Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, Los Angeles, California
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) nationwide network of people who are rewriting the book on how to fight one of the nation’s deadliest diseases. Founded by a group of pancreatic cancer survivors and caregivers in 1999, the organization relentlessly pursues its mission by implementing an aggressive and comprehensive strategy of research, patient support, advocacy and awareness. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California, and also staffs a government affairs and advocacy office in Washington, D.C.
Julie Fleshman became the organization’s first full-time staff person and its first Executive Director in April 2000. Having lost her father to pancreatic cancer in 1999, she has made it her passion and commitment to change the course of the disease. In July 2004, the Board of Directors appointed Fleshman President and CEO. Under her leadership, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has grown from a staff of 1 with revenues of $228,000 to a staff of over 100 with a budget of more than $22 million.
Today, Fleshman is a sought-after speaker with considerable experience addressing diverse stakeholder groups, including Congress, industry, patients, scientists, donors and volunteers. She has also been interviewed by national media such as The New York Times, CNN, Headline News and ABC News as well as local press throughout the country.
Fleshman has spearheaded the charge to establish the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as the leader in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Her leadership has driven consistent excellence and innovation throughout the programs and services of the organization. At the same time, she has steadily increased revenue growth and the organization’s impact. Under her direction, the organization has greatly expanded and attracted leading researchers from prestigious institutions around the country to study pancreatic cancer.
During Fleshman’s tenure, advocacy and grassroots efforts have expanded to 58 affiliates nationwide and yielded an $87.5 million (500%) increase in federal funding for pancreatic cancer research. 110 pancreatic cancer research grants totaling nearly $23 million have been awarded at institutions around the country. And more than 80,000 pancreatic cancer patients and their families nationwide have been cared for by the organization’s patient services program.
Fleshman holds her JD and MBA degrees from Santa Clara University and a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was awarded Most Outstanding Graduating Senior in the Law and Society program. She also studied abroad at Oxford University and in Tokyo, Japan. Fleshman has served on the boards of several cancer care and research committees and organizations, and has been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The American Association for Cancer Research honored her with the 2010 Distinguished Public Service Award for her leadership and dedication in the fight against pancreatic cancer.