Founders

Founders

The Founders of the African American Network Against Alzheimer’s are leaders from across the United States who share our commitment and passion to seek an end to Alzheimer’s Disease by 2020. They represent a wide diversity of interests and expertise and are led by four distinguished Honorary Co-Chairs who include the Reverend Al Sharpton, Director of the National Action Network; Dr. David Satcher, Former Surgeon General of the United State; The Honorable Kay Coles James, Former Director of the Office of Personnel Management; and Ms. Melody Barnes, Former head of President Obama’s Domestic Policy Council.

Our Founders include individuals who are recognized as civic, social, business, and professional leaders. Many have experienced the ravages of this disease first hand. All are passionate that the disparate impact of Alzheimer’s- which affects African Americans at twice the rate that it does non-Hispanic White Americans, must be addressed.

Melody Barnes

Melody Barnes is CEO of Melody Barnes Solutions LLC, a domestic strategy firm, and Vice Provost for Global Student Leadership Initiatives and Senior Fellow at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. Ms. Barnes also serves as a Senior Director at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm; Chair of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions; and on the Board of Directors of the Marguerite Casey Foundation. From January 2009 until January 2012, she was Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy...

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Kay Coles James

Kay Coles James has an extensive background in nearly every sector of America’s economy. She has worked at the local, state and federal levels of government and has served dozens of organizations in the corporate, non-profit and academic arenas. Mrs. James is the Founder and President of the Gloucester Institute, a nonprofit organization which trains and nurtures African American leaders. A graduate of Hampton University, she served as Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under President George W. Bush. In this role, Mrs. James also served as the Chair of...

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David Satcher, MD, PhD

David Satcher, MD, PhD, is Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, established in 2006, and Professor of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Family Medicine and Psychiatry at the Morehouse School of Medicine. He has also served as founding Director of the National Center for Primary Care and as Interim President of the Morehouse School of Medicine. Prior to 2002, Dr. Satcher served as Director of the CDC, Assistant Secretary for Health, and Surgeon General of the United States, making him only the second person in history to serve simultaneously as...

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Reverend Al Sharpton

Reverend Al Sharpton is the Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), a not-for-profit civil rights organization headquartered in Harlem, New York, with over 50 Chapters nationwide. As one of the nation's most-renowned civil rights leaders, Rev. Sharpton has been praised by President Barack Obama as "the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden" and by former President George W. Bush, who said, "Al cares just as much as I care about making sure every child learns to read, write, add and subtract." Rev. Sharpton is currently the host of...

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Kevin Johnson, MD

Kevin Johnson, MD, is a Professor and Chair of Biomedical Informatics, with a joint appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He received his MD from Johns Hopkins University and his MS in Medical Informatics from Stanford University. Dr. Johnson is an internationally respected developer and evaluator of clinical information technology. His research interests have been related to developing and encouraging the adoption of clinical information systems to improve patient safety and compliance with practice guidelines; the uses...

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Rushern L. Baker, III

Rushern L. Baker, III, is the seventh County Executive of Prince George’s County—the highest-income African American-majority county in America and the second largest jurisdiction by population in the State of Maryland.  Since taking office, Mr. Baker has raised the profile of Prince George’s County in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan region, implementing innovative programs designed to improve the quality of life for residents. Mr. Baker established The Economic Development Incentive Fund, an unprecedented $50 million fund designed to stimulate business growth in the...

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Goldie Byrd

Goldie Byrd, PhD, received her Bachelor of Science degrees in Professional Biology and in Biology Secondary Education at North Carolina A&T State University.  She received her PhD at Meharry Medical College in Microbiology. She completed post-doctoral work at Meharry Medical College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. Dr. Byrd was previously a faculty member in the biology departments at Tennessee State University and North Carolina Central University and more recently an adjunct Assistant Professor at Duke University. In 2003, Dr...

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Michell C. Clark

Michell C. Clark is a frequent speaker on how government agencies can use technology to improve their business and corporate service practices. He and his wife and two sons live in Woodbridge, Va. Mr. Clark served 20 years in the U.S. Army, including one tour of duty directly supporting the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From 1993 to 1996 at the Pentagon, Mr. Clark had his most memorable assignment, working for the Office of the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff as the Executive Assistant to the Director. He began his Army career as a 1978 West Point graduate with...

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Garrett Davis

Garrett Davis has been called one of the most prolific, anointed talents in urban theater and named “Funniest Playwright” by NAACP. Mr. Davis’ plays entertain but also have a purpose, bringing real-life situations to the stage and combining faith-inspired messages with entertainment, education and awareness. In 2010 he began developing an idea to allow one of his most poignant works to become a means for communicating to diverse audiences about Alzheimer’s disease, with his production of Forget Me Not. Mr. Davis realizes the power of the...

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Curley M. Dossman, Jr.

Curley M. Dossman, Jr., is a life-long community servant who has built his career on improving the quality of life of people and the communities in which they live, work and spend leisure time. His leadership skills and ability to build broad-based, diverse coalitions have been instrumental in his career and community advancements. In 2012, Mr. Dossman was elected Chairman of the Board of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. (the 100), an international mentoring organization. He is charged with leading the 100—with over 10,000 members and serving approximately 100,000 youth...

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Jennifer Manly, PhD

Jennifer Manly, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain and the G.H. Sergievsky Center, within the Department of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center. Her research focuses on health disparities in dementia, and cultural and educational influences on the epidemiology, biomarkers and neuropsychology of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Manly completed her graduate training in neuropsychology at the University of California, San Diego, in 1996. After a...

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David L. Mount, PsyD, MA

David L. Mount, PsyD, MA, is a renowned social justice advocate, lecturer, writer, community organizer, team-builder, professional speaker and clinical psychologist with specialties in primary care psychology, medical neuropsychology and medical rehabilitation psychology. Dr. Mount is well-regarded for his work on integrating mind-body health, framing health disparities as a human rights issue and increasing health professions’ student diversity. In 2012, he authored the book Waking Up in College, as well as a chapter in the book The Clinical...

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Dr. Mamie Aselean Parker

Mamie A. Parker, PhD is a moderator, a coach and an environmental consultant. She recently retired after spending almost 30 years as a professional fish and wildlife biologist and senior executive at U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She is currently an Advisory Director at the Marstel-Day Conservation and Consulting Company and the Founder and President of Ma Parker and Associates, located in northern Virginia near Washington, D.C. With her strong belief that they are many lessons to learn and great value to staying close to Mother Nature, she works with many organizations...

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Gary Puckrein, PhD

Gary A. Puckrein, PhD, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Minority Quality Forum. He also serves as Executive Director of the Alliance of Minority Medical Associations (a collaborative effort of the Asian and Pacific Physicians’ Association, the Association of American Indian Physicians, the Interamerican College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the National Medical Association). In 1989 Dr. Puckrein founded the Forum’s predecessor organization, the National Minority Health Month Foundation, to help communities and policy makers eliminate...

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Stephanie Robinson, Esq.

Stephanie Robinson, Esq. is the President and CEO of The Jamestown Project, a national think tank focusing on democracy. She is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and former Chief Counsel to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Ms. Robinson, along with Harvard Law Professor and husband, Ronald Sullivan, Jr., are the first black House Masters in the history of Harvard University. She is a weekly political and social commentator on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” a popular radio venue with eight million listeners nationwide. She is the co-author of Accountable: Making...

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