Leadership

Timothy Higdon Selected to Lead Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) as New CEO

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Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), the largest nonprofit funder of hearing loss research in the U.S., announces the selection of Timothy Higdon as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Mr. Higdon succeeds Interim CEO Margo Amgott and assumes his new position on May 28, 2019.

Mr. Higdon’s appointment to CEO is the result of a thoughtful search process led by a search committee of clinicians, scientists, and other members of the HHF Board of Directors supported by Ms. Amgott. “Timothy’s record of accomplishments and commitment to HHF’s mission position him perfectly to lead this robust organization — which I’m grateful to have come to know over the past six months,” Ms. Amgott said today.

Mr. Higdon comes to HHF with 30 years of organizational leadership and fund development experience. He has led teams ranging in size from two people to 200 at prestigious nonprofit institutions with impressive results.

Most recently, he served as the Senior Director of Strategy and Development at NYU Langone Medical Center. He has held executive positions with Amnesty International, Girl Scouts of the USA, and CSS Fundraising.

Previously, he served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 18 years, where he attained the rank of Major. Like so many other veterans, Mr. Higdon lives with noise-induced hearing loss.

“I am honored to join an organization dedicated to the prevention and cure of hearing loss through scientific research. It is thrilling to join the HHF team and be a part of the solution for one of the nation’s most pressing public health concerns.”

Indeed, Mr. Higdon today becomes part of the effort to better the lives of 50 million Americans affected by this hidden disability. HHF funded the discoveries that birds, frogs, and fish can restore their own hearing once deafened, and now supports a consortium of scientists studying this process for replication in humans. HHF also funds projects that investigate hearing loss variants, like tinnitus, Ménière's disease, hyperacusis, and auditory processing disorder.

Mr. Higdon earned his master’s degree in public administration from NYU Wagner School of Public Service, and holds a Bachelor’s in Business Finance from Indiana University.

“I have tremendous confidence in Timothy to shape the future of HHF,” says Elizabeth Keithley, Ph.D., Chair of the Board. “As government funding for hearing research remains inadequate, I am enthusiastic Timothy and the staff will generate the resources and oversee the processes so urgently needed to support our talented scientific grantees. I look forward to working with the HHF team to advance our vision for a world with better hearing loss treatments and cures.”

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HHF Welcomes New Board Members in April 2017

By Nadine Dehgan

Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) is delighted to welcome Bob Shannon, Ph.D., and Ruth Anne Eatock, Ph.D., to our Board of Directors. Their unwavering commitment toward advancing research to better understand hearing loss and its associated disorders make Drs. Shannon and Eatock perfect additions to our leadership team.

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Dr. Robert Shannon is a research professor of otolaryngology at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine with over four decades of experience in researching auditory perception and psychoacoustics. He also serves as an editor and reviewer for several prominent scientific journals and funding agencies and has published more than 100 scientific articles on his research. Most recently Dr. Shannon has been a primary investigator on research studies that advance the technology and effectiveness of the auditory brainstem implant (ABI), an auditory prosthesis for people who have a non-functioning auditory nerve. The ABI is the first device approved by the Food and Drug Administration for prosthetic electrical stimulation of the human brainstem.

“I initially got involved with HHF (then DRF) by joining the Science Review Committee, to ensure the high quality of the research proposals, and later joined the Council of Scientific Trustees,” said Dr. Shannon. “Now I look forward to continued service on the HHF Board of Directors to have an integral role in pushing the Foundation’s research efforts forward.”

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Dr. Ruth Anne Eatock is a professor of neurobiology and the dean of Faculty Affairs for the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. She trained at McGill, Caltech, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and MIT, and has held academic positions in otolaryngology and neuroscience departments at University of Rochester, Baylor College of Medicine, and Harvard. She has experience mentoring students, fellows and clinical scientists in sensory processing by the inner ear, reviewing federal and private grant applications, editing and reviewing research papers, and organizing hearing research meetings.  These experiences have given her a broad appreciation of the progress and goals driving our diverse hearing research community.

Dr. Eatock notes: “My first independent grant was a Deafness Research Grant (now known as Emerging Research Grants), so I am well aware of the importance of such seed funding in helping new investigators establish themselves and advance hearing research.”

HHF is excited to have Drs. Bob Shannon and Ruth Anne Eatock as new members of our Board of Directors and we look forward to their contributions toward HHF’s mission. Please join us in giving them both a warm welcome!

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