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National Center for Ethics in Health Care

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NCEHC Leadership


Toby Schonfeld, PhD: Executive Director
(Washington, DC)

Toby Schonfeld

Dr. Toby Schonfeld joined NCEHC as executive director in March 2020, having served as the Deputy Executive Director from 2016-2018. In between VA assignments, she directed Prime Review Board, where she was responsible for the oversight, maintenance, and improvement of the Human Research Protection Program. She began her government service at the Environmental Protection Agency, where she served as the Human Subjects Research Review Official from 2014-2016. Dr. Schonfeld spent the first part of her career in academic medicine, first at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and then at Emory University, where she also directed the Master of Arts in Bioethics Program. Dr. Schonfeld is a national leader in bioethics and is the President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. The second edition of her co-edited book (w/D. Micah Hester), Guidance for Healthcare Ethics Committees (Cambridge University Press), was published in 2022. She is a frequent grant reviewer for the US Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.


Anita Tarzian, PhD, RN: Deputy Executive Director
(Washington, DC)

Anita Tarzian

Dr. Anita J. Tarzian joined NCEHC 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. 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.


Karinne R. Davidson, MBA: Director of Operations

Ms. Davidson currently serves as the director of operations for the National Center for Ethics in Health Care. In 2020, she joined NCEHC as the associate director of operations performing a broad variety of activities related to the center’s daily operations. Ms. Davidson began her VA career in 2010 at the Fargo VA Health Care System where she served as the chief of development and civic engagement and VISN 23 liaison to the VHACO Center for Development and Civic Engagement.  Ms. Davidson served on the Fargo VA Healthcare Ethics team as the preventive ethics coordinator from 2015 to 2020.  Ms. Davidson holds a master’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis in human resources, from the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND, and is a graduate of North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in public relations/mass communications with a minor in political science.