National Kidney Donation Organization Announces Multiple Personnel Changes

Updated on March 5, 2023

The National Kidney Donation Organization (NKDO), the nation’s largest education and advocacy group for living kidney donors, recently announced several personnel changes, all effective March 1. 

Ned Brooks, the founder and previous NKDO CEO, is transitioning the CEO role to Matt Cavanaugh. Brooks will remain as the Chairman of the NKDO Board. Since his 2015 non-directed kidney donation at Weill Cornell Medicine, Brooks has been a passionate advocate who gave a TED Talk about leveraging social media to promote altruistic kidney donations. His belief that no one speaks to someone interested in living kidney donation better than another donor led him to form the nonprofit Donor to Donor, which eventually grew into the National Kidney Donation Organization. 

Cavanaugh, named NKDO President on January 1, 2023, will add CEO responsibilities to his role.  Cavanaugh is a retiring US Army lieutenant colonel with a distinguished military career. He is a combat veteran and the recipient of two Bronze Stars and was the 2009 U.S. Army Athlete of the Year. His writings have been featured in the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times, among other outlets. Cavanaugh was a non-directed kidney donor at Walter Reed in September 2021.

On the announcement, Cavanaugh shared, “without Ned Brooks, there would be no NKDO, and without NKDO there would be literally hundreds of lives lost. To work with Ned is an honor, and I’ll do my very best to live up to the special responsibility and privilege of leading NKDO into the future.”  

In addition to her role as Executive Director, Lisa Emmott will also serve as the NKDO Board Secretary. Emmott joined NKDO in 2018. Since then, Emmott has elevated the visibility of NKDO by managing their social media presence and working to build and enhance relationships between the NKDO, transplant centers, and the National Kidney Registry. 

Finally, Dr. Anthony Watkins, a nationally recognized transplant surgeon, has been appointed to the NKDO Board of Directors. Dr. Watkins is the Surgical Director of Kidney Transplant within the Transplant Institute at Tampa General Hospital (TGH), a national leader in life-saving organ transplants. He also serves as Associate Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgery at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

NKDO is the largest living kidney donor organization in the country, devoted to eliminating the wait list for kidney transplants and protecting the interests of living donors. For more information about the National Kidney Donation Organization, contact NKDO’s Executive Director, Lisa Emmott, at [email protected].

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