The National Certification Commission (NCCAOM) has appointed Dr. Debra Persinger to serve as the organization's interim chief executive officer. Dr. Persinger was named to the position following the death of Christina S. Herlihy, PhD, who passed away March 23 after a brief battle with cancer.
"We are still shocked by the passing of our dear friend Chris," said NCCAOM Board Chair Daniel Jiao. "Her dedication and contribution to NCCAOM were unmatched.
Her leadership was brilliant. We will all miss her very much."
Dr. Herlihy had served as the NCCAOM's CEO since 1997.
"We believe that Chris would be honored to be succeeded by her good friend and colleague, Dr. Debra Persinger," Jiao continued. "She has been with the organization longer than any other senior staff. Debra is eminently qualified for this position, and the board is grateful that she has accepted her new role as interim CEO ... We are confident that Debra will lead us forward with all the intelligence, integrity and insight that she has exhibited in her eight years with NCCAOM."
Dr. Persinger joined NCCAOM in 1996. Born in New Zealand, she attended Kansas State University, earning a PhD in human services. Before accepting the position of interim CEO, she served as the commission's executive director of operations, and was originally hired to be its director of examination development.
"I want to assure those in our community that NCCAOM will continue to move forward with our mission," said Dr. Persinger. "I have taken up the torch, strengthened by the knowledge that Chris carried it before me."