For Immediate Release

Contact:  Angela Wall, PhD, Communications Manager
Office: 415.243.9301 x16

San Francisco, CA
— After an exhaustive search the Breast Cancer Action board of directors announced Karuna R. Jaggar as the organization’s new executive director.  “We feel extremely proud and excited about our new Executive Director,” said BCA board president Claudia Cappio. “Karuna has worked in non-profit leadership and capacity building for 15 years advocating for women’s rights and socio-economic empowerment.  She uncompromisingly challenges inequities at every level and this will continue to be her focus as she leads Breast Cancer Action.”Jaggar has a personal passion to end the breast cancer epidemic fueled by her commitment to social justice and her own experiences as a patient advocate.

“My closest family members have grappled with three breast cancer diagnoses during the last ten years,” Jaggar stated.  “It is not enough to educate ourselves and try to make “good” lifestyle choices. We need systemic change to end this breast cancer epidemic.”

Jaggar is driven by the reality that social injustices and environmental factors put each of us at risk of developing breast cancer, regardless of family medical history.  “Every woman affected by breast cancer should possess the power and knowledge to make informed decisions that enable them to take control of their healthcare,” Jaggar said.  “This includes a women’s right to access affordable treatment options, to create individualized treatment plans, and to make healthcare decisions centered on personal values and priorities.”

Under Jaggar’s leadership, BCA will remain uncompromising on issues of health, social and environmental justice:  “We will continue to fearlessly and relentlessly tell the truth about breast cancer,” Jaggar asserted.

Breast Cancer Action, the San Francisco based national watchdog of the breast cancer movement, is known for a commitment to understanding breast cancer through a social justice and health equity lens.  The organization demands greater corporate accountability and better treatment options for patients; pays keen attention to the social inequities that cause differences in breast cancer incidence and outcomes; secures changes at the policy level to reverse involuntary exposure to carcinogens; and works to shift  the balance of power at the FDA away from pharmaceutical companies towards patient interests.

Prior to her role at BCA, Jaggar was the Executive Director, East Bay of the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment where she worked to reverse inequities among low-income women and women of color.  Jaggar replaces Barbara Brenner who retired at the end of 2010.