John Colbert, Esq.
John became Executive Director of ASAHP in 2012 after the retirement of long time Executive Director Thomas W. Elwood, who stills serves as Editor in Chief of our Journal of Allied Health. Prior to becoming Executive Director, John was a consultant to ASAHP for many years and has nearly two decades of experience in both workforce and higher education issues, serving in the Executive branch, as well as working with Congress.
As a senior official in the Clinton Administration, he served both as an agency Chief of Staff and legislative liaison with Congress. He has been instrumental in helping ASAHP expand the scope of allied health programming, activities, and loan forgiveness as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as the array of funding activities for which ASAHP members are eligible at the federal level.
A co-founder of the consulting and advocacy firm Capitol Hill Partners, John previously acted as an advisor to the former Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland, focusing on fostering the Irish peace process. He also was a legal advisor on “Mr. Justice Brennan,” an award-winning documentary on former Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan. He is a graduate of Holy Cross College, received the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick full tuition scholarship for a Master’s degree in Political Science from the Catholic University of America, and holds a law degree from Georgetown University.
Thomas W. Elwood, Dr. P.H.
Thomas W. Elwood served as Executive Director of ASAHP from 1993-2012 and remains as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Allied Health. His earlier positions include serving as a Deputy Director at the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Cancer Center, Director of Scientific Programs at the American Public Health Association, and chief health lobbyist while on the staff at AARP.
He has been a World Health Organization Fellow and was selected to study the health systems of England, Denmark, and Sweden. He has served as a consultant to various governmental agencies including the National Cancer Institute, Veterans Health Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, Administration on Aging, and private sector organizations, including the National Council for International Health.
He also was one of three persons awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the nation’s largest academic health science center, in 2000 and the first person in allied health to be so honored by that institution. A Past President of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP), he also has served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors as Treasurer of the National Health Council.
The author of dozens of professional papers in peer review journals and book chapters, he became Editor of the Journal of Allied Health in July 2008 and currently serves on the editorial board of another health publication. In addition, he is the author of two books, “A View From Washington: Federal Policy in Relation to Allied Health over Two Decades” (2009) and “An Overview of Health Care and the Health Professions – Changing Demographics and Health Reform” (2012).
Jacoby Lawrence is ASAHP’s Director of Legislative Affairs and Program Services, providing a host of association management assistance to our association, while also educating our membership about key issues in both higher education and health care, in addition to working in coalitions with other health education associations in support of allied health. His prior experience includes internships in the House of Representatives, the Research Department of a national political party, and a state assembly campaign.
Jacoby received his Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and his Master’s in Public Administration from the Trachtenberg School at the George Washington University.
Kristen Truong is ASAHP's Director of Public Affairs, where she manages communications, plans the Annual Conference, and monitors issues on Capitol Hill and in the federal government. She previously worked on a federal budget process reform project and on a NASA research project about emerging spaceflight companies.
She received her Bachelor's in International Relations from the University of South Florida, and her Master's in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Financial Management from American University.