Karuna Jaggar 2015Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director

  • Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
  • Best decision ever: Joining Breast Cancer Action
  • Most unusual job: Wrangler

Karuna Jaggar joined Breast Cancer Action (BCAction) as Executive Director in early 2011. Karuna brings a lifelong commitment to social justice and a strong background in nonprofit management and growth.

Under her leadership, Breast Cancer Action has grown in size and reach. Building on the strong legacy of BCAction’s founders and past leaders, BCAction is today a leading source of independent information about breast cancer through one-of-a-kind educational materials, internationally acclaimed webinars, and a strong grassroots Community Leaders program. Today BCAction is a national leader in the anti-fracking movement and has grown its Think Before You Pink® campaigns, including the 2014 campaign challenging Susan G. Komen and Baker Hughes’ pink drill bits “for the cure” which was featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Karuna’s vision helped guide BCAction’s adoption of a bold new strategic plan in 2014 that made health justice central to the organization’s mission. Karuna serves on the Breast Cancer Research Council of the California Breast Cancer Research Project, helping guide the funding strategy and direct grants to breast cancer research that is innovative, collaborative and responsive to the needs of women living with and at risk of the disease.

Karuna strives to bring an inclusive leadership style to Breast Cancer Action, valuing a diversity of voices and experiences as well as making space for people to bring their unique talents to the organization. Throughout her 15-year career in nonprofit leadership, Karuna’s work has focused on women’s rights and on eliminating socio-economic inequities. Karuna began her career working with women’s microenterprises internationally and in the U.S., providing self-employment and business training, funding and support for low-income women. Prior to joining BCAction, Karuna was Executive Director at the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment. Karuna has served on the Board of the California Association of Microenterprise Opportunity (CAMEO) where she chaired the Policy Committee.

Karuna holds a Master’s degree in Economic Geography from UC Berkeley, with a special emphasis on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and received her BA in Philosophy from Smith College. Karuna is an alumna of the Women’s Policy Institute, a program of the Women’s Foundation of California. Karuna is an unapologetic patient advocate for loved ones who have undergone treatment for breast cancer. She is the parent of two daughters and aunt to two nieces, all between the ages of 7 and 10.

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Marie Bautista 2015Marie Bautista, Development Officer

  • Favorite travel moment: Shocking the locals in her mother’s hometown (in the Philippines) as she, in their dialect, bargained for a discount on souvenirs
  • Recent discovery: Korean dramas on Netflix
  • Relaxing techniques: Meditating, crafting, (mainly greeting cards and bookmarks), and writing Yelp reviews

Marie plans, leads and implements all of BCAction’s special events. She ensures that all events and fundraising activities, including events hosted by BCAction members and supporters, uphold BCAction’s corporate contributions policy and are aligned with our mission. She comes to BCAction with over 10 years of non-profit experience in healthcare and nearly seven of those in development, coordinating special events. Affected by breast cancer, she is passionate about BCAction’s mission and work, and looks forward to doing her part to make strides in creating change to end the epidemic. She is a San Francisco native who only left the city she loves to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara where she received a BA in Communications and Asian American Studies.

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Joyce Bichler, Deputy Director

  • Originates from: Bronx, NY
  • Enjoys: Good food/fun travel; facing and overcoming fears; living life together with my amazing husband
  • Favorite Adventure: Swimming with penguins in the Galapagos Islands

Joyce works closely with the Executive Director in support of the program, administrative, finance, and human resource functions of Breast Cancer Action.  A cancer survivor and lifelong activist, Joyce brings to BCAction strong leadership skills and an extensive background in cancer support and not-for-profit management. She is the author of Joyce Bichler: DES Daughter, which details her cancer experience and how she stood up to the pharmaceutical industry. Joyce received her MSW from the University of Michigan.

