About Us

Meet our leadership team

Our partners had an ambitious vision two decades ago: to lead the world in translating scientific discovery into the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer. To make it happen, we are relying on the talents of dedicated faculty and staff who work at the top of their game every day. From our president, clinical and division leaders to our Board of Directors, meet the leaders who are guiding us to bigger, bolder breakthroughs.

President and Director

Thomas J. Lynch Jr., M.D., A world-renowned scientist, highly respected oncologist and successful cancer center leader, Dr. Lynch is motivated by the patients he’s treated to break down silos and free the scientific creativity that will spark new cures. 

Executive Vice Presidents 

Fred Appelbaum, M.D., Executive Vice President, Dr. Appelbaum is a leading expert in the research and treatment of blood cancers. Chief among his duties is leadership of Fred Hutch’s strategic research partnerships with the National Institutes of Health and other agencies. 

Bruce Clurman, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Deputy Director, In his tenure at Fred Hutch, Dr. Clurman has worked across disciplines as both a transplant physician and a basic scientist. In his current leadership role, he has been instrumental in the creation of our integrated research centers, which accelerate discovery through cross-disciplinary and cross-divisional collaboration. 

Nancy Davidson, M.D., Executive Vice President, Clinical Affairs, Senior Vice President, Clinical Research Division, Dr. Davidson has several leadership roles within the Fred Hutch / University of Washington Cancer Consortium, building bridges across cancer research and treatment programs at Fred Hutch, UW, Seattle Children’s and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She is a top opinion leader in the field of breast cancer biology and treatment. 

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Niki Robinson, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Dr. Robinson is responsible for organizational strategy, operational excellence, and the safety and wellbeing of our employees and community at Fred Hutch. She leads several teams that support and accelerate its science. These teams include Human Resources, Communications & Marketing, Strategic Planning, Government & Community Relations, Business Development, Internal Audit & Risk Management, Center Information Technology, Clinical Research, and Campus Facilities & Operations. As part of the Fred Hutch Director’s Office, Robinson leads the Hutch’s strategic planning efforts, working with departments and scientific divisions throughout the organization to ensure that the Hutch is positioned to achieve its mission and goals. 

Chief of Staff

Elizabeth Prescott, Ph.D., Chief of Staff, Dr. Prescott, chief of staff for the Fred Hutch Director’s Office, facilitates information flow and decision-making through collaboration with both administrative and scientific partners throughout the Hutch. She also participates in the development of strategies and processes to advance key initiatives. 

Clinical Chiefs and Clinical Vice Presidents

Terry McDonnell, DNP, ACNP-BC, Chief Nursing Officer, Terry McDonnell oversees the organizations clinical professional staff and ensure they are delivering patient-centric care. She is also an acute-care-certified, doctoral-level nurse practitioner who specializes in treating patients with gastrointestinal cancers. Her expertise includes managing cancer-related fatigue and providing supportive care. She has been the recipient of several awards throughout her career, including the Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Award, which recognizes health care professionals for their dedication to patients and families.

Tom Purcell, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Purcell joined the organization from University of Colorado Health where he served as CMO of the highlands Ranch Hospital and South Metro Denver, System Director of the Oncology Service Line at University of Colorado Heath, Executive Medical Director of Oncology Services at University of Colorado Hospital and Associate Director for Clinical Services at University of Colorado Cancer Center. Dr. Purcell received his MD from Emory University School of Medicine and earned an MBA from University of Chicago. He completed a fellowship in Medical Oncology at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Suni Elgar, MPH, BSN, RN, OCN, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Suni Elgar provides nursing leadership and clinical operational oversight at our South Lake Union clinic. Suni joined the SCCA in 2006 and has helped create a unified clinical environment that supports patient-centered oncology care. She received her B.S.N from the University of Washington School of Nursing and her M.P.H. and Global Health Certificate from the University of Washington School of Public Health.

Cindy Gist, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Clinical Laboratories, Cindy has worked at SCCA for 16 years in leadership positions in clinical and laboratory areas. She began her career as manager of the Cellular Therapy Lab and then moved to Clinical Operations managing the solid tumor clinics. Her current area of oversight is Clinical Laboratories, Patient Access, Clinical Analytics, Education and Development, and Operational Readiness for the new clinic building. She received her MHA from the University of Washington School of Public Health. 

