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The Breast Cancer Research Foundation Names Karen Hale New Board Co-chair

By BCRF | February 27, 2024

Hale to serve alongside William P. Lauder in leading the Foundation’s Board of Directors

FEBRUARY 26, 2024 – Karen Hale, a member of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) Board of Directors since 2018, has been named co-chair and is poised to lead the organization—the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world—as it marks three decades of progress in breast cancer prevention and care. Succeeding Kinga Lampert, who served in the role for 10 years, Hale officially takes the helm as of February 26, 2024 alongside BCRF Board Co-chair William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

This year alone, BCRF is funding $60.2 million in grants to more than 250 scientists at leading medical and academic institutions across 15 countries.

“Even as BCRF marks 30 years of advancing every major breakthrough in breast cancer research, we remain steadfast in our mission to ultimately eradicate the disease and end its life-threatening power,” said BCRF President and CEO Donna McKay. “We know Karen’s increased leadership will be invaluable to our forward momentum. I have no doubt that, with Karen and William driving the philanthropic and strategic vision of BCRF, we will absolutely speed the delivery of better treatment options and improve our ability to prevent the disease entirely for the millions of patients around the world that are depending on us.”

Stepping into the role of BCRF’s Board co-chair, Hale continues to exemplify one of the deepest tenets of philanthropy: supporting mission-driven organizations with a meaningful track record of genuine impact.

Hale and her husband, Rob, are among the most preeminent philanthropists in the country with a wide, diverse range of giving, all with the goal of advancing mission-based organizations. With a long history of supporting premier medical research institutions including Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and funding dozens of community-based nonprofit organizations, the Hales have been quietly advancing missions as broad as curing cancer and as specific as programs to help disadvantaged youth through lacrosse.

BCRF holds a special meaning for Hale: Her mother has been living with metastatic disease for the last 4 years, nearly 20 years after being initially treated for breast cancer. Hale credits the targeted therapy Herceptin, made possible by BCRF-funded research, for extending her mother’s life.

“Our mission is not just important to me but is a matter of improving public health and our impact is truly global in scope. I have spent years working with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, especially in our fundraising efforts in the New England region. My unique lens as a member of the Board of Directors has given me the opportunity to witness the brilliance and direct impact of BCRF’s funding and the organization’s unparalleled commitment to eradicating breast cancer,” said Hale.” I am deeply grateful for the faith the Board has shown in electing me to this position and I look forward to working more closely with William as co-chair and the entire BCRF team.”

Breast cancer research is at a critical inflection point as incidence is on the rise, health inequities remain gravely stark, and metastatic disease continues to take lives. And yet, the power of research remains evident: improvements in treatment and screening have resulted in a 43% percent decline in deaths over the last three decades since BCRF’s founding.

“I am honored to welcome Karen to join me as co-chair of BCRF.  I have deep respect and admiration for her longstanding commitment to elevating and funding lifesaving research.  I look forward to partnering with Karen to help prevent and cure breast cancer,” said William P. Lauder.


About the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Breast cancer is a complex disease with no simple solution. Research is the key to stopping it in its tracks. Founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world. We invest in the best minds in science—from those investigating prevention to metastasis—and foster cross-disciplinary collaboration. Our approach accelerates the entire field and moves us closer to the answers we urgently need. We can’t stop now. Join us in fueling the world’s most promising research. With you, we will be the end of breast cancer. Learn more and get involved at