Letter from Sue Kahn, Executive Director, NTSAD: Starting a new chapter after stepping down from leadership

National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association

June 2021   

Dear NTSAD Community,   
It’s with mixed emotions that I share with you that after nearly 14 years, I am stepping down from my role as NTSAD’s executive director at the end of October. I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life, knowing that NTSAD remains strong. I will help facilitate a smooth transition in leadership and support the board of directors who has initiated the search for my successor.    

It has been my great honor to lead NTSAD. I am proud of the extraordinary progress in research as well as our ongoing efforts to put the needs of families first with comprehensive resources, programs, and services. Together, we have accomplished more than I ever hoped when I joined NTSAD in 2007. Currently, there are 14 drug development programs and clinical trials underway, and industry continues to invest in developing therapies for Tay-Sachs, Canavan, GM1 gangliosidosis, and Sandhoff diseases.
NTSAD is one of the oldest and most respected patient advocacy groups in the rare community and remains in a position of financial strength with healthy reserves. I am immensely grateful to our dedicated board of directors and compassionate NTSAD staff.

In addition, NTSAD has a five-year strategic plan in place, and recently broadened research direction focusing on clinical development, early diagnosis, newborn screening, and translational research. During the last two decades, NTSAD invested in much of the early research that has led to today’s drug development programs and clinical trials. Since 2002, NTSAD has awarded more than $4 million in research grants that have been leveraged to more than $30 million in additional grants from the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.
The people, the organization, and my work all mean so much to me. This role has allowed me to connect with inspiring people, starting with the families who allow us to share in the darkest and brightest days of their journey, and who will move mountains to advocate for their child or themselves, support others, and raise money for research. I also have been honored to work closely with brilliant and dedicated experts who are making a brighter future possible through research, clinical care, or developing new treatments. It has been a blessing to meet so many people who have influenced me and touched my heart.

The work continues, and I look forward to celebrating with you when effective treatments are found. My heart will remain with the NTSAD Community, always.
With gratitude, 

P.S. If you have any questions about the search, please contact EDSearch@nullntsad.org.

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