LGDA Names New Executive Director

Photo of Dr. Michael KellyThe Lymphangiomatosis & Gorham’s Disease Alliance (LGDA) has selected Dr. Michael Kelly, the current Chief Medical Officer, as its new Executive Director. Dr. Kelly will succeed Jack Kelly, who is retiring at the end of May after nearly 14 years of leading the organization.

Dr. Kelly joined the LGDA as the Chief Medical Officer in 2020.  In that capacity, he has worked with leadership to develop and implement new programs that increase the voice of the patient community within the foundation and to build networks between the patient community, clinicians and scientists.  The LGDA is a patient advocacy organization founded to improve the lives of patients with Complex Lymphatic Anomalies (CLAs) through support, education, advocacy and research.

Dr. Kelly brings years of experience as a director of clinical and research programs focused on pediatric and young adult patients with rare diseases, including CLAs.

“I appreciate the board’s confidence in me, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead such a great organization. The LGDA is resilient and I know together we can continue to work with and for our patient community to stay focused on important issues that lead to improved quality of life and ultimately cures” Kelly said. “I’m especially grateful to Jack Kelly and Scot Wiesner for their guidance. The LGDA is strong today because of their tireless work over the past decade.”

As executive director, Kelly will work closely with the staff and the LGDA board to ensure the organization continues to meet the changing needs of the CLA patient community.  One of his first tasks as director will be to oversee the LGDA’s upcoming international conference on October 2 and 3, 2021. He will also lead efforts to improve LGDA governance, fundraising and outreach.

“It is such a hopeful time for the CLA and other rare disease communities” according to Kelly.  He stated, “New technologies have led to important biological discoveries.  Industry has shown a much greater interest in developing and improving patient access to new treatments.  The primary role of the LGDA is to keep the patient voice front and center while forging collaborations and partnerships that accelerate treatments and cures.”

Scot Wiesner, the Chairman of the Board for the LGDA stated “While we are very excited for Jack Kelly to be able to enjoy his retirement and be able to spend more time with his wonderful wife, we are just as excited to be welcoming Dr. Kelly as our new Executive Director. He has served our patient community as a personal doctor well before joining us as our Chief Medical Officer. The LGDA is in great hands.”.