Emerging Leaders Forum

Become a part of the AAN's next generation of leaders! The Emerging Leaders Forum is designed to identify, orient, and cultivate future leaders of the world's largest professional association of neurologists.


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“The Emerging Leaders Forum offers a tremendous opportunity to get immersed in AAN activities. The past classes have found this program to be exhilarating. Several graduates of the forum have become senior leaders of the AAN, including a chair of a major committee and a member of the Board of Directors. Nearly all have had the opportunity to serve in important AAN assignments. I am sure a number of others will go on to senior roles at the AAN. For those who wish an intense program in leadership and hope to be a leader of US neurology, this is a great program for you. I highly recommend it.”

Terrence L. Cascino, MD, FAAN
AAN President

Eligible candidates must be AAN members 45 years of age or younger as of December 31, 2015, or no more than 13 years out of training.

Up to 12 applicants will be selected for the 10-month program, which begins October 13 in Las Vegas, just prior to the AAN Fall Conference. The program consists of:

Leadership Retreats:

  • October 13-14, 2015, Las Vegas, NV (prior to the 2015 AAN Fall Conference)
  • April 15-16, 2016, Vancouver, BC, Canada (in conjunction with the 2016 AAN Annual Meeting)
  • June 24-25, 2016, Minneapolis, MN (AAN Headquarters, in conjunction with the AAN/AANI Board of Directors Meeting)


Participants will be given a unique opportunity to engage with AAN leaders. The program includes four “touch point” phone calls between mentor/participant, with a fifth face-to-face meeting at the mentor's institution or clinical practice. Both parties determine the mentoring session topics.

A select group of former Emerging Leaders Forum graduates will also serve in an advisory role throughout the duration of the program.

Group Project

Over the course of the program, participants will gain service experience within the AAN by participating in an assigned group project to the benefit of the Academy and its membership. Participants will be expected to take part in monthly one-hour conference calls related to their project. Advisors selected from former graduating classes will assist participants throughout the process.


The program concludes with a two-day meeting held in conjunction with the June AAN/AANI Board of Directors meeting, where Forum graduates will present findings of their assigned project to the board. A graduation celebration will take place Saturday night, June 25, with Board members, Mentors, and Executive Staff in attendance.


All travel and meeting-related costs are paid for or reimbursed by the American Academy of Neurology.

Key Program Dates
  • Applications Open: June 15, 2015
  • Application Deadline: August 3, 2015
  • Notification Deadline: September 15, 2015
  • Meeting One: October 13-14, 2015, Las Vegas, NV (prior to the 2015 AAN Fall Conference)
  • Meeting Two: April 15-16, 2016, Vancouver, BC, Canada (in conjunction with the 2016 AAN Annual Meeting)
  • Meeting Three: June 24-25, 2016, Minneapolis, MN (AAN Headquarters, in conjunction with the AAN/AANI Board of Directors Meeting)



Sixteen AAN members were selected for the 2015 Emerging Leaders Forum.

Emerging LeadersMentors
Erika Fullwood Augustine, MDAnn Tilton, MD, FAAN
Stacey Clardy, MD, PhDJanice Massey, MD, FAAN
Prabhu Dayal Emmady, MDNeil Busis, MD, FAAN
Amanda C. Guidon, MDCarlayne Jackson, MD, FAAN
Deborah Hall, MD, PhDJanis Miyasaki, MD, FAAN
Ihtsham Haq, MDCindy Comella, MD, FAAN
Lyell K. Jones, MDTerry Cascino, MD, FAAN
Adam Kelly, MDJohn Morris, MD, FAAN
Shannon M. Kilgore, MDRobert C. Griggs, MD, FAAN
Mia T. Minen, MDLisa DeAngelis, MD, FAAN
Augusto A. Miravalle, MDAaron Miller, MD, FAAN
Tamara M. Pringsheim, MDAllison Brashear, MD, FAAN
Alexander PantelyatBob Gross, MD, FAAN
Kevin N. Sheth, MDRalph Sacco, MD, FAAN
Parthasarathy Thirumala, MDJim Stevens, MD, FAAN
David B. Watson, MDRalph Jozefowicz, MD, FAAN

I have found the ELF program to be very rewarding... any neurologist looking for a professional development opportunity should consider applying.

~ Lyell Jones, MD

Participation in the ELF program has been an incredibly valuable and rewarding experience. In addition to getting to work with much of the current and future leadership of the AAN, I've learned so much about being a leader, working as a group toward a common goal, and appreciating the different talents people bring to the table. Anyone interested in AAN involvement, local leadership, or just growing professionally should strongly consider the ELF program.

~ David Watson, MD

Connecting with a mentor who was nationally recognized as a leader in our field who was engaging, available, and inspiring has been one of the hallmarks of the program!

~ Kevin Sheth, MD

The ways in which the ELF program has enriched my professional life are countless. I have most enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with AAN staff and leadership, as it has provided an in-depth look at how the AAN functions, and I now know immediately who to call when I have a question or concern. The friendships formed with my ELF classmates were also an unexpected benefit and have made the experience so fun."

~ Shannon Kilgore, MD


The 2015 Emerging Leaders Forum is supported in part by in-kind grants from:



Past participants of the Emerging Leaders Forum have formed an alumni group, with four main responsibilities:

  1. Maintain involvement with previous Emerging Leader Forum graduates
  2. Involvement with future classes
  3. Continued involvement with the AAN, specifically with the board and other leadership / committees
  4. Creation and continuation of a recognition award for outstanding leadership by an ELF alumnus

The Emerging Leaders Alumni Group is currently led by Allison L. Weathers, MD; Wendy Galpern, MD; Jennifer Molano, MD; James Noble, MD; Yolanda Holler, MD; and Mill Etienne, MD.

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