Senior Vice Presidents and Directors 

Garnet Anderson, Ph.D., Public Health Sciences Division, In addition to leading our Public Health Sciences Division, Dr. Anderson is also the principal investigator of the Fred Hutch–based Women’s Health Initiative, a long-term nationwide research program that investigates the most frequent causes of death, disability and poor quality of life among postmenopausal women. 

Sue Biggins, Ph.D., Basic Sciences Division, Dr. Biggins studies one of biology’s most fundamental processes: how cells sort chromosomes, the long molecules in which DNA is packaged. Errors in chromosome sorting can contribute to cancer and other diseases. Dr. Biggins has served on numerous national scientific committees, including the Next Generation of Science committee of the National Academy of Science, which aims to improve science for early-stage investigators in the country. She is currently a member of the Coalition of Life Sciences, a national alliance that fosters policies to promote research in the US. 

Nancy Davidson, M.D., Clinical Research Division, Dr. Davidson has several leadership roles within the Fred Hutch / University of Washington Cancer Consortium, building bridges across cancer research and treatment programs at Fred Hutch, UW, Seattle Children’s and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She is a top opinion leader in the field of breast cancer biology and treatment. 

Geoffrey Hill, M.D., FRACP, FRCPA, Translational Science and Therapeutics Division, Dr. Hill is a physician-scientist who specializes in blood stem cell transplantation. He is one of the top authorities on the transplant complication known as graft-vs.-host disease, or GVHD. In particular, Dr. Hill focuses on the immunological mechanisms initiating both acute and chronic forms of GVHD. 

Eric Holland, M.D., Ph.D., Human Biology Division, Dr. Holland is an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and brain cancer researcher. He has spent his career working across disciplines to address the molecular basis of brain tumors and develop new treatment approaches. He also directs the Fred Hutch–based Seattle Translational Tumor Research, a multidisciplinary, multiorganizational effort to translate laboratory findings into precise, personalized treatment options for patients with solid tumors. 

Julie McElrath, M.D., Ph.D., Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Dr. McElrath investigates the complex relationships between HIV and the immune system. Her research has been fundamental to our understanding of the virus that causes AIDS. She also serves as principal investigator and director of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network's Laboratory Program, which is based at Fred Hutch. 

Nina Salama, Ph.D., Education, In addition to leading the Office of Education & Training (OET), Dr. Salama studies Helicobacter pylori, a stomach bacterium that infects half the world’s population and is associated with ulcers and gastric cancer — the third leading cancer killer worldwide. Dr. Salama is also the director of the Fred Hutch/University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium Cancer Research and Training Education Coordination (CRTEC) program

Vice Presidents 

David Browdy, MBA, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer 

Paul Buckley, Ph.D., Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer 

Jodi Burke, Vice President, Human Resources 

Tami Deeb, Vice President, Strategy 

Marion Dorer, Ph.D., MBA, Vice President, Research Administration 

Marcia N. Gonzales, J.D., Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer

Jennifer Griffith, Vice President, Government and Community Relations 

Steven Haydon, J.D., LL.M., Vice President and General Counsel 

Hilary Hehman, M.S., J.D., Vice President, Business Development 

Jeff Leek, Vice President, Chief Data Officer 

Ryan Leib, MBA, Vice President and Chief Clinical Operations Officer

Christopher Li, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President, Faculty Affairs and Diversity 

Brittany McCreery, M.D., MBA, Vice President, Quality, Safety and Value

Kelly O’Brien, Vice President, Philanthropy 

Kimberly Ovitt, Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Kelly Patrick, MBA, Vice President, Chief Information Officer 

Kristi Stiffler, MPH, Vice President, Clinical Research 

Jeff West, Vice President, Facilities & Campus Operations 

Board of Directors

Kathy Surace-Smith, Chair, Kathy Surace-Smith is currently senior vice president and general counsel of NanoString Technologies in Seattle, where she manages the company’s legal, human resources and regulatory functions. This NASDAQ-listed company develops, manufactures and sells life-sciences research tools and molecular diagnostics. She has over 30 years of experience working in high-growth private and public companies. Surace-Smith is also a member of the board of trustees of Columbia University and chair of the board’s student affairs committee. She is also active in the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce as a member of its policy leadership group. Surace-Smith was honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal as a 2018 Woman of Influence. She received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and her law degree from Columbia Law School. 

