of a subcommittee to study the progress of breast cancer research and education in the United States and around the world.
Prior to assuming her position as Ambassador, she served on the boards of Manpower, Inc. and U.S. Oncology. In addition, Ms. Brinker served on the national 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. She is a former board member of such not-for-profit organizations as the National Jewish Coalition Board of Governors, New York University's Medical School Foundation, and National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Project. Ms. Brinker has testified before the United States Democratic Policy Committee's Congressional Breast Cancer Forum and participated in the International Women's Forum.
Ms. Brinker is the recipient of numerous national awards including: the 2007 Castle Connolly "National Health Leadership" Award; Trumpet Foundation's 2007 President's Award, The American Society of Breast Disease 2006 Global Pathfinder Award, the 2005 Mary Woodard Lasker Public Service Award in Support of Medical Research and the Health Sciences, Sword of Ignatius Loyola Award from Saint Louis University, The Champions of Excellence Award presented by the Centers for Disease Control, the Susan F. Smith Inspiration Award from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Healthcare Humanitarian Award presented by the Global Conference Institute, the ASCO Special Recognition Award, Toastmasters International Top Five Speakers for 2001 Award, the Sisters Network 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award, Ladies' Home Journal's 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century, Biography Magazine's The 25 Most Powerful Women in America, the 1999 Caring Award, the 2000 Cino del Duca Award, the first Salomon Smith Barney Extraordinary Achievement Award, the James Ewing Layman Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology, Albert Einstein's Sarnoff Volunteer Award, Ladies' Home Journal's Top 10 Champions of Women's Health, among many others. In addition, she was inducted into the Cancer Research and Treatment Fund, Inc. Cancer Survivors Hall of Fame.
In August 2009, President Barack Obama awarded Brinker with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Source: JTA, U.S. State Department