Press Release

Lee Dranikoff Becomes Chair of the Alliance’s Board of Directors

Lee Dranikoff, who has served on the Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s Board of Directors for three years, has been named Chair.

In his new role, Dranikoff will oversee the Alliance’s mission to end colorectal cancer in our lifetime with a focus on improving screening rates, serving more people, and increasing funds raised to battle this disease. 

Dranikoff replaces former Chair John Backus, a colorectal cancer survivor, who will continue to serve on the Board of Directors

“John made a huge difference at the helm of our organization, and we’re deeply grateful for his numerous contributions,” said Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Alliance. “Under John’s leadership, our budget doubled in three years and we committed $2.5 million to research. John helped us navigate an extremely challenging 2020 and stand up the Screening During COVID-19 Fund. In 2019, he led the Blue Hope Bash event to its most successful conclusion yet, with $2.2 million raised, as part of the host committee.” 

Like Backus, Dranikoff has a personal connection to the disease. In 2014, his wife Joanna was diagnosed with stage IV rectal cancer at age 46. She died less than two years later. Dranikoff has served on the Alliance's Board since 2018.

“When Joanna was battling the disease, the Alliance provided support to me and my family,” Dranikoff said. “It is my honor to be asked by the Alliance to serve as Board Chair and to have the opportunity to work with this incredible team of professionals and volunteers to support this life-saving mission. There is no cause more important to me than helping eradicate this disease.”

As Chair of the Board, Dranikoff will concentrate on three priorities:

Save lives by driving screening rates higher. 

“Our goal is to save 100,000 lives by 2029 through awareness and prevention, and this is a goal we must achieve,” Dranikoff said. “Returning screening rates to pre-pandemic levels and beyond through the Screening During COVID-19 Fund is just the beginning.”

Further expand services and reach more people. 

“As a caregiver, I know the loneliness of trying to navigate treatments and trials and the challenge of family and emotional well-being,” Dranikoff said. “As everyone in our community knows, hundreds of thousands of people depend on the Alliance to provide assistance. We will be there for them. I am particularly excited about the online tools that we are building to help families navigate their entire journey from diagnosis to cure.” 

Expand financial development. 

“The amount of money that is raised to battle colorectal cancer is its own tragedy,” Dranikoff said. “There is no other disease that I know of where money can make as large of a difference as it can in colorectal cancer. We know that we can save thousands of lives by helping people get screened on time, and we must expand our resources to make that happen.” 

Dranikoff is a Managing Director of American Securities, a private equity firm based in New York. Prior to joining American Securities, he spent seven years as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. Prior to McKinsey, Dranikoff worked as an attorney at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. In addition to being the Chair of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance's Board of Directors, he serves on the Board of Directors of Hillel International. Dranikoff received a BA and an MA in Economics from The Johns Hopkins University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

“We know Lee is a passionate ally and dedicated to ending this disease,” Sapienza said. “The Alliance is proud and excited to have him as our Chair, and we look forward to the many positive impacts he will help make for our colorectal cancer community.” 



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