Kristianne “Kristi” BlakeKristianne Blake was president of the accounting firm of Kristianne Gates Blake, P.S. for 34 years, and she continues to provide tax and financial planning services for select clients. Blake was a certified public accountant for 30 years and worked for 12 years for an international accounting firm. She has served for more than 20 years on various boards of public companies and registered investment companies, including service as a board chair, audit committee chair and governance committee member. She is currently audit committee chair for the Russell Investment Company and the Russell Investment Funds, and she is the lead director of the board of Avista Corp. Blake was a regent at the University of Washington for 12 years. She has also served on many nonprofit and economic development boards in the Spokane community.  

Sean Boyle, Sean Boyle is chief operating officer of Wildlife Studios, a global mobile gaming company. Previously, Boyle served as vice president of finance at Amazon, chief financial officer of Amazon Web Services and chief financial officer of Apptio, a software company based in Bellevue, Washington, that develops technology business-management applications. He also has held various financial leadership positions at Ford Motor Company. Boyle earned a bachelor’s in commerce and finance and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Windsor. He serves as treasurer on the board of Rainier Prep, a charter school dedicated to transforming educational outcomes for low-income students of color and immigrant students. He is also a member of the board of directors for Splunk, serving as the audit chair.  

Nancy Davidson, M.D., Dr. Nancy Davidson is the executive vice president and executive director for clinical affairs and director of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch. She holds the Raisbeck Endowed Chair for Collaborative Research. She also heads the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and served as president and executive director of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Davidson, a breast cancer oncologist, has built a worldwide reputation for her expertise and leadership in this field, for her research teasing out the role of hormones in breast cancer growth, and for her impact on the development of new standards of care. She is past president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association of Cancer Research. She has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  

Timothy H. Dellit, M.D., Dr. Timothy Dellit is the interim CEO of UW Medicine. He also holds the positions of interim executive vice president for Medical Affairs and interim dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Washington (UWSOM). Dellit previously served as chief medical officer of UW Medicine; as executive vice dean for clinical affairs at UWSOM; as vice president for medical affairs at UW; and as president of UW Physicians (UWP). His leadership positions at Harborview Medical Center have included medical director of the General Infectious Diseases Clinic and Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and medical director of infection control. While on the University HealthSystem Consortium Advisory Panels, Dellit was the lead author on the Infectious Disease Society and Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America’s guidelines for developing an institutional program to enhance antimicrobial stewardship. He was named the Seattle Business Magazine’s 2018 Medical Group Executive of the Year for his efforts as president of UWP. 

Cynthia Dold, Cynthia Dold is a California native who serves as the Interim President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics and the Interim Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Washington. She has worked for UW Medicine for seven years leading a diverse team of employees focused on access, strategic partnerships, strategic service line planning, clinical integration, telehealth, and post-acute care. Prior to joining UW Medicine, Ms. Dold worked at Public Health Seattle King County developing and leading a nationally recognized public-private partnership focused on disaster preparedness. In this role she was the primary liaison with federal, state and local government and healthcare leadership throughout the Puget Sound. Before her departure, she partnered with her board to move the partnership out of Public Health Seattle King County to its current state as a non-profit organization. Ms. Dold began her career at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California managing Kaiser’s national product council which is a nationally recognized medical and non-medical product selection and standardization program. She received her Master of Public Policy and her Master of Public Health from UC Berkeley and her Bachelor of Arts from UCLA.

Stephen GrahamStephen Graham practiced corporate and securities law for several decades as a partner at the major law firms of Perkins Coie LLP, Orrick LLP and Fenwick & West LLP until his retirement from the practice in 2022. Currently, he is chair of the board of directors of Washington Federal Bank, the largest bank headquartered in Washington. He also serves on the board of directors of the Institute for Systems Biology and the national board of Friends of the Children, where he is vice chair. In 2019, Graham was appointed to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Advisory Committee on Small Business Capital Formation and co-chaired the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies from 2011 to 2017. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School. 

