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National Center for Ethics in Health Care


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Anita Tarzian, PhD, RN: Deputy Executive Director

Anita Tarzian

Dr. Anita J. Tarzian joined the National Center for Ethics in Health Care as deputy executive director in June 2020. Prior to this appointment, she was an ethics and research consultant in Baltimore, Maryland and an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She served for over two decades as the program coordinator for the Maryland Healthcare Ethics Committee Network, a regional ethics membership-supported initiative of the University of Maryland School of Law that serves health care ethics committee members.

A former surgical oncology nurse, hospice nurse, and Peace Corps Volunteer (Dominican Republic 1990–92), her professional work has focused on clinical and research ethics, palliative care, hospice, and disability rights. She served as an institutional review board (IRB) chair and board member at Advarra IRB (formerly Chesapeake IRB) in Columbia, MD. She has had various service roles with the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and has served on numerous ethics committees.

Dr. Tarzian has published and presented widely in the bioethics literature. Creighton University’s Center for Health Policy and Ethics recognized her contributions as a nurse scholar in ethics in their Nursing Legacy project. In 2019, she was elected as a fellow of The Hastings Center, a nonpartisan bioethics research institution founded in 1969.

Career Chronology


Deputy Executive Director, NCEHC, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC


Ethics and Research Consultant, Baltimore, MD


Associate professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Nursing,
Family & Community Health, Baltimore, MD


Hospice nurse, Visiting Nurses Association Hospice of Maryland


Hospice nurse, Joseph Richey Hospice, Baltimore, MD

1986–1990; 1993

Staff nurse, Medical/Surgical Oncology, Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center



PhD, Nursing (Ethics), University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD


Master of Science, Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD


Bachelor of Science, Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, IL


Bachelor of Arts (Biology), Knox College, Galesburg, IL