PhD, RN, CRNP, FNP-BC, AACRN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN
President, National Black Nurses Association
The Commission members and organizations represent a broad continuum of nursing practice, ethnically diverse groups, and regions across the country. The 2023-2024 Commission includes orgnizational leaders as well as individual subject matter experts.
The Commission is being led by the American Nurses Association (ANA), National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA), and National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN).
PhD, RN, CRNP, FNP-BC, AACRN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN
President, National Black Nurses Association
PhD, RN, FAAN
Immediate Past President, American Nurses Association
Dr. Ernest J. Grant is the 36th president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the nation’s largest nurses organization representing the interests of the nation’s 4.2 million registered nurses.
A distinguished leader, Dr. Grant has more than 30 years of nursing experience and is an internationally recognized burn-care and fire-safety expert. He previously served as the burn outreach coordinator for the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals in Chapel Hill. In this role, Grant oversaw burn education for physicians, nurses, and other allied health care personnel and ran the center’s nationally acclaimed burn prevention program, which promotes safety and works to reduce burn-related injuries through public education and the legislative process. Grant also serves as adjunct faculty for the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing, where he works with undergraduate and graduate nursing students in the classroom and clinical settings.
Grant is frequently sought out for his expertise as a clinician and educator. In addition to being a prolific speaker, he has conducted numerous burn-education courses with various branches of the U.S. military in preparation for troops’ deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2002, President George W. Bush presented Grant with a Nurse of the Year Award for his work treating burn victims from the World Trade Center site. In 2013, Grant received the B.T. Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Fire and Life Safety Education Council for making a difference in preventing the devastating effects of fire and burn injuries and deaths within the state.
An active participant in professional organizations, Grant is a past chair of the National Fire Protection Association board of directors and served as second vice president of the American Burn Association board of trustees. He also holds membership in Sigma Theta Tau and Chi Eta Phi. Grant served as president of the North Carolina Nurses Association from 2009-11. In 2002, ANA honored Grant with the Honorary Nursing Practice Award for his contributions to the advancement of nursing practice through strength of character, commitment, and competence.
Grant holds a BSN degree from North Carolina Central University and MSN and PhD degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2014. He is the first man to be elected to the office of president of the American Nurses Association.
PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
President, American Nurses Association
A sought-after presenter and prolific author, Jennifer S. Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, serves as the 38th president of the American Nurses Association. In this national leadership role, Mensik Kennedy boldly advocates for the nation’s 5.5 million RNs. In 2023, she was named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.
Mensik Kennedy is a sought-after presenter and prolific author based on her insights about and experience involving key nursing issues. Her books include Lead, Drive, and Thrive in the System, 2nd edition, and The Nurse Manager’s Guide to Innovative Staffing, 2nd edition. She co-authored Lead like a Nurse, A Nurse’s Step-By-Step Guide to Transitioning to the Professional Nurse Role, and The Power of Ten, 2nd edition, and contributed a chapter to The Career Handoff: A Healthcare Leader’s Guide to Knowledge & Wisdom Transfer across Generations.
Prior to her presidency, Mensik Kennedy held key leadership positions within the nursing profession, including serving the American Nurses Association as Treasurer, Second Vice President, and Director-at-Large. She also served as President of the Arizona Nurses Association from 2007 to 2010. Additionally, Mensik Kennedy held the role of governor of nursing practice for the Western Institute of Nursing in 2010-2014.
Mensik Kennedy earned a PhD from the University of Arizona College of Nursing with a focus on health systems and a minor in public administration from the Eller College of Management. She holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a BSN from Washington State University. Mensik Kennedy also earned an ADN from Wenatchee Valley College-North. Prior to assuming the presidency of American Nurses Association, she was an associate clinical professor at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing.
Mensik Kennedy was inducted in 2014 as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She has been recognized as Alumna of the Year by both University of Arizona College of Nursing and Washington State University College of Nursing
PhD, MPA, MSN, RN
President, National Association of Hispanic Nurses
Dr. Nava serves the Latino community as President (2021-2024) of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN). In this role, she is focused on building the leadership capacity of nurses, with a focus on Latino nurses-who continue to be underrepresented in health care leadership positions across the country. Dr. Nava also serves our nation’s Veterans as the Chief Nurse of Quality and Systems Improvement at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital.
