Dr. James Downing
President and CEO, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Over the past six decades, St. Jude has developed treatments that helped increase the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80%. Downing is overseeing a six-year strategic plan aimed at continuing to boost innovation. The plan includes a $12.9 billion operating and capital budget to expand the hospital’s clinical services and scientific programs around the world, add 2,300 jobs and fund $2.3 billion in construction and renovation projects. Downing, who was instrumental in the launch of the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, has championed a global alliance of healthcare providers working with St. Jude to improve children’s access to quality cancer care. He was named CEO in 2014 after serving as deputy director, executive vice president and scientific director of the hospital.