JDRF Celebrates Women’s History Month with the Announcement of New International Board of Directors Chair



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Chelsea-Lyn Rudder


Lisa Fishbone Wallack is an attorney by training and longtime JDRF volunteer

The global type 1 diabetes non-profit counts Fishbone Wallack’s parents among its founders

New York, March 13, 2024—In celebration of Women’s History Month, JDRF, the leading global type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy organization, proudly announces the appointment of Lisa Fishbone Wallack as the new chair of the nonprofit’s International Board of Directors. Lisa, of Weston, Massachusetts, is an attorney by training and has volunteered with JDRF since childhood. Her brother was diagnosed with T1D as a toddler in 1969 and her son was diagnosed with the condition in 2001.

“I am excited and proud to welcome Lisa into her new role as chair of JDRF’s International Board of Directors,” said Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., CEO of JDRF. “It is fitting for this news to be announced in March, which is Women’s History Month. Lisa is a dynamic leader with a deep connection to JDRF’s history and a strong vision for the organization’s future.”

Lisa has been a member of JDRF’s International Board of Directors since 2015. She previously served as the board’s vice chair and is a past president of JDRF’s Greater New England Chapter. Her appointment as chair continues a proud legacy of executive volunteer leadership at JDRF for Lisa’s family. Lisa’s parents, Marilyn and Dr. Gerald Fishbone, were among the organization’s founding families in the 1970s and her father served as chair of JDRF’s International Board of Directors in the 1980s.

“It’s an incredible honor to step into the role of chair of JDRF’s International Board of Directors,” said Lisa. “I have always had a special connection to JDRF through my family and am proud to work with the organization’s dedicated staff and passionate volunteers as we get closer to making cures for type 1 diabetes a reality.”

Lisa and her husband Neil have three children, Perry, Sydney, and Harris, who lives with T1D. She holds a B.A from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D., summa cum laude, from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Lisa will be joined in her term of board leadership by Matt Varey, the newly appointed vice chair of JDRF’s International Board of Directors. Varey resides in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, and is a senior executive at Royal Bank of Canada.


About JDRF 

JDRF’s mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.5 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 and globally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a global 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 five 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), Facebook (@myjdrf), and Instagram (@jdrfhq).

About Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) 

T1D is an autoimmune condition that causes the pancreas to make very little insulin or none at all. This leads to dependence on insulin therapy and the risk of short or long-term complications, including highs and lows in blood sugar; damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and heart; and even death if left untreated. Globally, it impacts nearly 9 million people. Many believe T1D is only diagnosed in childhood and adolescence, but diagnosis in adulthood is common and accounts for nearly 50% of all T1D diagnoses. The onset of T1D has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. There is currently no cure for T1D.