Executive Leadership
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Executive Leadership


NCOA's management team includes the following talented leaders.

James Firman, EdD

President and CEO

For more than 30 years, James Firman, EdD, has been a leading force for innovation in services, programs, and public policies for older persons.

Under his leadership, NCOA has developed many nationally acclaimed programs to improve the health, independence, and economic security of older adults. NCOA has also developed world-class core competencies in collaborative leadership, fostering and scaling evidence-based innovations, and advocacy.


Jay Greenberg, ScD

CEO, NCOA Services, LLC

Jay Greenberg, ScD, leads NCOA Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of NCOA that partners with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations to develop creative solutions to address the challenges of aging in America and bring them to scale nationwide. 

A current focus of that work is widespread diffusion of Stanford University’s evidence-based online self-management workshops including Chronic Disease Self Management, Arthritis, Diabetes, and an online workshop designed for family caregivers.  


Richard Birkel, PhD, MPA

Senior Vice President, Center for Healthy Aging and Director, Self-Management Alliance

Richard Birkel has been a public health activist, an advocate for families living with chronic illness and disability, and a chief executive for more than 30 years.

He is a national expert on long-term care, family caregiving, and the implementation of evidence-based practices in health and mental health systems. He speaks and consults frequently in the U.S. and internationally.


Donna Whitt

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Donna Whitt is responsible for managing and directing the activities of the Finance, Human Resources, and Operations Division of NCOA (including Finance, Human Resources, Legal, and Administrative Operations functions). She ensures that the organization and its subsidiaries are managed in a financially and operationally sound manner consistent with accounting, legal, and other requirements. 

Over the past 25 years, Whitt has served in senior positions in both the nonprofit and business sectors. Most recently, she was chief financial officer of the Children’s Defense Fund, and prior to that she was senior vice president of Finance and Operations for the Electronic Industries Association. Earlier in her career, she was vice president and chief financial officer of Mobile Datacom Corporation and Director of Planning & Business Analysis for a division of COMSAT Corporation.

She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and received her MBA from George Mason University. Whitt is a certified public accountant. 


want to live in a country where

older adults don't have to choose between paying for medicine or food.

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