By Lee M. Ellis, MD, FASCO
2015-2016 Nominating Committee Chair
Dear ASCO Members,
The ASCO Nominating Committee is charged with selecting candidates for the future Society leadership. Although this sounds like a simple process, it is quite involved: The major challenge is that we have a tremendous number of insightful and dedicated ASCO volunteers who have the desire and ability to lead our organization. But we, the Nominating Committee, have the charge to narrow the field down to a reasonable number of candidates to streamline the process and make voting practical for our members.
The Nominating Committee, which is itself elected by ASCO members, took on this challenge with a great deal of commitment, knowing that elected candidates will not only lead ASCO, but also have the potential to impact the lives of innumerable patients around the world.
Our process began nearly a year ago when the candidate pool was submitted by ASCO members as well as members of the Nominating Committee. We considered diversity of practice setting, disease and/or research focus, and geography. We also considered the current and future challenges our profession faces, including the incorporation of technology (EHRs), the burgeoning cost of cancer care, changing patient demographics, and the need to attract trainees to the field of oncology. The candidates selected for the final ballot were not only from the United States, but from across the globe.
Our goal was to put forth the absolute best candidates, regardless of the “competition,” as selection should be based on merit and without regard to who else was on the ballot. We assembled more than 100 nominated candidates for the open positions, interviewed approximately 30, and ultimately selected 17 nominees for your consideration.
Yes, this is now in your hands. You have the ability and privilege to cast your vote, thereby shaping the future of ASCO and, in turn, patient care, training, education, policy, and research. Your selection will affect the practice of oncology in academic and community settings throughout the world.
You can review the candidates’ biographies and visions for ASCO and our profession online. I think you’ll agree that they represent an outstanding group of leaders who have made substantial contributions to ASCO and to oncology.
We also recognize the depth of potential candidates who did not make the final ballot, but remain essential to the mission of our Society—and thank you to everyone who nominated a colleague for consideration.
The ASCO Nominating Committee has finished its work. Now it’s your turn. Elections matter! As a member of ASCO you enjoy substantial benefits and privileges, and with those benefits comes responsibility to VOTE for our leadership. Please take the time to let your voice be heard. This is your ASCO!
Thank you in advance for taking the time to review the candidates and for voting!
Dr. Ellis is a Professor of Surgery, and Molecular & Cellular Oncology, and the William C. Liedke, Jr. Chair in Cancer Research, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He serves as 2015-2016 Chair of the ASCO Nominating Committee.