Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Darlene S. Williamson, MA, CCC-SLP, President
Darlene S. Williamson, MA, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist with over 40 years of experience working in rehabilitation for stroke and brain trauma survivors, with a primary research interest in apraxia of speech. She holds degrees from Purdue University and the University of Illinois, Her career has included work in acute care, in and out patient rehabilitation, and long term care. She served as the Clinic Director at the George Washington University, in Washington, DC and continued as adjunct professor for many years. In 2005, she founded the Stroke Comeback Center in Vienna, Virginia; under her leadership the organization grew to four locations and is recognized as a national model for long term treatment and support under a life participation approach. Darlene has won numerous awards for her efforts on behalf of individuals with aphasia, including being honored as Washingtonian of the Year in 2017. She retired in June, 2020 and continues to focus her energy on improving the lives of families living with aphasia by serving as the President of the Board of Directors of the NAA.
Daniel Martin, Treasurer
Daniel R. Martin, Treasurer, is a semi-retired former CEO of E-Z-EM, Inc., an international medical imaging company, and former Adjunct Professor of Management at Pace University. A graduate of Cornell and Columbia universities, he spent his career primarily in the healthcare field, working and living in Latin America and the UK in addition to the USA, for firms including McKinsey & Company, Procter & Gamble and Merck & Co. He is also a Director Emeritus of Accion International, a leading microfinance and financial inclusion non-profit organization, and serves on several corporate boards. He joined the NAA board when his late wife, Barbara, a person with aphasia, relinquished her position as President.
Carol Kirshner, Secretary
Carol Adams Kirshner is a retired educator who formerly served as the Associate Director of the Junior League Family Resource Center at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Carol received her B.A. and Master of Arts degrees at Harvard University. She currently serves on the boards of the National Aphasia Association, The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee, Nashville Public Radio, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, and the National Parks Conservation Association(Southeast Region).
Carol grew up in Philadelphia, PA. She is married to Dr. Howard S. Kirshner, Professor of Neurology at Vanderbilt University. The Kirshners have two grown children and one grandson.
Tom G. Broussard, Jr, Ph.D., Vice-President Community Outreach and Education
Three-Time Stroke Survivor and Johnny Appleseed of Aphasia Awareness
Dr. Broussard was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, a shipbuilder, and a business owner in career development and training. He received his Ph.D. at The Heller School at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA focused on helping people with disabilities find work. After graduation, he worked at Vassar College and returned to the Heller School as associate dean, Admissions and Career Services. He remained at the Heller School until his stroke in 2011. He had aphasia and could not read, write or speak well. His recovery came in stages; 11 months to become more aware, two years to be able to speak well and two more years to be able to write well. He started Stroke Educator, Inc. and has spoken to over 300 presentations to more than 6,000 people with stroke and aphasia, and to their families, caregivers, clinicians and students.
Broussard has written four books about stroke and aphasia: Stroke Diary, A Primer for Aphasia Therapy (Vol 1); Stroke Diary, The Secret of Aphasia Recovery (Vol 2) and Stroke Diary, Just So Stories, How Aphasia Got Its Language Back (Vol 3) (Gold 2018 FAPA President’s Book Award) and recently The ABCs of Aphasia: A Stroke Primer.
Barbara Kessler, Vice-President, Community Outreach and Education
Barbara has been a long time member of the Board of the National Aphasia Association. Barbara actively promotes greater awareness of aphasia as well as supporting stroke victims with aphasia. Barbara has also participated in various research clinical trials to promote more effective treatment of aphasia. During the past 16 years Barbara has been an active volunteer in her local community. Some of her volunteer work includes: speaking to first responders, speaking to patients at the White Plains Hospital while distributing books and magazines, serving on the Board of Student Advocacy supporting children at risk, responding to phone calls and emails from around the country from families with family members having had strokes. Barbara participates in several communications groups supporting people with aphasia. Barbara has also been a member of the Adler Aphasia Center helping people with aphasia. Barbara has given speeches at local hospitals to neurologists and rehabilitation therapists regarding the challenges of living with aphasia. Barbara was a professional librarian for 35 years including working at the Columbia University Law School, local public libraries and the Ardsley High School. Barbara is married with three children and four grandchildren. Barbara actively reads to her grandchildren, sharing her love of books and literature.
Roy D. Hamilton, MD, MS, FAAn, FANA
Dr. Roy Hamilton is a tenured Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania with a secondary appointment in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is the Director of Penn’s Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation (LCN) and is also the Director of the Penn Brain Science, Translation, Innovation and Modulation Center (brainSTIM). The central thrust of his research is to use noninvasive electrical and magnetic brain stimulation to explore the characteristics and limits of functional plasticity in the intact and injured human brain and to treat aphasia due to stroke and neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Hamilton earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at Harvard, obtained a master’s degree in Health Sciences Technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and completed neurology residency and fellowship training cognitive and behavioral neurology at Penn. Dr. Hamilton’s work has been funded by multiple grants from the NIH and has been supported through awards from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and Dana Foundation. In addition to his research and clinical activities, Dr. Hamilton been recognized nationally for his work in diversity in the fields of academic medicine and neurology.