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Caitlin-Carmody-2015Caitlin Carmody, Communications Officer

  • Most visited website: Wikipedia
  • Usual state: Caffeinated
  • Left her heart in: Iowa

Caitlin works closely with the program, development, and communications teams to keep BCAction members up to speed on breast cancer news and action and manages BCAction’s social media, newsletter, e-alerts, and blog. Caitlin loves BCAction’s members and encourages you to get in touch, especially if you’d like to write for BCAction’s blog or newsletter. Caitlin believes strongly in the power of grassroots activism to achieve social change, and loves BCAction for its unapologetic advocacy on behalf of women at risk of and living with breast cancer. Caitlin holds a B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College. Before coming to Breast Cancer Action, she worked at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Zoe Christopher 2015Zoe Christopher, Resource Liaison & Office Manager

  • Passionate about: Photography, creative collaboration & youth work
  • Favorite photographers: Francesca Woodman & Elliott Erwitt
  • In her next life: A Dancer with the London-based company DV8

Zoë wears many hats: As BCAction’s Resource Liaison, she connects those seeking information and assistance with the resources they’re looking for regarding detection, treatment, and prevention of breast cancer, as well as BCAction’s environmental and health equity work. As a member of the extended program team, she works to strengthen our local campaign presence and manages our Volunteer Program. She also coordinates all aspects of our working environment. Zoë holds a Masters Degree in transpersonal psychology, and after 15 years working in the trenches of crisis intervention and support, today, when she’s not serving as a mentor for underserved youth, she can be found meandering the streets with a camera, cooking dinner with friends, or practicing joy as a member of a community dance group.

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Alyssa Figueroa 2015Alyssa Figueroa, Campaigns Coordinator

  • Home is: the Jersey Shore
  • When my headphones are in, I’m listening to: This American Life
  • Perfect 24 hours: Hiking by day, dancing by night

Alyssa is part of the program team and works on developing and implementing Breast Cancer Action’s campaigns, including its award-winning Think Before You Pink® campaign. She also works on expanding and engaging BCAction’s national membership. Alyssa comes to BCAction as a long-time social justice advocate and independent journalist, including most recently as Activism Editor at Alternet. She deeply respects BCAction’s fearless work in addressing the root causes of breast cancer and demanding health justice for all women. Alyssa believes it’s crucial to build a grassroots movement that pushes for an end to pinkwashing and calls for real action that puts people before profit.

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Aliza KazmiAliza Kazmi, Health Policy Intern

  • Hometown: Hercules, CA
  • Preferred/only workout: Zumba
  • Languages: Fluent in Spanish, semi-fluent in Portuguese and some Urdu and Arabic

Aliza is working with BCAction this summer through a partnership with the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She works with the program, development and communications teams through contributing policy analysis on fracking and fracking bans; as well as assisting with programming for the Think Before You Pink campaign, and general BCAction communications. Aliza’s policy interests center around poverty and inequality in relation to access and quality of basic rights including health, education and income. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a BA in Peace and Conflict Resolution and a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies, Aliza taught secondary social studies for two years in rural-southeastern New Mexico. Galvanized by the continued decrease of resources for students, families, and teachers, Aliza chose to pursue a graduate degree in public policy in an effort to tackle policy problems at their root. Aliza is considering a career in community-led policy that blends design and analysis with organizing and advocacy for vulnerable populations – including but not limited to women and people of color.

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Sahru Keiser, Program Manager

  • Childhood hometown: Venice Beach, CA
  • Circus skills: Walking on stilts & juggling
  • Enjoys: Playing at the beach with my family, baking and reading a good book with a cup of hot tea

Sahru is part of the program team and works on educating the public on issues of health inequities related to breast cancer and mobilizing BCAction’s national partners on inequities issues. Sahru’s mission as a public health practitioner is to work towards ending the devastating effects of discrimination and oppression on health. As a woman of color, she feels compelled to work to end disparities in health and address the injustices in healthcare delivery that disproportionately affect communities of color. Sahru received her B.A. in Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz and a Masters of Public Health from San Francisco State University.  She has two wonderful and amazing children.

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Corinne LamataCorinne Lamata, Development Director

  • Grew up in: San Leandro, CA
  • Favorite venue: Freight & Salvage
  • Weirdest job: Contact lens beveler

Corinne leads fundraising efforts at BCAction, working with staff and Board members to help ensure that the organization’s work and mission will continue to be supported by growing financial and in-kind resources. Having been personally affected by breast cancer, Corinne feels fortunate to be working for BCAction, where she can contribute to the efforts to foster systemic change to help end the disease. Corinne has spent seven years in academic fundraising and four years in development and executive management for local animal welfare agencies and is elated at this next phase in her life and career.