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Gift of Life Founder and CEO Jay Feinberg named World Marrow Donor Association President-Elect

Jan 09, 2024 by Gift of Life News

Jay Feinberg, Founder and CEO of Gift of Life Marrow Registry, has been named President-Elect of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) for 2024. He will then serve a two-year term as president of the international organization in 2025-26, and a year as president emeritus in 2027. Since 1988, WMDA has served as an international certification body standardizing the best practice operations of stem cell/marrow registries in 55 countries around the world.

The organization is home to the worldwide donor database of more than 41 million individuals, where certified registries share their donors so that matches can be found across borders. About 30 percent of donations are completed internationally. The organization also promotes high standards of care for donors and supports the global development of collaboration and enhanced performance within registries, in addition to public education about the role of stem cell and marrow donation in health care.

Jay is a 28-year transplant survivor and for more than three decades has been an innovator in the stem cell/marrow registry sector. Since the beginning, Jay has pushed for easier donor registration using cheek swabs instead of blood tests, faster donor registration through online and cell phone interfaces, faster timing from donor identification to completed transplant so patients stand a better chance of recovery, and crucially, outreach to minorities who are underrepresented in the registries and have a significantly lower chance of finding a matching donor.

“I am truly honored to be elected the next President of the World Marrow Donor Association,” said Jay.  “Serving as President-Elect as of January, I have big shoes to fill given the remarkable industry leaders who have served over the years. I’ll do my utmost to advance this cause that is so near and dear to my heart. Thank you to everyone at WMDA for your faith and trust in me.”

“We at WMDA are very excited at the appointment of Jay Feinberg as WMDA's President-Elect,” said WMDA CEO Lydia Foeken-van Goozen. “Jay embodies the passion, dedication and empathy of the WMDA community. Like our co-founders, Jay is also a pioneer, changing the status quo to meet the needs of the patient and in protecting the rights and wellbeing of the donors.”

Today, Jay continues taking Gift of Life Marrow Registry in new directions by expanding to include a cell and gene therapy lab and partnering with research organizations to help create the next generation of treatments for life-threatening diseases. 

“These therapies will help even more people survive and recover, to have a second chance at life,” said Jay. “It’s the natural next step for us to take.”

Learn more about the World Marrow Donor Association