Dr. Nava has a MPA’20 from Harvard University; PhD’19 in Nursing and Health Policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston; a MSN’11 in Health Leadership with a health policy focus from the University of Pennsylvania; and a BSN’09 from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing. She completed a pre-doctoral VA Quality Scholarship (VAQS) fellowship at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in 2019 and the U.S. Latino Leadership Fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School in 2020. Her professional interests include: health equity, access to primary care and workforce development.
For her leadership in advancing Veteran and Latino Health, Dr. Nava has been awarded the 2021 Latina Style Leadership Award; the 2020 U.S. Latino Leadership Fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School; the 2020 Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Award for Excellence in Nursing; the 2017 Outstanding Alumni-Excellence in Leadership Award from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing; the 2017 NAHN’s 40 under 40 Recognition Award; the 2016-2018 PhD Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar Award; the 2014 Community Education Service Award from AARP-IL; and the 2011 VA Going the Extra Mile Service Award.
PhD, RN, FAAN
President, National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations
Debra A. Toney, PhD, RN, FAAN has more than 30 years of clinical and leadership experience in nursing and community-based health promotion programs. She began her career as a critical care nurse and progressed into leadership roles. A strong advocate of patient-centered care, Dr. Toney is a national and international speaker known for her passionate, enthusiastic, and inspirational style and her ability to get to the heart of the matter.
Dr. Toney is the Vice President of Quality Management at Nevada’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center, Nevada Health Centers, Inc. (NVHC) comprised of 18 health centers in urban, rural and frontier Nevada. As the Vice President, she is responsible for ensuring high quality and cost-effective healthcare throughout NVHC’s integrated practice of medical, dental, and behavioral health services. Dr. Toney has come full circle and believes she has landed in the perfect location to combine her professional life and community passion which allows her to provide ongoing contributions in advocating to eliminate health disparities and inequities throughout the neediest communities.
Dr. Toney has a long history of public and community service. She was appointed by the Governor of Nevada to serve as a member of the Office of Minority Health and served as its first chair, where she provided leadership and direction for the statewide office. Her advocacy effects have advanced the national health policy agenda through various experiences including testifying before the Committee on Appropriations on the need for adequate funding for nursing education. Dr. Toney is the founder of the Southern Nevada Black Nurses Association and a Past President of the National Black Nurses Association where she developed several programs including the: NBNA Founders Leadership Institute, the NBNA Summer Youth Enrichment Institute, the Obesity Institute and NBNA under 40 Forum. She is a graduate of the prestigious RWJ Executive Nurse Fellows Program. Dr. Toney works diligently on behalf of the nursing and health professions and is a member of the Nurses on Boards Coalition where she serves as finance chair. She is President of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations, which is coalition of 5 national ethnic minority nursing association and she is a former board member of the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Toney is President Emerita of the Nevada Action Coalition and also serves as Chair of the Diversity Task Force. She is passionate about creating the next generation of minority nurse leaders and is a mentor to student nurses and experienced nurses transitioning into leadership roles. She has held positions for several national organizations, including the NIH Office of Women’s Research, The Joint Commission, FDA Nominating Group and Coca Cola’s Health & Wellness Advisory Board.
Dr. Toney is a strong advocate for giving back to the community and serves as Chair of the Rainbow Dreams Educational Foundation, where she is dedicated to the well-being of high risk underserved youth. In both her professional and volunteer roles, she has been devoted to delivering and improving health care in under-served communities. Dr. Toney has been recognized for her contributions to society by numerous organizations including being selected as a Torchbearer in the London Olympic Torch Relay.