Joanne Harrell, Joanne Harrell is the retired senior director of USA artificial intelligence, sustainability and market development strategy at Microsoft Corp., where she had worked since 2001. Harrell’s extensive work history encompasses executive roles within the high-tech, telecommunications and nonprofit sectors. She is a former Conference Board/Brookings Institution Congressional Fellow and has completed marketing management programs at Columbia University and Stanford University. She has also completed the Stanford Advanced Management Program and a nonprofit management program at Harvard Business School. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Washington. A regent for the UW since 2009, Harrell served as board chair in 2012-2013, and as founding chair of the Board of Regents Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. She also chairs the board of Equal Opportunity Schools and is a director for both HomeStreet and HomeStreet Bank. 

Thomas J. Lynch Jr., M.D., Dr. Thomas J. Lynch Jr. is a world-renowned scientist, highly respected oncologist and successful leader of National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. As president and director of Fred Hutch and holder of the Raisbeck Endowed Chair, Lynch sets the strategic direction of the center, oversees centerwide initiatives and represents the Hutch’s interests to major partners and governmental bodies. He directs the Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium and is principal investigator of its Cancer Center Support Grant. Before becoming the Hutch’s sixth president in February 2020, Lynch was most recently chief scientific officer of Bristol Myers Squibb. Previously, he held leadership roles as CEO of Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, director of Yale Cancer Center, physician-in-chief at Yale’s Smilow Cancer Hospital, chief of hematology-oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. 

Leigh Morgan, Leigh Morgan is chief strategy and operating officer for Nia Tero, a global social enterprise. She is a key architect of the firm’s growth, including strategy, finance, infrastructure and impact investments programs, communications, operations and governance. Morgan previously served as chief operating officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she oversaw a broad portfolio including human resources, IT, information security, facilities and culture. Her previous leadership roles include serving as associate chancellor at the University of California, San Francisco, vice president and global head of human resources (product development) at Genentech, and principal organization development consultant at GlaxoSmithKline. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and received a master’s degree in organization development from American University, a bachelor’s degree in religion from Duke University and an honorary doctorate from the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh.  

Julie Nordstrom, Julie Nordstrom is a community volunteer, a member of the UW Medicine advisory board, and a member of the board of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. She is former chair of the UW Medicine board and former chair of the University of Washington Medical Center board, and she was the founding co-chair of the UW Department of Global Health leadership council. Nordstrom is also a trustee for Save the Children US. Nordstrom has a bachelor’s degree from UW and a law degree from Seattle University.  

Eduardo Peñalver, Eduardo Peñalver is Seattle University’s 22nd president. Previously, Peñalver served as the dean of Cornell Law School from 2014 to 2021. He is a Rhodes scholar and a professor of law who clerked for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Peñalver received his bachelor’s from Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences in 1994 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1999. As a Rhodes scholar, he received his Master of Arts in philosophy and theology at Oriel College, Oxford. Peñalver has also held faculty appointments at Fordham Law School and the University of Chicago, where he was the John P. Wilson Professor of Law. He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard and Yale law schools.  

Caregiver A person who gives care to people who need help, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. A person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. Caregivers may be health professionals, family members, friends, social workers or members of the clergy. They may give care at home, in a hospital or in another health care setting. Chromosome Part of a cell that contains genetic information. Except for sperm and eggs, all human cells contain 46 chromosomes. Chromosome Part of a cell that contains genetic information. Except for sperm and eggs, all human cells contain 46 chromosomes. Gastrointestinal Refers to the stomach and intestines. Also called GI. Nurse practitioner A registered nurse who has additional education and training in how to diagnose and treat disease. In cancer care, a nurse practitioner may manage the primary care of patients and their families. A registered nurse who has additional education and training in how to diagnose and treat disease. Nurse practitioners are licensed at the state level and certified by national nursing organizations. In cancer care, a nurse practitioner may manage the primary care of patients and their families, based on a practice agreement with a physician. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Stem cell A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells.