Government Relations Committee

Recommends priorities for the Academy's federal and state advocacy agendas and directs member efforts to influence health policy.

Chair: Nicholas Elwood Johnson, MD

Vice-Chair: James N. Goldenberg, MD, FAAN

Staff Liaison: Amy Kaloides, Senior Director, Advocacy


The American Academy of Neurology's Government Relations Committee (GRC) determines the AAN's advocacy agenda and directs member efforts to influence health policy on the federal and state levels. It evaluates and makes recommendations to the AAN Board of Directors on federal and state advocacy priorities and develops formal advocacy positions on key issues. The committee also oversees the AAN's advocacy and outreach programs, including Neurology on the Hill, the Donald M. Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum, and support for state neurological societies. Finally, the committee is tasked with member education and promotion of the AAN's advocacy activities. 


  • Meetings:
    • Attend three GRC meetings each year.
      • Consistent inability to attend meetings may affect continuation of committee membership.
    • Participate in Neurology on the Hill.
    • If available, attend advocacy events during the AAN's Annual Meeting.
    • Participate on GRC and work group conference calls as necessary.
  • Participate on one of the GRC work groups.
  • Be familiar with major health care policy issues, including those specific to neurology.
  • Assist in identifying legislative issues of importance to neurology.
  • Assist in recommending the annual legislative priorities for the AAN.
  • If requested, participate in the drafting of advocacy issue position statements for approval by the AAN Board of Directors.
  • Guide the evolution and implementation of key initiatives including:
    • Strategic planning for state and federal legislative activities
    • Outreach to and involvement of state neurological societies and state medical societies
    • Neurology on the Hill
    • Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum
    • State Society Leadership Roundtable
  • Create and maintain personal relationships with members of Congress and their staffs.
  • Create personal relationships with local legislators and/or state medical society legislative committees or staff.
  • Use the AAN's congressional contact website, the Advocacy Action Center, at least annually and regularly respond to AAN action alerts.
  • Participate in discussions and votes on the GRC listserv.
  • Help educate AAN members about GRC activities and programs.  


Committee members are appointed by the AAN president-elect and may serve up to three, two-year terms. The chair and vice-chair may serve up to an additional three, two-year terms.

Meeting Schedule
The GRC meets in January (Friday-Saturday), in Washington, DC, the day before Neurology on the Hill in the spring (Sunday-Tuesday) and again in the late summer or fall (Friday-Saturday) in Minneapolis.

Estimated Time Commitment
Four to six hours per month in addition to one conference call per month and three in-person meetings a year.

Committee Composition
The Government Relations Committee is made up of 17 voting members, including:

  • A chair and vice chair
  • A graduate of the Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum
  • One pediatric neurologist
  • Members with a strong interest in advocacy