A Message from Komen Atlanta’s Incoming Executive Director

I am honored and humbled to step into the Executive Director role at Komen Atlanta during this transformative time. I am excited to continue the legacy forged by our board, our staff, and our wonderful outgoing CEO, Cati Diamond Stone. After 7 years of leading Komen Atlanta, Cati has transitioned to Komen headquarters to serve as VP of Community Health. I would like to express my sincerest appreciation for Cati’s leadership and friendship. Because of Cati, Komen Atlanta is well-positioned to continue its pursuit of our Bold Goal to reduce breast cancer mortality in the U.S. by 50% by 2026.

Komen’s mission is deeply personal to me. My beloved grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before her passing. I joined Komen Atlanta in the Fall of 2018 in a consulting capacity to assist in developing and implementing its strategic plan. Because the mission resonated so deeply with me, I transitioned from strategic consultant to COO in early 2019. Throughout my career in the nonprofit sector, in law, and in business, I have been passionate about helping people achieve a better quality of life. Aligning my expertise with the important work of Komen has been an extremely rewarding experience. I look forward to leading the organization to fulfill its mission and maximize its impact in this new role.

Komen Atlanta meets the most critical breast health needs in our community while investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer. With your help, and through the extraordinary commitment of our board, staff, partners and stakeholders, we will continue to provide access to life-saving services including screenings, diagnostics, navigation, and treatment support to improve breast health outcomes.

As I assume this position, I am aware of and sensitive to the changes going on all around us. Pursuing a healthcare system in which barriers to care are removed and everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible is the centerpiece of Komen Atlanta’s strategic plan. Black women are 45% more likely to die of breast cancer than their white counterparts, and this is simply not acceptable. As with COVID-19, this health disparity is not based on biological factors. It is primarily due to a lack of access to care and to systemic, longstanding social and racial inequities. To achieve health equity, we must achieve social and racial equity. That opportunity is upon us and the time to act is now!

Together with Komen Atlanta’s staff, board, volunteers, and partners, I will assure that Komen continues and builds upon its innovative, collaborative, and critical work in Metro Atlanta. I will lead this amazing organization with care, compassion, and commitment; working to fulfill the promise that Nancy Brinker made to her dying sister Suzy Komen to end breast cancer forever. Please join me.

Rick Aranson
Executive Director
Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta