Ashcraft named to NonProfit Times 2012 'Power and Influence' list

August 10, 2012

Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of Arizona State University's Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and professor of nonprofit studies in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development, has been named one of the top 50 in The NonProfit Times 2012 “Power & Influence” list.

“[We] annually highlight 50 of the sector’s leaders for their impact and influence on the broader sector," said Paul Clolery, vice president and editorial director of The NonProfit Times. "These honorees must have made substantial waves during the previous 12 months throughout the sector, as well as at their own organizations. These executives were selected for the impact they have made now and for the innovative plans they are putting in place to evolve the charitable sector.” . Ashcraft Download Full Image

Honorees for The NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 are selected from more than 200 nominations made by editorial staff of The NonProfit Times, its contributing editors and suggestions from former nominees – with an emphasis on ensuring that most disciplines within the sector have a representative.

“We are enormously proud of this richly-deserved recognition," said Jonathan Koppell, dean of ASU's College of Public Programs. "Under Robert Ashcraft’s leadership, the ASU Lodestar Center has emerged as the critical resource for nonprofit organizations in Arizona and beyond. As an intellectual leader in this arena and go-to resource for those seeking to improve the governance and impact of nonprofit organizations as instruments for social change, Robert exemplifies the values of Arizona State University.”

Honorees this year include Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Brian Gallagher, president & CEO of United Way Worldwide; Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies; Cecile Richards, president & CEO of Planned Parenthood of America; John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society; and Neil Nicoll, CEO of YMCA of the USA – among many others.

“Robert has established the ASU Lodestar Center as one of the premier nonprofit academic centers in the country," said Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies, a national AmeriCorps program, and author of "Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up," as well as a member of the White House Council on Community Solutions. "He is one of our nation's top go-to sources of innovative thinking and leadership about how to build effective nonprofits for impact.”

The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation has been recognized as a national leader in undergraduate and graduate nonprofit education, research and technical assistance. The center also enhances the quality of life in communities through the advancement of nonprofit leadership practices and provides knowledge and tools to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, professionals, board members, donors and volunteers by offering a selection of capacity building workshops, conferences, classes, and programs. Such programs and initiatives provide immediately usable, real-world skills that help nonprofit professionals continue to excel in an ever-changing environment.

“It is encouraging that our ASU Lodestar Center has gained national attention in our mission to build the capacity of the social sector for those who lead, manage and support nonprofits," said Ashcraft, the first individual to earn this award from Arizona in the history of The NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50. "It is humbling to be honored in this way when the real credit goes to our team of faculty, staff, practitioners, philanthropists, students, alumni and other champions who advance our work. What a privilege it is every day to serve by advancing our center's vital mission,” he added.

All honorees will be recognized and celebrated for this achievement at the upcoming 15th Annual NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 Gala, Sept. 20, in Washington D.C.

Britt Lewis

Interim Communications Director, ASU Library

Personalized care for breast cancer patients is topic of Esserman talk at ASU

August 13, 2012

The integration of molecular biology with a health care learning system to deliver better personalized care and improved outcomes for cancer patients, notably breast cancer patients, is a chief interest of Laura J. Esserman, a prominent breast cancer surgeon who will present a seminar Aug. 24 at Arizona State University.

Esserman, who is a professor of surgery and radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, will present her talk from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the auditorium of the Biodesign Institute, 727 E. Tyler St., Tempe. The seminar, which will include time for Q&A, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Laura J. Esserman Download Full Image

Esserman leads a consortium of academic, private sector and advocacy partners involved with the I-SPY2 Trial, a groundbreaking clinical trial model that uses genetic or biological markers (biomarkers) from individual patients’ tumors to screen promising new treatments. (The Investigating Series Studies to predict Your Therapeutic Response using Imaging And molecular analysis, or I-SPY1 TRIAL, was a correlative science study for women with stage II/III breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy, where women received serial magnetic resonance imaging and core biopsies during the course of their therapy. I-SPY2 builds on this research.)

Esserman will discuss the I-SPY2 Trial in her talk titled “Novel Trial Design for Development and Approval of Targeted Therapies (Early Stage Breast Cancer).”

“It was rewarding to work with Dr. Esserman and a host of scientists, oncologists, advocates and the FDA through the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) to design the I-SPY2 Trial. It applies the best of what we know in areas such as biomarkers and adaptive trial design in the care setting to increase the efficiency of drug development and deliver better drugs to patients. Laura is a force for change in biomedicine,” said Anna Barker, director of ASU’s Transformative Healthcare Networks, co-director of the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative (CASI) and former deputy director of the National Cancer Institute.

Esserman, who has a medical degree and an MBA from Stanford University, serves on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Working Group on Advancing Innovation in Drug Development and Evaluation. She also is director the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the University of California, San Francisco. Her undergraduate degree is from Harvard.

Esserman’s work in breast cancer spans the spectrum from public policy issues to basic science and the impact of both on the delivery of clinical care. She is also engaged in developing 21st century informatics tools to enable tracking outcomes as a byproduct of care.

According to Esserman, “Delivery of effective medical care depends on advances in science and the way those advances are delivered and tailored to the patient.”

The Esserman seminar is sponsored by ASU’s Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative and the Biodesign Institute. Refreshments will be provided. A map showing the seminar location is online at Additional information is available at 480-965-0115.