Susan G. Komen® San Diego announces new president and CEO to lead nonprofit

Shaina Gross succeeds Laura Farmer Sherman, retiring after 12-years in the fight against breast cancer

Susan G. Komen San Diego appointed Shaina Gross, a former executive with United Way of San Diego, as its new president and CEO. Gross will lead San Diego County’s largest funder of breast health services and support into its next era beginning September 5. Gross, who spent 11 years at United Way, was selected after a national search to succeed Laura Farmer Sherman, Komen San Diego’s president and CEO for over a decade.  Gross will lead the organization in its goal of reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026.

Gross holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She began her career working in the areas of women’s health and health access for low-income communities. As Senior Vice President and Chief Impact Officer at United Way of San Diego, Gross demonstrated philanthropic leadership by convening non-profits, businesses, and the government to create change for underserved populations. 

“Given the uncertainty and turmoil in healthcare today—especially for the uninsured and underinsured—the board chose a leader with vision and the skill set to lead change in a tumultuous time,” said Linda Amaro, chairman of the Komen San Diego Board of Directors. “Shaina has an impressive track record of strategic, philanthropic and programmatic accomplishments.”

Gross conducted a number of community assessments, and has led United Way’s grant making programs of up to$2 million annually. At United Way, Gross has managed donor relations, soliciting and increasing the gifts of major donors of up to $50,000. She also supported grant writing efforts for a total of $1.4 million in annual grants revenue. 

“I am looking forward to working with the Komen San Diego board, staff and partners to serve the women and families of our community,” said Gross. “Together, we will continue to achieve our mission of saving lives by meeting the most critical needs in San Diego County and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.”

Farmer Sherman, breast cancer survivor and top fundraiser for the organization will stay on in an advisory role to ensure a seamless transition until her retirement on December 31, 2017.