Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the mission of the Biden Cancer Initiative?

The Biden Cancer Initiative will develop and drive implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research, and care, and to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes.

Q: How will the Biden Cancer Initiative accomplish its mission?

Through the Biden Cancer Initiative, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will build on their work to inject a sense of urgency into the cancer research and care enterprise and to reimagine how the government, academia, nonprofits and the private sector can better organize their resources and systems to collaborate to take on cancer, with the patient as the focus. The Initiative will be a major convening force in driving new actions and collaborations toward ending cancer as we know it.

The Biden Cancer Initiative will work closely with patients and patient organizations, cancer researchers, cancer hospitals and community health centers, research universities, governments and the private and philanthropic sectors to identify and address the critical issues in cancer prevention, research and care to achieve these goals. The Initiative will bring these groups together to identify barriers, devise solutions, launch pilot projects to test solutions, and disseminate successful solutions in the form of new actions and collaborations.

Q: Where are the Biden Cancer Initiative offices located?

The Biden Cancer Initiative has been incorporated in Delaware and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Q: What is the tax-exempt status of the Biden Cancer Initiative?

The Biden Cancer Initiative is organized and operated as a charitable organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Q: Who is funding the Biden Cancer Initiative?

The Biden Cancer Initiative will accept contributions from individuals and – if applicable – their affiliated private foundations or donor-advised funds, and corporate foundations. The Biden Cancer Initiative will not accept donations from biopharmaceutical companies or its executives.

Donor names will be included on the Initiative’s Form 990 which can be found on bidencancer.org at the end of the Initiative’s fiscal year.

Q: Will the Biden Cancer Initiative accept donations from foreign entities?

The Biden Cancer Initiative will not accept donations from any foreign entities- including foreign citizens, foreign governments, or private foreign companies.

Q: How were the Biden Cancer Initiative’s board members selected? Are they being compensated by the Biden Cancer Initiative?

The Biden Cancer Initiative Board co-chaired by Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden includes world-renowned leaders and experts in the fields of medical research, patient care, information technology, finance, management, patient engagement, patient experience and public policy. The members of the Board of Directors were chosen based on their expertise and perspective.

Board members are not being compensated for their service on the Board.

Q. Will the Biden Cancer Initiative have other councils or committees?

The Biden Cancer Initiative will include an Advisory Committee of leaders in major areas of focus for the Initiative which will provide expert evaluation, input, and recommendations on specific issues areas in cancer research and care. The Advisory Committee will create and lead standing and ad hoc working groups to engage additional experts on specific issue areas. The working groups led by the Advisory Committee members will identify and synthesize the most promising solutions to the issues the Biden Cancer Initiative is addressing and develop actionable recommendations, including action, actor (or type of actor) and timeline, around which the Biden Cancer Initiative leadership and Board will convene stakeholders to implement—focused on how specifically the Biden Cancer Initiative can play a role in making progress.

The Biden Cancer Initiative will also provide a venue to bring together cancer-related advocacy and patient organizations – called the Biden Cancer Collaborative – to identify common issues, to advance common solutions, and to relay important information and progress to their respective communities.

Q. Will the Biden Cancer Initiative be a grant-giving organization?

No. The Biden Cancer Initiative will largely not be a grant-giving organization and will accomplish its mission through convening, connecting partners, catalyzing new actions, and providing venues to discuss progress and develop new actions and collaborations.

Q: How does the Biden Cancer Initiative relate to the Biden Foundation?

The Biden Foundation focuses on the foreign and domestic policy work to which Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden have devoted their lives, including their ongoing work to support equality for all, changing the culture around domestic and sexual violence, and Dr. Biden’s work to increase access to high-quality affordable education in the United States and around the world.

The Biden Cancer Initiative was a pillar of the Biden Foundation and was incubated and launched in June of 2017 as a separate entity to continue and expand Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden’s work in the fight against cancer.

Q: How does the Biden Cancer Initiative differ from the Cancer Moonshot?

In President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address, he called on Vice President Joe Biden to lead a new, national “Cancer Moonshot” to dramatically accelerate efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer –  to achieve a decade’s worth of progress in five years. On January 28, 2016, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum establishing the Cancer Moonshot Task Force to bring together all Federal agencies that touch the cancer experience, charged with leveraging Federal investments, targeted incentives, private sector efforts, patient engagement initiatives, and more, to support cancer research and enable progress in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

By the end of the Administration, the Cancer Moonshot had launched a series of coordinated efforts that incentivized bold, creative, and disruptive approaches to conducting cancer research, promoting prevention, and addressing critical needs in cancer care. These efforts leveraged talent and expertise across disciplines and sectors and ensured rapid dissemination of information to the broader cancer research and care community to accelerate progress. Ultimately, these efforts capitalized and built upon the progress made throughout the Administration to accelerate biomedical research, leverage data and technology, and improve the nation’s access to first-rate, affordable healthcare. In addition to driving this progress in both the public and private sectors, Vice President Biden also helped lead the effort to pass the 21st Century Cures Act that provides $1.8 billion over seven years for the Cancer Moonshot’s scientific priorities.

Initiatives begun under the Cancer Moonshot at Federal agencies have continued, including those at the National Cancer Institute with additional funding through the 21st Century Cures Act, as will efforts started across the country in private companies, foundations and hospitals.

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden know there is much more to accomplish in the fight against cancer and will build on the progress made under the Cancer Moonshot through the efforts of the Biden Cancer Initiative, which will operate separately from and without funding from the federal government.

Q: Is the Biden Cancer Initiative a partisan, political organization?

Both in legal standing, and in practice, the Biden Cancer Initiative is apolitical.

Q: Do the Bidens receive any income or personal expense reimbursement from the Biden Cancer Initiative?

No, the Bidens do not take a salary from the Biden Cancer Initiative and receive no funding from the Initiative.

Q: How can I can get involved with the Biden Cancer Initiative?

The Biden Cancer Initiative is funded by private donations, so if you are interested in giving, we welcome the support. We are also interested in hearing your ideas on where the Initiative can have the most impact. If you have experiences with cancer that you would like to share, we want to hear from you. Please visit BidenCancer.org to learn how to connect.