Neil Thakur, Ph.D. brings more than two decades of experience as a public-health expert to the fight against ALS. He serves as the Chief Mission Officer for The ALS Association, where he leads their research, care services, and advocacy programs. Before joining the Association, Dr. Thakur served in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of the Director, making NIH research more impactful. He managed the world’s largest policy to make biomedical research papers publicly accessible and co-chaired the White House task force that led to the requirement that all federal science agencies adopt similar policies. He also spent a year on detail to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, focusing on effective long-term health care. Prior to his time at NIH, Dr. Thakur was Assistant Director of Health Services Research and Development at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Thakur has received numerous federal awards, including the Secretary for Health and Human Services’ award for Meritorious Service, the second-highest award that the Secretary can bestow. Dr. Thakur holds a Ph.D. in Health Policy from the Yale University School of Public Health and completed a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) postdoctoral fellowship in mental-health services research at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.