FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                      

October 19, 2018


Deborah Pelaez,

Marketing and Communications Manager

(813) 400-2394






WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) announced results of their recent Board of Director Officer elections and leadership succession plan as it continues to expand their national education, public policy and advocacy operations.   Founded in 1969, AAKP is the oldest and largest fully independent kidney organization in the United States, with a majority patient-lead Board.  AAKP is a recognized leader in the defense of kidney patient consumer care choice and the advancement of engagement efforts aimed at including more patients in kidney disease research, clinical trials and government decisions related to the regulation and reimbursement of new kidney care biologics, diagnostics and devices.


The Association is proud to announce the new Officers of its National Board of Directors, whose terms will run through 2020:



Richard Knight, AAKP President stated, “As the incoming president of AAKP, it is an honor to serve my fellow patients with our 50th Anniversary Celebration Year well underway and significant events planned for 2019 both in Washington, D.C. and online nationwide.  Since our founding, AAKP has been the fully independent voice for kidney patients and today, based on our national strategy, our patient members are involved in nearly every policy process that impacts care for current kidney patients and those yet to be diagnosed.  As a patient who was diagnosed with kidney disease days before starting in-center hemodialysis and who was then fortunate enough to receive a living donor transplant, I am deeply committed to continuing AAKP efforts to protect patient care choice, increase early detection, slow disease progression and support private sector and government initiatives that will result in greater treatment options into the market.”  Mr. Knight, a former Congressional staffer and liaison to the Congressional Black Caucus and Co-Chair of the Government Contracting Council of the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber is a business strategy consultant and adjunct professor at Bowie State University, an HBCU.


Paul T. Conway, Immediate Past President of AAKP, was named Chair of Public Policy and Global Affairs and remains an AAKP Officer and Member of the Executive Committee.  Conway stated, “In 2014, my friend Richard Knight and I developed a new AAKP national strategy anchored in founding principles and communication technologies and shaped by our shared insights as patients and respective experiences in the federal Executive and Congressional Branches.  The AAKP Center for Patient Education and Research, Center for Patient Engagement and Advocacy and Veterans Health Initiative are strategy elements designed to connect kidney patients with civil servants, researchers, entrepreneurs and global enterprises at the intersection of innovation while simultaneously shaping relevant legislative, regulatory and reimbursement deliberations.  As AAKP accelerates strategy execution and expands assistance to global partners and patient advocates, we will continue to educate policy-influencers at every level where kidney patients share the inherent human desire to pursue aspiration without discrimination, and for freedom to exercise choice in the care decisions that impact their lives and livelihoods.”  Conway, a former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor and agency Chief of Staff for the Department of Homeland Security, has managed kidney disease for thirty-eight years, and, for the past twenty-two years, as a transplant recipient.


Diana Clynes, AAKP Executive Director, stated, “The AAKP National Board of Directors is comprised of a diverse group of individuals who lend their strengths, expertise and personal networks to advance the mission of the Organization and support the U.S kidney patient population. Each individual on our Board has been impacted by kidney disease in some capacity – whether personally as a patient or as a family member or caregiver. This year’s Officers are a great representation of the full Board and have served as leadership of AAKP previously under the direction of Immediate Past President, Paul T. Conway.  It’s truly an honor to serve alongside the men and women that make up AAKP’s Executive Leadership and Board.”


Knight and Conway are 2017 recipients of the President’s Medal awarded by the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), the largest kidney professional organization in the world, for their efforts to elevate the patient voice in national policy decisions before the U.S. Congress ( Under their leadership, AAKP Board Members and patient members have played key roles in the expansion of patient involvement in top federal kidney research and innovation programs including the Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP) at the National Institutes of Health/ National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH/NIDDK) as well as KidneyX, the Kidney Innovation Accelerator, a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and ASN.

To join AAKP in celebrating its 50th Anniversary, visit and follow us on Facebook @kidneypatient and Twitter @kidneypatients.