Gretchen Vaughan is the President and CEO of the Kidney Cancer Association (KCA). Appointed in 2018, Vaughan spearheads the KCA’s growth from an organization with a long history in professional education and development to a global community of leaders making an impact in research, advocacy, and support for people affected by kidney cancer.
Vaughan’s first career was in financial services, where she spent 12 years developing significant financial and business experience. During this time, she also volunteered at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She recalls one particular experience where the center was especially crowded as the CT Machines lost power and the waiting room filled up with patients and caregivers, all anxiously waiting for their scans. As Vaughan comforted the patients, she was overcome by the beauty of oneness that filled the room. She visited with patients that were from all over the world, all different ages, and with all different life experiences. And yet together, everyone encompassed the human spirit of hope, resiliency, and genuine support for one another. It was a moving experience, and Vaughan felt compelled to be part of this greater purpose in the fight against cancer.
Shortly thereafter, Vaughan joined MD Anderson, leading fundraising and philanthropic efforts for cancer research. While steering many efforts and holding a variety of positions, Vaughan was most recently the Senior Director of Philanthropic Resources where she led strategic planning for major market development, relationship building, and staff management.
Vaughan accepted the role with the Kidney Cancer Association with business acumen from her first career in financial services, combined with her experience from the top cancer center in the world, and the personal loss of two friends from kidney cancer. Driven by her love of patients and caretakers and the desire to make a difference, Vaughan accepted the CEO position sensing an opportunity to reimagine the organization as a patient-centric driver of advances in research and care. In collaboration with the KCA’s Board of Directors, Medical Steering Committee, and Nurse Advisory Board, Vaughan is currently working to identify the areas of greatest need in kidney cancer and rally more leaders to make progress.
Vaughan holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance from the University of North Texas. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, and the National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers.