Howard M. Nathan, President and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program and 1975 graduate of Juniata College, delivered the Commencement Address at Juniata College’s 143rd Commencement Ceremony. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Howard Nathan was introduced by 17-year-old liver transplant recipient Onyi Kenine, whose life-saving organ transplant was coordinated by Gift of Life. Watch the full Commencement Address in the video below.
A 1975 graduate of Juniata College, Howard Nathan is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on organ donation and transplantation. Nathan joined Gift of Life Donor Program in 1978 and has served as President and CEO since 1984. Under his leadership, he has grown Gift of Life to be the largest organ procurement organization (OPO) in the U.S., responsible for coordinating the most life-saving organ donations every year for the past 13 years. He is the longest-serving CEO of any OPO in the U.S.
In 2004, Nathan founded Gift of Life Institute, an international training center for organ and tissue donation professionals, offering comprehensive, interdisciplinary resources to increase donation outcomes, including skills-based learning, continuing education, collaborative research, and consulting services.
In 2011, Nathan founded Gift of Life Family House, which provides affordable lodging, meals, and supportive services for transplant patients and their families who travel to Philadelphia for transplant-related medical care.
As one of the world’s leading authorities on organ and tissue donation, Nathan has published more than 400 scientific papers and abstracts on organ and tissue donation. He has traveled to more than 30 countries to share best practices. Nathan serves on numerous national and international leadership boards and is frequently featured in the media.
Nathan has provided his expertise to many prestigious national and international organizations. He has served as President of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), Donate Life America and the International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement and has served on numerous other boards throughout his career. He received an appointment form the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation.
His advocacy and contributions to the scholarship of transplantation have been recognized with numerous awards from national and international organizations. Nathan is the recipient of many Lifetime Achievement Awards and was honored with Juniata’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2017.
Nathan’s dedication to Juniata includes volunteering at regional alumni events, serving as a Juniata Admissions Ambassador, and supporting Juniata job-shadowing programs for health professions students. He was awarded a Juniata Alumni Achievement Award in 2017. Nathan and his wife, Liz, also established a summer internship for Juniata students at Gift of Life.