Ed Steger

M.S. Public Administration, Heinz School, Carnegie-Mellon University


Ed Steger is a head and neck cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma at the base of his tongue and oral cavity in 2005. After hitting some rough patches in 2006 and 2007, he has had no evidence of disease for five years. Ed’s dysphagia is severe and began in mid 2006 after a 12 hour salvage surgery which required removal of his left lower jaw bone, part of his tongue, a large section of tissue, muscle, and nerves from the upper back part of his esophagus, part of his epiglottis, and a quarter-sized hole in his soft palate. In his quest to regain a social eating style, he contacted and was seen by Dr. Belafsky. This clinic visit was the start of a new friendship which included an introduction to Sonia Blue, the former NFOSD President. Sonia and Ed began working together. To make a long story short, Sonia surveyed the NFOSD board of directors, gained a consensus, and then asked Ed if he would take over as president of the Foundation. Ed viewed this as a gift and accepted the presidency effective September 1, 2012.

Ed remains an active volunteer patient research advocate at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he has been treated since his original diagnosis. Ed’s career before cancer was as a management consultant and program manager with a bent toward information technology projects. He has run programs valued at up to one billion dollars and has experience in the healthcare, banking, energy, hospitality, retail, construction, real estate, and film industries.

Ed Steger holds a Master degree in Public Administration from the Heinz School at Carnegie MellonUniversity. His undergraduate work is in math and computer science at the University of Pittsburgh. He also writes a blog about his cancer journey at www.hncancer.blogspot.com.

Ed’s six years with dysphagia, his prior volunteer efforts, and his business background make him a good match for evolving the NFOSD. His personal mission is to help patients and caregivers navigate a medical condition which is often misunderstood and under diagnosed.