John Walter is Chief Executive Officer and President of Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy. For the past 15 years ACGT has had a singular focus of supporting research in genetic, cell and immunotherapeutic approaches to improve outcomes for all cancers. In this new role John has been charged with increasing revenue to support the ever increasing demand for research funding, building AGCT’s brand equity, exploring investments with industry partners all while building organizational capacity.
Prior to joining ACGT, John served as President and CEO of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), an international voluntary health agency based in White Plains, New York. He drove LLS’s long-range strategic plan with a focus on broadening its base of support and diversifying its revenue sources to achieve the Society’s goal of finding cures and ensuring access to treatments for all blood cancer patients.
In 2013, John oversaw the launch of “Someday is Today,” the new branding platform designed to tell the story of how LLS is changing the landscape of cancer. He helped guide the expansion of the Therapy Acceleration Program, embracing a venture philanthropy approach to bringing new and better treatments more quickly to blood cancer patients.
John first joined LLS in 1995 as Senior Vice President of Finance and Information Technology. In that role, he enhanced the efficiencies and internal controls of the organization by centralizing all finance and treasury operations in the United States and Canada. He also established LLS as an industry leader in technology, launching new digital communications channels to reach donors, the public and other new audiences. In his subsequent role as Executive Vice President of Strategic Alliances and New Business Development, he designed and implemented LLS’s Co-Pay Assistance Program, a service that helps patients with their health insurance premiums and prescription drug co-pays, which provided more than $200 million to patients. He also led discussions and ultimately merged a Canadian organization with LLS, which resulted in Canadian growth from $2 million to $14 million in less than eight years. He was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in 2008.
In addition to his other responsibilities, John served as the face and voice of LLS at many levels. He has spoken at congressional events in Washington, DC and to the international business community at the Milken Institute Summit in London. He has extensive experience with television and press interviews, and has been published in both New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Early in his early professional career, John worked in over 30 countries while at Bristol-Myers Squibb, assessing the operations of their subsidiary companies which ranged in size from $3 million to over $1 billion. During this time, he lived in two countries for extended periods of time, which he credits with developing his lifelong love of travel and desire to explore and understand other cultures.
Married with five children, John’s hobbies include travel, fishing, and landscaping. When not building companies, he likes to build things around the house.