NCOA Announces Search Firm to Recruit Next CEO


Jean Van Ryzin
Senior Director, Communications

Arlington, VA (February 6, 2020) – The National Council on Aging (NCOA) today announced it has retained Spencer Stuart, the global executive search and leadership advisory firm, to lead a national search for its next President and CEO. The search comes after current President and CEO James Firman announced late last year his plans to retire from the organization after 25 years of service. Firman will continue to lead NCOA until a successor has been appointed.

NCOA is a leader in developing nationally acclaimed programs to improve the health, independence, and economic security of older Americans. The organization set a goal in 2010 to improve the lives of 10 million older adults by 2020, which was achieved nearly one year early. Since meeting that goal, the organization has challenged itself to impact 40 million lives by 2030.

The NCOA Board of Directors has formed a search committee. The committee will partner with Spencer Stuart to conduct a comprehensive review of candidates. The Spencer Stuart team will include senior consultants from both the Healthcare Services and Not-for-Profit practices to ensure a robust search process is put in place.

The committee is seeking leaders who can inspire NCOA’s strategic vision and cultivate strong public-private partnerships to drive systemic change in how our nation serves the changing needs of older Americans. The CEO will have responsibility for a $63 million budget and responsibility for an 85-person staff at the DC metro area national office. The CEO, in conjunction with staff, works with the Board in the deliverance of the mission, the strategic plan, financial goals, and assurance of proper dedication of resources. The CEO, along with staff, also serves as an informed advocate for addressing unmet needs and opportunities to improve the lives of older adults through innovative programs, services, and public policies.

“We are excited that the search for our next CEO is officially underway. NCOA has emerged as a force for social change and a pioneer in groundbreaking programs and policies that have redefined what aging means in America,” said James Knickman, chair of the NCOA Board of Directors. “The Board is committed to finding the highest quality candidate with the experience and passion to build on the impact our organization has made for nearly 70 years. We have ambitious goals and are committed to finding the right individual to lead us into the future.”

For more information about NCOA and its mission, interested candidates should visit the NCOA website at For confidential consideration or to submit a suggested candidate, individuals can contact Jennifer Heenan ( and/or Leslie Hortum ( from Spencer Stuart.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950, our mission has not changed: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. NCOA empowers people with the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security—and we strengthen government programs that we all depend on as we age. Every year, millions of people use our signature programs BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters®, and the Aging Mastery Program® to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA is working to improve the lives of 40 million older adults by 2030. Learn more at and @NCOAging.