$6.3M endowed directorship at Rutgers Cancer Institute recognizes visionary oncology leader

The Rutgers University board of governors recently approved the establishment of the William Hait Endowed Directorship at Rutgers Cancer Institute, which was made possible by $6.3 million raised in donations. Moving forward, the director of Rutgers Cancer Institute will be known as the William Hait Director.

Recognized for his visionary leadership in the field of cancer research and patient care, Dr. William “Bill” Hait is the executive vice president, chief external innovation and medical officer at Johnson & Johnson as well as the founding director of Rutgers Cancer Institute. During his 14-year tenure as director, he earned the institute the prestigious National Cancer Institute designation in 1997 — the first and only in New Jersey. He also led the center to achieve Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the NCI in 2002, in a record amount of time.

Following his tenure at Rutgers Cancer Institute, Hait joined Johnson & Johnson in 2007, where he has served in various global leadership positions, focusing his teams on the intersection of unmet medical needs and breakthrough science, transforming the lives of millions of patients around the world. He will retire from his current role at Johnson & Johnson in September.

“On behalf of our faculty and staff, I thank the many donors who have made the William Hait Endowed Directorship possible,” Dr. Steven Libutti, director of Rutgers Cancer Institute, said. “It is a fitting tribute to Bill’s remarkable leadership and innovation in the field of oncology, and the legacy that he created at New Jersey’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.”

Rutgers Cancer Institute, together with RWJBarnabas Health, provides patients access to advanced treatment options close to home at facilities throughout the state. Its groundbreaking cancer research is the engine that drives access to the most advanced cancer treatments including clinical trials. This will be enhanced with the opening of the state’s first freestanding cancer hospital, the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center, in 2025.

Rutgers Cancer Institute will recognize Hait’s contributions to the center and the field of oncology in the fall with a special celebration.