Elizabeth Franklin, Sanofi Oncology


By Sue Coyle

Elizabeth Franklin

As head of U.S. Public Affairs and Patient Advocacy, Sanofi Oncology, Elizabeth Franklin, PhD, MSW, helps give a voice to individuals impacted by cancer and works to ensure that voice is heard when health care decisions and policies are made.

“People impacted by cancer are at the center of everything that I do in my role,” she says. “We work with our advocacy partners to help accelerate scientific innovation, ensure affordable and equitable access, overcome disparities, advance patient-centric health policy, leverage digital resources and data to help patients, and improve the lives of all people impacted by cancer.”

Franklin’s career, however, did not begin in oncology. She says she entered social work because she wanted to help people and address injustices. Her first social work job was at NASW, where she worked for then-CEO, Betsy Clark. Clark quickly became Franklin’s mentor.

“She was an extraordinary leader and showed me that anything was possible in terms of my career,” Franklin says.

Franklin was at NASW as the Affordable Care Act was developed, and it was during that time she found her passion. “Working to ensure patient voices were centered in the health care reform debate, I quickly realized that health care is a microcosm of all the social justice issues that are core to my value system.”

After NASW, Franklin focused on patient advocacy, working at the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the George Washington University Cancer Institute, and serving as executive director of the Cancer Policy Institute and president of the Cancer Support Community.

“All of these experiences prepared me for my current position at Sanofi. This is my first position outside of a nonprofit organization and I’m fortunate that my colleagues value my voice as a patient-centered leader and oncology social worker with nearly 20 years of experience.”

That experience also includes a PhD, which Franklin completed in 2020. “I sought my doctorate because I wanted to understand oncology research and engage in discussions around innovation and science,” she says.

In addition, Franklin’s research articles have appeared in numerous publications. She was lead author on the Oncology Navigation Standards of Professional Practice, co-edited two social work texts and co-authored two books. She received the Association of Oncology Social Worker’s Quality of Life Award in 2022 and was named a 40 under 40 leader in oncology in 2020.

Franklin lives in Washington, D.C., with her pugs, where she enjoys experiencing the city, spending time with friends, spoiling her niece and nephew, and trying to read 100 books each year.

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