American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2010

American Association for Cancer Research Hires Jon Retzlaff as Managing Director of Science Policy and Government Affairs


March 29, 2010

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PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is excited to announce the appointment of Jon Retzlaff as Managing Director of Science Policy and Government Affairs for AACR’s Washington D.C. office. Retzlaff brings 16 years of health research policy and advocacy experience to this important new position within the AACR.

“We are very pleased that Jon Retzlaff will bring his energy, enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of the federal policy making process to the important work of our D.C. office. He is perfectly positioned to build and lead our D.C. staff to strengthen the dialogue between policy makers, cancer scientists and advocates, and help us accelerate progress against cancer,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR.

Retzlaff most recently worked in government relations for Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC and led the firm’s health and biomedical research practice. Previously, he served as legislative director for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology from 2004-2007.

Additionally, he worked for the National Institutes of Health, first as a program analyst within the Office of the Director's legislative office; then as a senior legislative advisor to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; and finally as the Executive Officer of the National Library of Medicine. Retzlaff was assigned to the House (1998) and Senate (2000-2001) appropriations subcommittees on labor, health and human services, education and related agencies on health research funding issues, as well as within the Office of the Secretary for Legislation at the Department of Health and Human Services. He entered the Federal Government as a Presidential Management Intern in 1993 and completed a rotation in the Office of Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) during his training.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to put together a team to increase AACR’s visibility and influence on Capitol Hill and within federal agencies, as well as to collaborate with cancer patient advocacy groups and the broader biomedical research community to advance AACR’s mission of preventing and curing cancer,” said Retzlaff. “It is an honor and privilege to pursue strategies on behalf of the AACR that will impact government officials and Congress, and will establish the AACR as the authoritative voice on cancer research related policy issues.”

Retzlaff earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota, a master's degree in public administration from Indiana University and a master's degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 30,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowship and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Michele Leiberman
(267) 646-0622
michele.leiberman@aacr.org