Richard Birkel, PhD, MPA
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Richard Birkel, PhD, MPA


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

Areas of Expertise

  • Healthy Aging


Rick Birkel


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.

Birkel has been principal investigator on more than a dozen research and demonstration grants in diverse areas of public health, including family home care, HIV/AIDS outreach, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and aging.

Prior to coming to NCOA, he served as chief executive of the Rosalynn Carter Institute and the Pope Distinguished Chair in Caregiving at Georgia Southwestern State University, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and president of the Lt. J.P. Kennedy Institute in Washington, DC.

Birkel also has served on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Maryland, University College. 

He received his BA from Yale and a Masters in Public Administration and Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Virginia.