NEW HAVEN — Lori Pickens, associate vice president for oncology services at Duke University Health System and associate dean and administrator of the Duke Cancer Institute, on Wednesday was named senior vice president and executive director of Smilow Cancer Hospital, effective Aug. 6, according to a press release.

Pickens will succeed Abe Lopman, who will retire on Oct. 1.

“We are thrilled that Lori has agreed to join the Yale New Haven Hospital family,” said Richard D’Aquila, president of Yale New Haven Hospital. “Her wealth of experience will help us to expand our ability to provide the best cancer care for our patients throughout New England.”

Pickens has more than 18 years’ experience in health care administration. At Duke, she is also service line executive of the Cancer Care Collaboration with Wake Medical Health System. She previously held leadership positions at the American Lung Association of Missouri and BJC Health System in St. Louis. She serves on the board of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

She will oversee the Smilow Cancer Hospital locations in New Haven, Derby, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hartford, North Haven, Old Saybrook, Orange, Torrington, Trumbull, Waterbury and Waterford. Pickens and her husband have two children.