St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, ALSAC announce new Board Chairs


New leadership to oversee bold commitments in the St. Jude strategic plan to accelerate research, treatment for catastrophic childhood diseases around the globe


MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- New leaders have taken the helm of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Board of Governors and the ALSAC Board of Directors at a time when St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® is making the largest strategic investment in its nearly 60-year history designed to have a profound impact on kids around the world who face cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Those elected to lead the Boards, effective July 1, include:

  • St. Jude Chair Paul Ayoub, chair of the Boston-based law firm Nutter;
  • St. Jude Vice Chair Judy Habib, founder and CEO of KHJ Brand Activation, an integrated marketing services agency;
  • ALSAC Chair David Karam, CEO of Sbarro; and
  • ALSAC Vice Chair Dr. Fred Azar, chief of staff at Memphis-based Campbell Clinic.

"We are so grateful for the leadership of Paul, Judy, David and Fred and for their service to our mission of finding cures for children suffering from cancer and other life-threatening diseases," said Marlo Thomas, St. Jude National Outreach Director and daughter of the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who founded St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and ALSAC. "As leaders of our boards, they will play a critical role in supporting my father's dream that we will reach a day when no child will die in the dawn of life."

Members of the Boards of Directors and Governors serve on a volunteer basis without compensation. They provide governance and strategic oversight for St. Jude and ALSAC, its fundraising and awareness organization. Ayoub has served on the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards since 1992, and Habib originally joined in 1994. Karam served on the Boards from 1998-2001 and from 2015 to present. Dr. Azar served on the Boards from 2012 to present. In the case of Ayoub, Habib and Karam, their fathers served on the earliest Boards of ALSAC and St. Jude.

"For almost 60 years, the St. Jude Board of Governors have served as faithful stewards, helping shape the institution into a place where creativity, excellence and innovation drive progress for children with cancer or other deadly diseases," said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and CEO. "Paul and Judy's longtime commitment to the St. Jude mission and deep leadership and professional expertise are invaluable to the institution during this time of strategic growth and opportunity in science and medicine."

The record $11.5 billion, six-year strategic plan was approved by the Board of Governors earlier this year. That plan focuses on the expansion of patient care and clinical and laboratory-based research, including work to advance research and treatment of cancer, nonmalignant blood diseases, neurological disorders and infectious diseases. The plan calls for the creation of 1,400 jobs, $1.9 billion in new construction, renovation and capital needs and triples St. Jude's global investment to impact more of the 400,000 kids with cancer around the world each year.  

Karam's tremendous work experience and history with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital trace back to his late father, Joseph, one of the founding members of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude, who inspired multiple generations to serve during his own six decades of services.

"David's extraordinary business experience and legacy of service to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Fred's dedication to medical excellence make them a strong team – helping to lead ALSAC's efforts to raise over $2 billion annually over the life of the strategic plan to accelerate research and treatment for catastrophic childhood diseases worldwide," said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC.

Thanks to its 11 million supporters and counting who are committed to making a difference in the lives of children everywhere, the mission of St. Jude remains the same: Finding cures. Saving children.®

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Visit St. Jude Inspire to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude via @stjuderesearch channels, as well as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

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SOURCE ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


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