MSN, MPH, MA-Bioethics, RN, PHN
Daniela Vargas, MSN, MPH, MA-Bioethics, RN, PHN, is a member of the Society of Latinx Nurses and is currently a Doctoral student at the University of San Francisco, pursuing a DNP with an emphasis in Population Health Leadership. Daniela believes that healthcare is a human right, and that the nursing profession has a responsibility to be at the table to advocate for vulnerable populations. She believes it is important to understand that we are all interdependent. If we don’t protect the poor and vulnerable, we are not far from implicating our own human rights. Daniela stands by Provision 1.1 of the Code of Ethics for Nurses: the nurse practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person and believes if we can’t follow provision one, which sets the foundation for the rest of the code of ethics, not only will we go against the code of nursing ethics but the ethics of human life by which we all live by as cohabiters of this world. As a nurse bioethicist, Daniela believes we need to teach ethics to nurses since it is at the core of our nursing profession and gives students the tools to mediate ethical issues in clinical practice, which can reduce moral distress in respecting the dignity of the patients nurses care for in healthcare settings. Daniela’s passion is working with underserved populations who have limited or no access to quality healthcare - primarily in women’s health rooted and centered in Reproductive Justice, teaching nursing ethics to the next generations of nurses, working on initiatives and projects that increase diversity in the nursing profession as well as being fully committed as a co-conspirator to implement anti-racist practices in healthcare and the nursing profession.
EdD, RN, FAAN
ANA Enterprise Senior Inclusion Advisor
Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, noted presenter and consultant, is currently a professor in the School of Nursing, Assistant Dean of Relational Excellence at the Adams School of Dentistry and formerly the Associate Vice -Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion/ Chief Diversity Officer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the end of 2019, she completed her presidency of the National League for Nursing, the voice for nursing education which has over 40,000 nurse educators and 1200 schools of nursing.
As one of nursing’s prominent thought leaders, guiding individuals in academic, corporate, health care and religious organizations in the exploration of marginalizing processes and lived experiences of difference, her expertise has and continues to be frequently sought. She has been appointed to transformative healthcare initiatives including the Commission of Workforce for Hospitals and Health Systems of the American Hospital Association, the Tri-Council of Nursing, and the National Quality Forum’s steering committee which developed the first national voluntary consensus standards for nursing-sensitive care. As the Senior Vice President for Clinical and Professional Services at the Tennessee Hospital Association and their first vice president of color for 2 decades, she designed and executed one of the nation’s first minority health administrators’ program, Agenda 21, which exists to this day. As a result, over 250 minority health care executives are serving and stewarding healthcare in the nation. Her passion for equity of opportunity and penchant for holding courageous dialogues to steward and promoting human flourishing is evident in all her encounters and characteristically describes her as a prophetic and caring leader.
Society of Latinx Nurses
Dr. Jackeline Biddle Richard is an Afro-Latina registered nurse, immigration attorney, nursing education leader, higher education consultant, and lifelong learner. She is a co-founder of the Society of Latinx Nurses, President of the El Paso Branch of the NAACP, founder of Soy Maravillosa: An Afro-Latinx Initiative, and recently recognized in her community as an emerging civil rights leader.
EdD, CNE, AGACNP-BC, ANEF, FAAN
Kenya V. Beard, EdD, AGACNP-BC, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, is a diversity science expert who has propagated research to strengthen diversity in nursing. Her equity workshops have been facilitated by the National League for Nursing and the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in Health Professions. She serves on the New York State Board for Nursing and the editorial board for the American Journal of Nursing.
Lucinda Canty is a nurse-midwife and Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Elaine Marieb College of Nursing. Her research interests include maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity, reducing racial health disparities in reproductive health, promoting diversity in nursing, and eliminating racism in nursing and midwifery. She is an artist, poet, historian, and founder of Lucinda’s House, an initiative to promote maternal health equity.
Representative, American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Dr. Brigit Carter is the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer joined American Association of Colleges in Nursing. She is Professor Emerita at Duke University School of Nursing. Her current educational research is focused on the experiences of students with microaggressions and developing strategies to mitigate the impact of microaggressions.
