Three New Members Join NCOA’s Board of Directors


Vanessa Sink

Public Affairs Manager


Leaders Bring Experience and Support for the Future of Aging Services

Arlington, VA – The National Council on Aging (NCOA) recently welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors. The professionals bring diverse knowledge and experience to the NCOA mission of improving the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling.

The new members include:

Julie Goonewardene, NCOA BoardJulie Goonewardene, Associate Vice Chancellor for innovation and strategic investment for the University of Texas System. Goonewardene serves as the strategic leader and advisor for the UT System and UT institutions in all areas related to commercialization, growth, and expansion of innovation and entrepreneurship, including the UT Horizon Fund. She is also responsible for the development of sustainable academic-industry partnerships. 

Goonewardene is a recognized expert in bringing groups together across the health care spectrum to develop solutions to medical issues. She also is an experienced entrepreneur, frequent speaker both nationally and internationally on entrepreneurship, and author on innovation.

LynnFieldsHarris_boardLynn Fields Harris, Executive Director of Center in the Park. Center in the Park is a nationally accredited senior community center in Northwest Philadelphia primarily focused on the needs of adults 55+ with programs and services in lifelong learning, creative self-expression, health promotion and evidence-based programs, social services, and housing and community connections. Center in the Park was one of the original pilot sites providing essential assistance in the development of the NCOA’s Aging Mastery Program®.

Harris is a versatile, results-oriented executive with extensive experience in government and community relations, intergovernmental affairs, and public relations and marketing communications in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. In addition, Harris is a certified master trainer of the Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and holds a certificate in senior center management. She was a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and appointed twice as a member of the Pennsylvania Council on Aging, which she chaired. Harris also serves on the executive committee of NCOA’s National Institute of Senior Centers.

JuneSimmons_boardW. June Simmons, President and CEO of Partners in Care Foundation. Over the past two decades, Simmons has pioneered the development and scaling of innovative, evidence-based interventions for management of medications at home, self-management of chronic conditions, coordinated care to improve health outcomes, and care transitions.

Throughout her distinguished career, Simmons has been instrumental in envisioning, creating, funding, and operating forward-looking health and social service programs that meet the mutual needs of patient populations, health care delivery networks, and health plans. Her priority is sustainable, cost-effective, patient-driven integration of care across settings, from primary care and hospital to home and community in the 21st century.

“Julie, Lynn, and June bring expertise and energy to the NCOA Board,” said Carol Zernial, chair of the NCOA Board of Directors. “We look forward to their innovative contributions and perspectives as NCOA seeks to improve the lives of 10 million older adults by 2020. I also wish to express my appreciation to the exiting board members – Molly Mettler of Healthwise, Ai-jen Poo from Caring Across Generations, and Laura Trejo from the Los Angeles Department of Aging. Their expertise and creativity enriched NCOA immensely during their tenure on the board.”

Find the complete list of the NCOA Board of Directors here.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at and @NCOAging.