Julie Khani


Julie Khani became president of the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA), the largest organization representing the public policy interests of laboratories, in 2017.  Khani joined ACLA in July 2013 as senior vice president and was named executive vice president in 2016.

Khani leads ACLA’s efforts to advance public policies that promote innovation and protect and enhance patient access to life-improving and life-saving diagnostics.  ACLA members represent the diversity of the clinical laboratory industry and include national, regional, specialty, hospital, ESRD, anatomic pathology, skilled nursing facility and academic medical center laboratories.

Ms. Khani is recognized as an effective leader, consensus builder, and advocate.  Prior to joining ACLA, she served in senior roles at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).  During her tenure at NACDS, she was instrumental in the inclusion of pharmacy access standards in Medicare Part D, establishing incentives for TRICARE beneficiaries to obtain immunizations at retail pharmacies, and played a leading role in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act provisions on Medicaid reimbursement for generic drugs.

Previously, Khani served as legislative manager at Ford Motor Company, where she was responsible for health and labor issues and the company’s political action committee.  Before joining Ford Motor Company, Ms. Khani was associate director, government relations at Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, where she managed several successful statewide campaigns on health and welfare issues.  She holds a bachelor of arts from New York University and a master of public administration from George Washington University.

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David Cooling

Director of Government Relations

David Cooling began at ACLA as Director of Government Relations in February 2017. Prior to joining ACLA, David Cooling worked as a consultant analyzing legislation and regulations for health plans, hospitals, and physician practices. He also served as Director of State and Federal Policy for the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance where he helped to delay the medical device excise tax and stave off medical imaging reimbursement cuts. He has previously worked for companies, coalitions, and elected officials implementing strategic communications, advocacy, and fundraising campaigns.

He graduated from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, where he received his Master of Business Administration and studied health economics and pharmaceutical and medical device regulation. He received his undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Iowa.

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JoAnne Glisson

Senior Vice President

JoAnne joined ACLA in April of 1996 as Director of Government Relations and was named Senior Vice President in 2004.  Prior to her tenure at ACLA, JoAnne held government affairs positions at Stanford University, Kaiser Permanente, and Monsanto Company.  Earlier in her career, she was a professional staff member of health committees in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

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Cheryl Hawkins

Executive Administrator

Cheryl Hawkins, Administrator, has been employed with ACLA since June 1996. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of ACLA's Washington office, and is the primary contact for all membership and office issues. Before joining ACLA, Ms. Hawkins was a Legislative Assistant for the government affairs office of Meridian Oil, Inc from 1992 to 1995. Prior to Meridian Oil, Inc., Ms. Hawkins was a Government Affairs Assistant for the American Petroleum Institute (API) from 1985-1992.

Cheryl attended Prince Georges' Community College and the University of Maryland. She has been an active member of Executive Women International (EWI) since 1992, and currently serves on the Corporate Board of Directors.  EWI is a global, professional women's organization (headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah) with an equal focus on Connections, Careers, and Community.

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Peter M. Kazon

Legal Counsel

Peter M. Kazon is a senior counsel in Alston & Bird's Washington, D.C. office concentrating on health care law and policy. Peter counsels health care providers on regulatory issues, especially matters involving Medicare reimbursement, Stark self-referral, fraud and abuse, food and drug law and antitrust. He also specializes in advising clinical laboratories and companies furnishing diagnostic services and products on regulatory issues.

He advises companies on compliance with the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and its recent amendments, including premarket approval and clearance requirements, and related coverage, coding and reimbursement issues. He has extensive experience in hospital staff privilege matters and in third-party payor and Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues. A frequent speaker on health care issues, Peter's recent presentations include: "Genetic Tests, Pharmacogenomics and Drug Development,"BIO 2004 (June 2004); "Protecting Electronic Health Data: The New HHS Security Requirements,"Beckman Coulter Symposia 2004 (May 2004); "Medical Necessity Denials, Policy Determinations and Appeals," Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Payment Issues Program, presented by the American Health Lawyers Association (March 2004); "Congress Approves Medicare Reform: What's The Bottom-Line For Labs, Pathologists & Hospitals in 2004?"Washington G-2 Reports (December 2003). He is the author of "Doing Business with the New Medicare — A Policy Guide for Clinical Laboratory Testing,"published by Washington G-2 Reports (2004). After receiving a B.A., magna cum laude, from Tufts University in 1975, Peter earned his J.D. from Temple University in 1978, where he served on the staff of the Temple Law Quarterly. Peter is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and Maine and is a member of the bar associations in each of those jurisdictions. He is also a member of the American Health Lawyers Association.

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Alan Mertz

Special Advisor

Alan Mertz became Special Advisor to ACLA in January 2017, providing advisory functions to the ACLA President and working on several special projects for ACLA.   He is the immediate past-President of ACLA, serving in that role from 2003 until his retirement as President in 2016.    From 1998 to 2003, he was Executive Vice President and served as Acting President of the Healthcare Leadership Council.   From 1980 to 1998 Alan served in three senior staff positions in the US Senate and US House of Representatives.


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Paul Sheives

Vice President, Reimbursement & Regulatory Policy

Mr. Sheives is the Vice President, Reimbursement & Regulatory Policy at the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA), a Washington, D.C.-based association that represents the nation’s leading clinical laboratories on federal and state government policies impacting the industry. Its diverse membership consists of national, regional, esoteric, hospital and nursing home laboratories that perform millions of tests each year to the benefit of patients. With a background in molecular biology, regulatory law, and reimbursement counseling, Mr. Sheives has represented companies throughout the spectrum of biotechnology. Prior to ACLA, Mr. Sheives was the Director of Diagnostics and Personalized Medicine Policy at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Before BIO, Mr. Sheives practiced in two large, international law firms as a legal associate in the areas of FDA and reimbursement law, and prior to that a regulatory science advisor. He holds a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, a M.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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Thomas Sparkman

Vice President Government Affairs

Tom Sparkman was named Vice President for Government Relations in March 2013. Prior to joining ACLA, Mr. Sparkman was a senior lobbyist at a top lobbying firm in Washington representing biotech and medical device innovators, hospitals and other providers, among others. Joining the firm in 2008, he helped build coalitions on and off Capitol Hill to achieve his client’s legislative and policy goals.

Mr. Sparkman has also held positions with the National Association of State Medicaid Directors, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, in addition to being a practicing pharmacist in Northern Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Rutgers University, a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University, and a Juris Doctor from American University and is licensed as a pharmacist and attorney in the Commonwealth of Virginia

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Andrew Young


Andrew Young joined the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) as Coordinator in 2017 having graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Public and Environmental Affairs. Prior to joining ACLA, Andrew served as the Wayne Townsend Legislative Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly working on a number of policy issues from health care to fiscal policy. Following his time in the Senate, Andrew worked as a political consultant and organizer helping run various ground campaigns across the country leading up to the 2016 election.

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