JDRF Announces New International Board of Directors Leadership

— Mississippi native Ellen Leake and San Diego resident Jeff Plumer take the helm of the JDRF International Board of Directors beginning July 1 —


NEW YORK, April 26, 2018 — JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, announced today that Ellen Leake has been elected to serve as chair of the JDRF International Board of Directors (IBOD), with Jeff Plumer set to fill the role of vice chair.

Leake, currently the vice chair of IBOD, replaces Mark Fischer-Colbrie as chair following his two-year term that ends on June 30. Leake will be joined by Plumer, currently a member of the JDRF Board of Directors and Executive Committee and the chair of the Audit Committee, as they begin their new roles July 1, 2018.

“I’m eager to begin my term as chair of the JDRF International Board of Directors and continue vital research and advocacy efforts that support people with type 1 diabetes,” said Chair-elect Ellen Leake. “I especially want to thank Mark Fischer-Colbrie for his outstanding leadership over the past two years. At JDRF, our commitment remains focused on improving the lives of those with T1D today, while advancing new research that will help the community tomorrow and prevent the disease for future generations.”

Leake has held numerous volunteer roles with JDRF and for her many efforts on behalf of JDRF received the Jim Tyree Chairman’s Choice Award in 2015. Her daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with T1D at age 10, prompting Leake and her husband to join a group of friends in forming the JDRF Mississippi Chapter in 1998. At the national level, Leake is a member of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council and has chaired the JDRF Development Committee (2013-2014), the Lay Review Committee (2011-2012) and the Information Technology Working Group (2009-2011). She currently leads a family timber and land development business in Mississippi, having previously worked as an executive within IBM’s Financial Services sector. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Mississippi and an MBA from Tulane University.

“JDRF was started by volunteers committed to creating a world without type 1 diabetes, and Ellen Leake and Jeff Plumer share this passion to drive our mission forward as we approach our 50th anniversary,” said Derek Rapp, JDRF CEO. “Their combined years of experience and commitment to the diabetes community will be valuable assets as we accelerate our strategic plan to continue to lead the global scientific charge against T1D.”

In addition to his role as chair of the Audit Committee, Plumer is a Development Committee member and serves on the Executive Committee. He is also a board member of the JDRF San Diego Chapter, and previously served as the San Diego chair of government relations and advocacy. A regular participant and fundraiser for JDRF’s Galas, One Walk and Ride to Cure Diabetes, in 2007, Plumer won JDRF’s National Golden Advocate Award and was honored locally with the Volunteer of the Year award from the San Diego Combined Health Agencies. Plumer is an experienced executive and currently consults for a variety of companies and manages a private holding company. He previously served as CEO of an online marketing company serving the credit union industry and has held senior leadership positions at Intuit Inc. Plumer completed his undergraduate studies at San Diego State University, where he earned a degree in finance.

“I’ve lived with type 1 diabetes for 40 years and JDRF has been a constant in my life,” said Jeff Plumer, incoming vice chair of IBOD. “It’s an honor to give back by leading the JDRF International Board of Directors, and I look forward to expanding our commitment to support people with T1D across all stages of life and pursuing innovative fundraising vehicles that move us closer to a cure.”

JDRF has an open process to nominate new IBOD members, and each year, issues a call for nominations, inviting chancellors, senior staff, regional directors, executive directors, international affiliates and others to submit nominations. All two-year appointments are voluntary, unpaid positions.

Leake and Plumer will build on a long tradition of accelerating breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications that have resulted in real-world therapies to make T1D easier to manage. To date, JDRF has directly funded more than $2 billion in scientific research while generating an additional $3 billion in private and government research investments. To learn more, visit www.jdrf.org/impact.


About T1D
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF