The NAA recently welcomed six new board members, a significant expansion to the NAA Board of Directors. The reason? We wanted to bring new expertise to lead the way on several upcoming board initiatives. These new board members are helping to expand our outreach and collaborations plus developing new programs to better serve the needs of the aphasia community.


Each new member brings professional and personal expertise to the organization. We are delighted to welcome them and look forward to working together as a board to fulfill our mission of promoting public awareness and understanding of aphasia and providing support to all people with aphasia and their caregivers.

Doreen Mendez

Doreen brings expertise in marketing and corporate communications developed through her work in the telecommunications, broadcasting, and consumer electronics industries. Since her stroke in 2012, she has dedicated herself to aphasia advocacy and helping to bring awareness of aphasia to the general public. She will continue this effort as a board member.

Lauren Wisniewski

Lauren is the founder of Rise Consulting Company, empowering nonprofits to maximize their impact through Lean principles. Lauren has worked with a range of nonprofit organizations in roles from prospect analytics to event management to Major Gift fundraising. She also serves on the Board of the Michigan Lean Consortium.

Swathi Kiran

Swathi Kiran is James and Cecelia Ying Professor of Neurorehabilitation in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences and the Associate Dean for Research at the College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University. She is also the co-founder and scientific advisor for Constant Therapy, a software platform for rehabilitation tools after brain injury.

Thomas G. Broussard, Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. Thomas Broussard is a three-time stroke survivor, author, and the Johnny Appleseed of Aphasia Awareness. Dr. Broussard was previously a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, a shipbuilder, a business owner in career development and training as well an Associate Dean at The Heller School at Brandeis University. Broussard has written four books about stroke and aphasia: Stroke Diary, A Primer for Aphasia Therapy (Vol 1); Stroke Diary, The Secret of Aphasia Recovery (Vol 2) and Stroke Diary, Just So Stories, How Aphasia Got Its Language Back (Vol 3) (Gold 2018 FAPA President’s Book Award) and recently The ABCs of Aphasia: A Stroke Primer.

Roy Hamilton, MD, MS

Dr. Roy Hamilton is a tenured Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania with a secondary appointment in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is the Director of Penn’s Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation (LCN) and is also the Director of the Penn Brain Science, Translation, Innovation and Modulation Center (brainSTIM). In addition to his research and clinical activities, Dr. Hamilton has been recognized nationally for his work in diversity in the fields of academic medicine and neurology.

Kurt Watkins

Kurt brings a wealth of experience in contract, privacy, and corporate transactional law, including the successful completion of venture capital lead fundraising rounds for startups as well as mid-sized companies. Kurt has also negotiated myriad service and license agreements between these companies and their Fortune 100 customers. He will be assisting the NAA’s board with its various legal affairs.