President and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) nationwide network of people dedicated to fighting the world’s toughest cancer. 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, Calif., and also staffs a Washington, D.C. and New York City office.
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 one with revenues of $228,000 to a staff of over 140 with a budget of more than $38 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 ensure the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network achieves its goal to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020. Her leadership has driven consistent excellence and innovation throughout the programs and services of the organization, including introducing precision medicine service Know Your Tumor® and Precision PromiseSM, the first large-scale adaptive clinical trial for pancreatic cancer. 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 over 60 affiliates nationwide and yielded a $100 million increase in federal funding for pancreatic cancer research. The organization has awarded 159 pancreatic cancer research grants totaling over $40 million to researchers at institutions around the country. And more than 165,000 pancreatic cancer patients and their families nationwide have been served 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. She also studied abroad at Oxford University and in Tokyo, Japan. Fleshman has been honored for her leadership and dedication in the fight against pancreatic cancer by many organizations. She serves on the boards of several cancer care and research committees and organizations, recently completing her term as a patient advocate on the National Cancer Institute’s Pancreas Task Force, and she has been published in multiple research journals. Most recently, she was asked to join the FasterCures Patients Count Leadership Council and to serve on the NCI Council of Research Advocates to provide advice to the NCI Director with respect to promoting research outcomes that are in the best interest of cancer patients. In addition, Fleshman is the Chair of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, a coalition of more than 60 pancreatic cancer organizations representing 27 countries around the globe.