Representative, National Student Nurses' Association
Julia Chan is currently a 4th year BSN student at Penn State Main Campus. She serves as the Breakthrough to Nursing Director on the NSNA Board and was previously on the Student Nurses of Pennsylvania Board as NEC Central. After she graduates, she hopes to work in cardiac critical care and also go back to school to get a Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy.
Kahlil Demonbreun, DNP, RNC-OB, WHNP-BC, ANP-BC, FAANP, FAAN is currently a practicing WHNP and the Women’s Health Medical Director at the VA Health Care System in Columbia, SC. He is the AANP State Representative for South Carolina, serves on the AANP Health Policy Committee, Chair of the FAANP Selection Committee, women's health representative on the National Veterans Health Administration (VHA) APRN Council, Board of Directors for the NPWH, Co-Chair for the ANA Scopes and Standards 4th. Ed. Workgroup, Chair of the Columbia VA Health Care System APRN Committee, and Chair for the South Carolina Board of Nursing’s Advanced Practice Committee.
Representative, Press Ganey
As Press Ganey’s Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Jeff Doucette is responsible for helping clients transform the patient and caregiver experience. In this role, he works to develop nursing leaders, improve clinical quality and efficiency, and improve employee and caregiver engagement by playing an integral role in the company’s safety, clinical, and workforce initiatives.
President, Haitian Alliance Nurses Association International (HANA-I)
Dr. Marie O. Etienne is a thought leader on JDEI. She is a tenured Professor at Miami Dade College Benjamín Léon School of Nursing. She is a lifetime member of NBNA and President of the Haitian Alliance Nurses Association International (HANA-I). She serves as President-Elect of the Florida Nurses Association.
DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, FAAN
Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, FAAN is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. She served as an Organizational Affiliate Liaison to the ANA BOD and an inaugural commissioner for the National Commission. Dr. Fennimore contributed to the policy sub-committee, participated in a commission podcast, and facilitated an ANA webinar about actionable allyship.
PhD, RN, CCM, FAAOHN, FAADN
Representative, Organization for Associate Degree Nurses
Rick García, PhD, RN, CCM, FAAOHN, FNYAM, FAADN is passionate about innovations in nursing education and brings these skills and talents to his position of CEO at OADN. Rick has been inducted as Fellow to the New York Academy of Medicine, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Associate Degree Nursing.
Representative, Press Ganey
Nicole serves as director of the Nursing Center of Excellence at Press Ganey and partners with nurse leaders in the United States and internationally to provide guidance regarding patient experience, professional practice environments, and nurse engagement. Nicole is currently a 3rd year PhD student studying generational differences in nursing.
Marcus Henderson, MSN, RN is a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing where he teaches in the undergraduate psychiatric mental health and community health nursing courses. Marcus practices as an acute care child/adolescent psychiatric nurse. In 2019, he was elected to ANA Board and appointed to serve on the Future of Nursing 2030 Committee at the National Academies. Marcus holds a BSN and MSN in Health Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Representative, American Organization of Nursing Leadership
Jackie is a Principal with Vizient. She is a member of local and national professional nursing association and currently is on the Advisory/Board for Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions, Georgia State and Prevent Blindness National Board of Directors.
Dr. Kechi Iheduru-Anderson is the Inaugural Nursing Program Director and Professor at the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan. She is a current Fellow of the Association of Black Nurse Faculty (ABNF) Leadership & Public Policy Mentoring Fellowship. She had held other leadership positions in nursing practice and academia. Her research interests focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracism in nursing practice, leadership, and education. Dr. Iheduru-Anderson is a prolific writer, nurse, and student advocate.
Kim Kim, MSN, RN, CDCES is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and serves on the Board of Directors and as chair of the NAHN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She is a DNP and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner student at the University of Saint Joseph and works clinically as a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist for Moses Weitzman Health System.
Representative, International Academy of Nursing Editors / Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Nursing
Lourdes Moldre is a Nurse Executive Patient Care Director at UCSF. She has over 20 years of healthcare experience as a front-line RN, an acute care NP, and as a nurse leader. She was recognized by San Francisco Business Times as a 2022 honoree for 40 under 40 given, given to young leaders across the region. She is the Philippine Nurses Association of Northern California President-Elect.
