Richard Birkel

Richard Birkel is a public health activist, an advocate for individuals and families living with chronic illness and disability, a non-profit leader and leading authority on evidence-based practices in health and mental health systems. He speaks and consults frequently in the US and internationally.  As Sr. VP of Healthy Aging at National Council on Aging (NCOA), Birkel oversees the Center for Healthy Aging, the Self-Management Alliance, Community Health Education and a range of initiatives in behavioral health, falls prevention, and chronic disease management all designed to build community capacity and move evidence-based health promotion programs into widespread practice. 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 (NAMI) and President of the Lt. J.P. Kennedy Institute in Washington, DC. He has also served on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Maryland, University College.  Birkel received his B.A. from Yale and a Masters in Public Administration and Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Virginia.

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