american association of colleges of nursing | the voice of academic nursing | Nursing Advancement Professionals (NAP) Conference | Transform. connect. learn. lead

Darlene J CurleyDarlene J. Curley, EdD

Adjunct Professor at Columbia University

Dr. Darlene J. Curley is a distinguished figure and thought leader in the healthcare policy and finance space who has transformed the lives of both vulnerable populations and broader communities through direct service delivery, infrastructure development, legislative action, and innovative partnerships. During the course of an illustrious career, she has founded and grown healthcare businesses as a Chief Executive Officer, served as a trusted advisor and consultant to C-level leaders and Boards of Directors, was elected to multiple terms in the Maine State Legislature, and has been appointed to chair or serve on multiple high-profile industry boards and commissions, including by a United States Senator and the governors of Maine and Utah.

Presently, she serves as the Chair of the Utah Governor’s Commission on Aging and the Foundation for Academic Nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and is a Fellow with the New York Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Nursing. Her prior appointments include the US Senator’s Aging Task Force to Review the Older Americans Act, the Hunter College School of Public Health Advisory Board, The National Academy of Sciences Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education, and several public-private initiatives for the State of Maine and New England. She has worked closely with corporate clients in the development of long-term visions, governance frameworks, capital transactions, strategic partnerships, policy management, and risk management.

Her professional experience includes founding and managing Western Maine’s first and most successful local Medicare/Medicaid-funded home healthcare agency, a decade and a half in management consulting, executive roles in strategy with Encompass Health, and a transformative tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of Jonas Philanthropies. She has consistently been recognized for her ability to align stakeholders around a mission, elevating organizational agility, fostering win-win partnerships, and identifying and activating the levers for success.

Kate JudgeKate Judge

Executive Director of the American Nurses Foundation

Kate Judge has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the areas of healthcare and non-profit communication, resource generation and management. Her work has supported large and small organizations in education, healthcare, and human service within the United States and abroad.

She became the Executive Director of the American Nurses Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association and American Nurses Credentialing Center, in 2012 to lead its expansion.  The Foundation now has a diverse program portfolio focusing on transformation of the profession including improving nurse health, expanding nurse leadership, and influencing health policy.   She has helped launch national campaigns including:  the Nurses on Boards Coalition in 2015, Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation campaign in 2017, the COVID-driven Well-Being Initiative in 2020 and the Reimagining Nursing grant program in 2021.  She also served as Executive Producer for Defining Hope, a documentary about end of life and the unique expertise of nurses.

Prior to leading the Foundation, she served as Assistant Dean at both the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing and School of Veterinary Medicine.  She has also directed development and communications at the American Red Cross in Southeastern Pennsylvania and at the national Red Cross organization in DC.   As a volunteer, she served on the board of Face-to-Face, a human services organization in Philadelphia and as President of Mishkan Shalom, a synagogue with a social mission in Philadelphia.

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