Representative, National League for Nursing
Representative, American Association of Ambulatory Care Nursing
Dr. Kim Regis is a Vice President of Operations and Chief Nurse Executive of Ambulatory at a large pediatric organization. She serves on the Board of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses (AAACN) and Liaison to the DEI Committee of AAACN.
Representative, AARP/ Center to Champion Nursing in America
Dr. Reinhard is a senior VP at AARP, directing its Public Policy Institute. She leads PPI's Family Caregiving Initiatives and serves as the chief strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America, a national resource center created to ensure that America has the highly skilled nurses it needs to provide care in the future.
Representative, The Joint Commission
With more than 35 years in the nursing profession, Dr. Cynthia Samuel has turned her passion for child advocacy into a personal mission. As a recognized, respected, and award-winning health equity innovation strategist, she is committed to next-level change in how the medical community serves children and supports nurses.
Representative, Oklahoma Indigenous Nurses Association
Representative, National Council of State Boards of Nursing
Blake K. Smith, MSN, RN, practices as a Clinical Documentation Sr Analyst at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, NE. In his position, he leads all projects on Patient Education/Health Literacy, Plan of Care, Business Continuity Access, and Promoting Interoperability for the health system enterprise. Smith advocates for clinicians to be successful in delivering efficient and quality information to improve health outcomes in the Omaha community. He is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholar alum (2011-2012) and served as the first Chair of the New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Scholars Network as a founding member. He locally serves as a member of the Nebraska Action Coalition (NAC) Diversity Task Force and Leadership Committee and president of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce Emerging Professionals Program at Nebraska Medicine/University of Nebraska Medical Center. Smith is a leader in men’s health and male inclusion issues in the nursing profession and previously served as the youngest president for the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN) in its 46-year history.
Dr. Ekta Srinivasa has over a decade of healthcare experience in various capacities as a nurse, an educator, and a researcher. In 2021, she founded Improving Healthcare Culture, a nonprofit established to provide instrumental support to healthcare workers and organizations seeking to prevent and mitigate workplace violence (bullying, harassment, discrimination).
Representative, Academy of Medical-Surgical Nursing
Marisa Streelman DNP, RN, CMSRN, NE-BC, is the strategic advisor to the Chief Nurse Executive, at University of Michigan Health. Dr. Streelman has been an active member of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nursing (AMSN) for most of her nursing career, serving in multiple roles. Currently, she is serving as of President for AMSN through 2025.
Dr. Taha has been a strong vocal advocate for children & families, pediatric nursing, nursing faculty, and students for over 3 decades in clinical practice and academia. Currently, she is a professor and practicing clinician as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Dr. Taha chaired the inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion taskforce for the society of Pediatric Nurses and co-chaired the inaugural DEI committee for the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP). She served on the American Academy of Pediatrics-Bright Future taskforce to develop Health Equity Toolkit for Pediatric providers and families.
Dr. Taha is an immigrant from Jordan. Taha holds a BSN degree from Jordan University and MSN and PhD degrees in Nursing from Azusa Pacific University. She was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2018.
Dr. Roy Thompson was born and raised in Jamaica. In 2022, Dr. Thompson became a postdoctoral fellow at the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri. His research program is focused on improving nursing models of care delivery as a mechanism to address nursing staff shortages and health disparities among nursing home residents.
Representative, National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America
Dr. Ugorji is a nurse leader with administrative management skills leading programs from ADN – DNP and currently serves as the Chief Nurse Administrator at Metropolitan State University, MN. She serves as an external advisor to the MN Governor’s office on COVID-19 and Public Engagement and was a fellow with the CADFP. Dr. Ugorji has received several leadership awards, including the United States President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Community service, International Leadership Award from CAFBLC, & NANNNA Leadership Award.
Dr. Valdez is a Professor of Nursing at Sonoma State University and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Emergency Nursing. She has presented nationally on antiracism, bias, and DEI. Her research interests and publications include emergency nursing, DEI, bias, antiracism in nursing, and health equity.