Swathi Kiran, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Swathi Kiran is James and Cecelia Ying Professor of Neurorehabilitation in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences and the Associate Dean for Research at College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University. She received her Ph.D from Northwestern University. Her research interests focus around lexical semantic treatment for individuals with aphasia, bilingual aphasia and neuroimaging of brain plasticity following a stroke. She has over 100 publications and her work has appeared in high impact journals across a variety of disciplines including cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, rehabilitation, speech language pathology and bilingualism. She is a fellow of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and serves on various journal editorial boards and grant review panels including at National Institutes of Health. Her work has been continually funded by the National Institutes of Health/NIDCD and American Speech Language Hearing Foundation awards including the New Investigator grant, the New Century Scholar’s Grant and the Clinical Research grant. She is the co-founder and scientific advisor for Constant Therapy, a software platform for rehabilitation tools after brain injury.
Peter E. Turkeltaub, MD, PhD
Peter Turkeltaub, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and Director of the Aphasia Clinic at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. He directs the Cognitive Recovery Lab, which focuses on how the brain performs language and cognitive functions, how these brain systems change in the face of injury or dysfunction, and new techniques to improve recovery. Dr. Turkeltaub has published numerous articles in high profile journals, and his work has been supported by several NIH and foundation grants.
Lauren is a Lean Process Facilitator for the State of Michigan and the founder of Rise Consulting Company, empowering nonprofits to maximize their impact through Lean principles. Lauren is passionate about the power of philanthropy as a tool for change and works to integrate Continuous Improvement with Social Impact. Lauren attended the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, receiving her BA in Public Policy. She received her MA in Philanthropic Studies and Nonprofit Management from Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy as well as a Masters Certificate in Collaborative Governance from the University of Arizona. Lauren has worked with a range of nonprofit organizations in roles from prospect analytics to event management to Major Gift fundraising. Inspired by her passion for the nonprofit sector and knowledge of Lean thinking, by her father’s career of training and implementing Lean, she built her consultant business on the idea that nonprofits, foundations, and government entities have the strength and skills to serve their communities better by thinking in new ways.
Chad Ruble, Vice President of Innovation and Programming
Chad Ruble’s introduction to aphasia was when his mother suffered a serious stroke over twenty years ago. It stoked an interest in the intersection of caregiving, communication, and technology, and led to the founding of Tapgram, an assistive messaging platform designed for people with aphasia. Before shifting into technology, Chad spent the early part of his career in television news (NBC and Reuters). He joined the board in 2013 and has helped oversee the continued updates of the NAA’s digital presence. He and his wife Ann live in Brooklyn with their two children and their dog, Elsie.
Kurt M. Watkins, JD
Kurt brings a wealth of experience in contract, privacy, and corporate transactional law, including the successful completion of venture capital lead fundraising rounds for startups as well as mid-size companies. Kurt has also negotiated myriad service and license agreements between these companies and their Fortune 100 customers. He will be assisting the NAA’s board with its various legal affairs.
Graduating Fordham University with triple majors in Classical Languages, Philosophy, and Political Science, Kurt then moved onto Seton Hall School of Law as a Distinguished Scholar with a concentration in intellectual property. While in law school, Kurt was a Research Fellow, where he and others used statistical modeling to help veterans receive needed health benefits.
Kurt is barred in California, New Jersey, and New York
Howard S. Kirshner, MD
Ellayne Ganzfried, M.S., CCC-SLP
Nancy Alarcon, M.S., CCC-SLP
Martin L. Albert, M.D., Ph.D.
Sharon M. Antonucci, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Anna M. Barrett, M.D.
Henry Betts, M.D.
Linda S. Carozza, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Jose G. Centeno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Leora R. Cherney, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS
Mari C. Doran, M.A., CCC-SLP
Charles Ellis, Jr. M.A., Ph.D.
Roberta Elman, Ph.D.
Lee Ann Golper, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Leslie Gonzales-Rothi, Ph.D.
Mona Greenfield, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, LCSW
W. David Halloran
Anita S. Halper, M.A, CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS
Kenneth Heilman, M.D.
Nancy Helm-Estabrooks, Sc.D.
Victor Henderson, M.D.
Jacqueline Hinckley, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Audrey Holland, Ph.D.
Joseph Jaffe, M.D.
Yves Joanette, Ph.D.
Rita Justice, Ph.D.
Andrew Kertesz, M.D., F.R.C.P. (C)
Alexis Kershaw Silvia
Leonard LaPointe, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Ronald Lazar, Ph.D.
Steven Levin, Esq
John A. Liechty, MSW
Lynn Maher, Ph.D.
Marsel Mesulam, M.D.
Shirley Morganstein, M.A., CCC-SLP
Janet Patterson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Richard Peach, Ph.D.
Hariklia Proios, Ph.D.
Luis Riquelme, M.S., CCC-SLP
John C. Rosenbeck, Ph.D.
John E. Sarno, M.D.
Barbara B. Shadden, Ph.D.
Maura E. Silverman, M.S., CCC-SLP
Nina Simmons-Mackie, Ph.D., BC-ANCDS
Joel Stark, Ph.D.
Cynthia K. Thompson, Ph.D.
Ronald Tikofsy, Ph.D.
Linda Worrall, Ph.D.