The AAO announced the inaugural leaders for its National Advocacy Network, Component Advocacy Liaison and Political Action Committee.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) announced the inaugural leaders for the AAO National Advocacy Network (NAN) Component Advocacy Liaison (CAL) and AAO Political Action Committee (AAOPAC) Captain roles.

Each Component Advocacy Liaison (CAL) will serve as a chief advocacy contact for his or her component within the United States (including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia) and Canadian provinces to support AAO priorities, including policy action for items with potential to impact orthodontists and patients.

The AAOPAC Captains will lead state-level AAOPAC fund-raising in their states and help recruit other leaders to help build this important committee.

From the NAN’s inception in the fall of 2022, the AAO Council on Government Advocacy (COGA), the AAOPAC board, and the AAO advocacy team have worked to interview a list of candidates for these leadership positions, compiled from self-nomination, AAO eBulletin promotion, AAO leadership outreach and referrals, and other nominations.

There are now 18 confirmed Component Advocacy Liaisons, 2 members of state CAL teams, and 5 AAOPAC captains who will work in this new volunteer leadership capacity to help lead the advocacy work of the AAO today and into the future. The AAO also recognized the NAN volunteer leadership in the state of North Dakota, the first state to have NAN representation in both the CAL and AAOPAC captain roles (followed soon after by Utah filling both roles).

Ernest Goodson, DDS of North Carolina, is the first state regulatory captain for any state within the National Advocacy Network and will be helping specifically to monitor state dental board action and other regulations in coordination with North Carolina’s CAL, Kelly Mitchell DDS, MS.

Recruitment and interviewing continue with volunteer leadership candidates for both roles. Where a NAN volunteer leader has been confirmed, the AAO will look to continue to build teams across the state (or province, for CALs) to fully support advocacy and AAOPAC work.

Photo 47813049 © Jon Bilous |